In the ten years I have been writing in this space, I have somehow managed to gain a considerable readership. According to the various trackers I use to monitor such matters, I receive between 1,500 and 8,000 views a day--about what a good small-town paper would get before TV ruined the minds of our entire nation.
Like a small-town paper, I start each day with a blank. Most often, I don't plan my daily posts before I actually write them. I usually plop down in front of my computer around seven and try to have something written and posted by 7:30.
Which brings me to fear.
Like most writers, like Hemingway himself, I fear the white bull that is blank paper.
And I face that white bull every morning.
Truth be told, as a very prolific copywriter (I'm probably producing more today than at any other time in my prolific career) I face the blank page three or five or ten times a day.
There's something that needs writing, or a meeting and we have a gap, or a crisis or an opportunity. Something, in brief, needs to be done and someone has to do it.
That's facing fear.
Because just like in this space, I am exposing myself to bosses, colleagues, clients and boss' bosses every day.
Neurotic as I am, I will never get over the fear of failing, the fear of coming up empty, the fear of one-day or one-assignment, not having it.
But the best way through that fear is to trust what comes out of your head and is typed by your fingers.
There are a lot of courses you can take, and books you can read, and round-tables and seminars that purport to teach the art and craft of writing.
I've never taken one.
But every morning, whether I want to or not, I give myself this stress test. Can I find something funny, or interesting, or thoughtful and put it down in words.
The pressure can curl my hair sometimes--after all, the most heightened pressure is the pressure you put on yourself.
But I do it, for better or worse, every morning. And after nearly 5,000 posts--a million or so words--it's made me a better writer.
I couldn't ask for anything more from this blog, or from you, a dear reader.