The Good Patrons of 750 Words

A Note of Inspiration from Member Bob Stocking

64 cups

I am amazed to see that I have hit a million words. When I started using this site the idea of writing that many words did not seem possible. We throw around YouTube views and athlete’s salaries and a million can feel small, but typing words on a screen, every day, just 750 at a time? That is a very tall mountain to move. But yesterday I did it and now I am going to use a bunch of my coffee cups to share three thoughts about how this site has changed me. The primary way that I am a different writer today is that I do not fear writing tasks in my work. I know that I will turn to this blank page and generate a draft. Then those drafts go into Evernote for editing and polishing. Now those parts of the writing process I still do not enjoy, but what a difference it is to know that I can clear the first hurdle in the process, and there is a universe between no draft and a first draft. I am on my way.

Second, this is the strongest habit I have ever formed. My day’s list of tasks is not finished until my words are done. I often write at night rather than the morning, but I write. My longest streak was over 500 days, interrupted by a trip to Australia, and I am currently on another 300 day run. Like the best of habits, my mindset has flipped. Where it once felt odd to write daily, it now feels strange not to. It’s an unsettled feeling in my gut that has to be addressed.

Lastly, my proudest writing accomplishment in these million words is writing the toast I gave for my daughter and her new husband at their wedding six weeks ago. They announced their engagement last May, and I had a draft done in June. I even remember writing it in a Princi bakery in Seattle on a warm June afternoon, the patio windows open as I typed away on my Surface. With each draft my message became clearer. In the fall the groom’s father asked if I would toast both the bride and groom. More drafts, more emerging clarity. Sometimes I revised drafts in Evernote, other times I would just start over again here. I finished the final version at 2:00 in the morning of their wedding day. It was the most important speech of my life and I know in my heart I gave it the best effort I possibly could. Many people have told me how much they liked it, which feels great, but more importantly for me is that I think it revealed the heart of the newlyweds’ relationship as I saw it. It is the best thing I have ever written, and it became that because I rewrote it several times, and I did that because of this site.

Testimonial Note from Bob Stocking on Sun, Mar 08

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