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I got my first flame comment this week! The email address was long and spammy-looking, so I’m not going to put it through (I don’t want to end up with loads of spam about Dell or watches or what have you), but the commenter expressed disappointment that I was whining about a problem I could easily solve if I wasn’t here on my blog, “looking for attention.”

It’s a fair point. My post last week wasn’t a great read, and I was whining about something as silly and frustrating as being too tired to finish writing a story, when I clearly had enough time to blog something about it. I could make all kinds of excuses about how it’s easier to write blog posts sentence by sentence in work downtime than stories, which I typically reread and mull over while I write, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that when I created this space, I wanted a place where I could recharge myself, be inspired, and hold myself accountable when I needed to. It’s a way to make it “official” that I’m writing, and thinking like a writer as often as I can. It’s been working better than I’d even hoped. I’m discovering new and exciting people, writing regularly (even if never as much as I’d ideally want to do), and making real, measurable progress. Getting comments–positive or negative–is the kind of tangible feedback that reminds me that ultimately I can’t just write for myself, but I have to hold myself accountable to others as well.

I was too tired again this morning to haul myself out of bed to write, so as soon as I had a few free minutes at work, I started working on the flash fiction idea that occurred to me in class Tuesday night. The story’s sitting in my inbox now, fresh and warm and 559 words–meeting my daily word goal. I can pretty much promise I wouldn’t have written it without this blog and my goal to have a story posted every Friday.

Even when I’m tired, even when I use this space to whine instead of put out interesting stuff, I’m learning to do something. Be flexible, show up, take criticism, let strangers read what I write, experiment. I’m getting to bring what I learn in classes into my day-to-day, one step at a time.