It’s a weird feeling to not have posted anything in over a week. I guess when I told myself (and you all) that I would slow down with the amount of posts I publish each week, my brain went into party mode. It probably doesn’t help that A) it’s the holidays, and B) given the chance, I will do nothing but play with my puppy for as long as she’ll stay awake, then stare at her for as long as she’ll stay asleep.

You see, guys, I’ve written 209 posts in the past 10 months since first deciding to post 5 days a week (February-November). These haven’t been posts with simply pictures and a few captions or thoughtless lists (okay, a few thoughtless lists). No, we’re talkin’ essays, generally between 800-3,000 words. I actually decided to add up all the words from these 10 months…and the final number was astounding: 292,193.

  • That’s approximately 100 pages longer than the longest Harry Potter book (Order of the Phoenix)
  • That’s more than 3 times the length of The Hobbit
  • That’s 4 1/2 times the length of your average novel, like The Fault in Our Stars
  • That’s half of War and Peace

I don’t feel as guilty about my brain being in party mode after compiling those stats.

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I’m not saying my essays are the caliber of those books, before any of you try picking up something I’m not even putting down. However, I do put a lot of effort into my writing, and consider all 292,193 words to be strong content. Now, if you told me in February that I could write a Harry Potter-length book full of strong content in less than a year, I would’ve told you I do not have the self-discipline or creative strength. Yet, here we are. Talk about motivation and increased confidence as I move forward with my writing.

Seeing firm results of how much you can accomplish if you take it one day at a time is truly, truly, truly inspiring. I think all of us get frustrated when we don’t see results right away, or figure that great accomplishments of others are intangible to “just little ole me.” There’s no way I could do that because I’m not good at __________. That person only achieved that because they have _________ that I don’t have. 

It’s hard to see the finish line from the beginning. In fact, it’s usually impossible. The goal feels so far away that we often give up, whether in regards to writing a book, losing weight, saving money, or any other target that doesn’t happen overnight. Can you imagine how daunting those Egyptian pyramid builders must’ve felt when they laid the first few blocks? Woof.

But all of this leads me right back to a post I wrote in 2015, before I even began what I’ll now call War and Peace Jr. (Feb-Nov. 2016)– the post titled Look Up. We spend so much time doing things that entertain us for a moment, be it drinking with friends, watching TV, or mindlessly playing on social media, that we stifle our potential to produce great ideas and/or things. The past few days, I’ve accomplished little to nothing outside of my few days at work in the production studio. (I think I’ve mentioned that I recently began a part time job for the unscripted department of a production company. If not, surprise! That’s what I do now!) However, with this new recognition of War and Peace Jr as motivation, I’m so stoked to jump back on the productivity train. Am I going to write 5 days a week again? No, not at the moment. But I’m starting another project that will yield awesome results if I force myself to be consistent over time. Having done it once, I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel from the get-go!

The past 10 months have been a phenomenal challenge to force my mind to be creative enough and my brain to be focused enough to post 5 days a week. Even when I went on family vacation, I’d write 7 days a week for the month leading up to the trip in order to have 5 extra posts to share when I was gone. It was intense. I actually still have 3 blog posts just sitting in the wings waiting to be published (I used to keep 8 on deck at all times), but I’m saving them for later when they’re more relevant in a different time of year, among other variables. Anyhoo, much respect to bloggers who’ve been posting every single day for years…except I think it’s safe to say they are generally not essay bloggers. Still, they have to stir the creative pot to come up with ideas for posts, and that kind of self-motivation is truly commendable.

I hope War and Peace Jr, comprised of everything from a very controversial post about Miss America that led to me being torn apart on crazy pageant message boards to Bachelor Recaps to whether or not people should live together before marriage to my take on the 2016 election, reminds you that you can do some pretty awesome things if you put your mind to it. If I can, you can! Trust me.