Reflective Writing

On the number five hundred and sixty three

This is not actually my 563rd attempt at being a writer, writing a blog, or anything else involving the verb “write”. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, I don’t think anyone tracks their failures that closely. However, the number ties together my first attempt with whatever attempt this is quite aptly.

The first time I ever made an effort to write a story for my own personal edification, I was 12. I was quite enamored with James Bond, so I tried to write my own spy story. The result was a clearly middle school piece called “Swedish Agent 563”. No, I don’t know exactly where the number came from then, but since it seemed unique, it ended up in my then brand new Instant Messenger screen name, and has showed up in my usernames ever since.

Until recently, I haven’t really told anyone about the genesis of “563”. The story wasn’t good, and when a middle school friend wanted to collaborate and add some James Bond-esque sex scenes (13 year olds, right?) it went from “not good” to “embarrassingly bad”. So be it, no one starts out being a good writer.

But I still want to focus on being a writer. I don’t doubt I’m going to stumble again, become too busy again, do whatever it is that gets me to stop writing again. But those failures are not permanent, and should not be ignored. When I leave a blog for months or years, as I have done all my others, coming back is humbling, if not outright depressing. And maybe that stops me too often. I’m only human. So I’ll keep counting attempts, but most importantly keep attempting. That’s why this is the 563rd attempt…because sometimes you need to set yourself up to keep trying and keep going. Like Sweden apparently did with their first 562 secret agents.

I’m not going to give this blog a high concept, or try to limit myself to some sort of theme. My mind is way too all over the place for that, and I have too many ideas for pieces that I’ve abandoned in the past because I didn’t have a place to put them. As long as I’m doing this for myself, that’s silly. I will need to police myself to keep this from becoming completely self-indulgent, but that doesn’t mean it won’t get self-indulgent sometimes…I think I have at least 5000 words in me about high school, for better or worse. But it’s not going to be a rant space, or a substitute LiveJournal…it’s for writing.

So here’s to the 563rd attempt. To being thoughtful, being creative, and most importantly to being less hard on myself when this one goes fallow like all the other ones have. Because if I let myself fall, then it’s that much easier to get back up.


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