My first post was Friday, December 20, 2013. Here's what I wrote in that first post, in which I explained the title of my blog:
Ailanthus Altissima, called either Tree of Heaven or Slum Palm, is a tree that thrives in places where no respectable plant would grow: in vacant lots, between the broken glass in alleys, up through rubble and cracks in the sidewalk. It is widely considered an urban blight, an ugly invasive eye sore, and because of its tenacity, campaigns to rip it from the face of the planet are ongoing and expensive. But there are others out there who praise the Ailanthus for standing up to the asphalt and concrete and bringing a bit of welcome shade and greenery, a little oasis for passersby. So what is Ailanthus? Occasional oasis or tenacious blight? And which will its spin-off Ailantha be?
For the first month I published a post every day but then cut back to five days a week.
Over the year I've missed two days, once because I was traveling and didn't have access to WIFI, and the second time was on Thanksgiving, when I ended up having to throw in the towel and accept that I wasn't going to get my blog out. It was just one of those days. Last Friday was also one of those days that almost got away before I got my blog posted. I did finally get it out, though about 8 hours later than usual. That could happen again, especially over the coming holidays.
There were a few other days when I almost didn't get my post out, times when I stayed up until well after 1 am in the morning spinning my wheels, producing only awful writing.
And yet every time when I woke up the following morning and re-read what I'd written, it always read better than it had in the wee hours the night before and so I'd do a little polishing on what I'd written, send it out, and remind myself that in the end if my writing wasn't the best on the planet it didn't really matter, that all I'm really doing is sharing a few details of or observations on life that maybe a few of my fellow human beings can connect with.
My average post is 600-800 words and each post typically takes me four hours to write.
I don't have time to read books anymore and my Netflix-watching has been cut back to a minimum. I'm not sure what else I used to do with the rest of the time I now spend blogging each day. I guess I'm proof of that truism that work expands to fill the time allotted.
So I'm not a fast writer, nor does writing come easily for me. Still I feel like I'm a writer first and foremost, even though I've never been able to make a living at it and it's not even what I'm best at. I believe I'm better at teaching piano than at writing. And yet I feel more like a writer than a piano teacher. I've got Salieri Syndrome (see post from 1/16/2014), a term I made up for when you're good at what you believe your true life's vocation is, but not good enough to make a living at it. So you do something else for a living, something that you're better at than what you believe your calling is.
Which begs the question of whether what you believe your true calling to be actually is your true calling.
Anyway, my resolutions for the coming year are:
1. to only write my blog on the days when I have something to write about and
2. to never again stay up past 1 am working on the following day's post.
For the past year there's never been a day when I haven't had something to write about. In fact, I have over twenty titles of drafts that I ended up not even using, there's been so much to write about.
As I finish up this post it's December Monday, 22, 12:42 am. I'm already feeling a squishy about keeping my second resolution.