So… I’m about to do a big thing. In honor of turning 37 next month I’ve decided to give myself the gift of 37,000 words. Yeah, you read that right, 37 with three big, slightly intimidating zeros after it. (And yes, I really am turning 37.)
I’m going to write 1,000 words a day for the 37 days leading up to my birthday on June 17th, which means day 1 is today – Friday, May 8th. The guidelines I’ve set:
- No topic is off limits but I MUST feel inspired and excited to write about it. Think grad school thesis the FIRST time you sit down to write on a topic you’re passionate about, not the final hours before the final draft is due to your committee and you’re wondering if you should have never gone to grad school and just gotten a job flipping burgers at McDonalds.
- The 1,000 words must be on one topic. I want to push on the edges of a thought in that space between the obvious and the inspired and embrace the tension in-between.
- No editing as I write. My greatest weakness as a writer is that I edit as I think, I edit as I write, and then go back and edit again after I write. Progress, not perfection is the goal here. I want to write it out as I feel and think and not over-analyze every facet, response, or unasked question.
- Accountability. I don’t plan on posting everything I write although I am hoping that it will result in content to be used in the future. I do plan on posting the topic I wrote about, word count, and how I felt about writing that day on Instagram, if you don’t follow me already you can find me @allyhendrickson.
When I was a kid growing up I loved to write and started writing long stories in 3rd and 4th grade. I would print out my manuscripts on dot matrix paper and mail copies to my grandma who was a writer. She would edit them and send them back with corrections and notes of encouragement. Recently she moved to a nursing home and as the family has been slowly working through all of her things my mom found a box that contains every correspondence I’ve ever had with her. In this folder I found every homemade card, notes, stapled manuscripts with clumsy illustrations, even a newspaper article or two. It’s sparked the memory of being an artist as a child because every child is an artist before life tries to teach us that we are not. Creating was for myself and my enjoyment alone. I didn’t write with the questions of if people would like what I wrote, agree with my perspective, or if something was ‘practical’ – it was all about being present in what I wanted to say, how I was feeling, and the life that sits in that moment that children magically know how to live from. I want to find that place again and learn how to be at home in it.
The Why Behind the Why
Underneath it all is the why behind the why. I am fortunate as an entrepreneur to have created a business where I love what I do, it’s not just a job but it resonates with the core of who I am. I want to help others do the same. In my 20’s I wondered if I had something to say, something to contribute. In my 30’s I’ve realized that I do have something to say, I have a lot of something to say, and now I need to develop the framework to hold creative space for myself in the same way that I do for my clients to make the space to say it. I can write a well-researched article with excellent framework that will hand hold someone step by step through a process, but beyond that what I really want is to learn to use words to capture the heart of the person who is seeking a process to be able to realize a dream and is committed to authentically getting there. That’s my why. What’s yours?
I’m so excited to do this!