Feelings of achievement are like bubbles. They rise above everything else and give an ethereal feeling of ascent. For months, my growing book was my secret delight, something that made me smile as I straightened a room or drove around town. The night in December when I compiled all of the essays and learned that I had more than 64,000 words felt like one of the biggest triumphs of my life. I’m talking about big bubble triumphant feelings. Foolishly, I mentioned my achievement on social media, inviting others to celebrate with me. Friends and acquaintances took my cue and offered unreserved praise, never mind they hadn’t read the words. After a few hours, I felt ashamed for advertising my feat. “Look at me!” was never a common phrase in my vernacular. I deleted the post, and along with it, the kind, encouraging comments. I knew then that I only want to hear from the people who actually read my words. Still, there were now 65,000 words to celebrate, and I celebrated alone as I printed copies for our children for Christmas.
After a few weeks, my bubbly feelings of achievement have melted back into the tepid water of the everyday. I wish the feelings had lasted a little longer. All well. I have learned that is the way it goes with bubbles and feelings. That’s why words matter to me. They are still here, even when the euphoria of achievement and popularity goes away. The words will be here for generations.
I have been reading a conversation about blogging making a comeback as people grow tired of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I would love to read more blogs like mine. I think Instagram is perfect for visual artists and photographers. What I am missing are the writers. Many of the bloggers I enjoyed reading gave up writing and decided to use Instagram as their platform for expression. The contrast in content made me sad because now they had to limit their experience to a few pictures and characters. Was it a time saver? A move for popularity? I respect their choices, but I miss the writers. I wonder if they miss writing. I would.