birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Resolution of Writing Anew

Ending this project of writing for forty days feels good. I appreciate the structure, a prompt with a suggested time frame, but little pressure. No guilt, no editing, no suggestions, just getting the words on the page each day.

Through this process I've explored some personal subjects I've not written about before. So, it has been somewhat therapeutic writing and may make me a little uncomfortable to reread at a later time. But, heck, I'm old enough now to write whatever I want without fear of my audience's reaction. (In case you think you missed anything juicier than you remember, its mostly in my interpretation, not probably so much in the words of a reader.)

But, the practice has been the most productive part for me. The getting up, checking the prompt and thinking about it. Within a half hour, or usually after breakfast, I've sat and responded to my reaction to the few words suggested. Only a couple prompts didn't trigger much. Most of writings were done rather quickly- though it usually took me longer than the times suggested. I never used a stop watch.

I don't have a specific goal of what I'm going to keep writing, but I hope to persevere in the practice of daily writing. My sister has written several self published novels and perhaps I'll explore that. Years ago, I had a few books published. They were mostly written to inspire kids and adults to blend art and nature to appreciate the natural world. All are out-of-print now and there are others that are flashier on the market that tell a similar message, whereas when I wrote mine, I believe I was published as there weren't many books on that topic. Later, I wrote fiction for a writing group. We'd get together once a month and either share art or writing passages. It was great, though I've lost many of those pieces due to floppy discs and the evolution of technology...and not being terribly organized about keeping printed copies.

But, the writing, like my daily walking, making visual art, and staying in touch with friends and family has been a part of my newly begun retirement. These are the things I longed to do during my teaching years and it feels good to have begun retirement in this vein. Birds in a Barrel was just the ticket and my self imposed discipline reassures me that I can produce something through words. I look forward to the exploration.


The Letter