On Saturday, I was having dinner with my friend George. George is a pretty amazing and accomplished writer, in town on assignment. We were talking about projects and stories and eating sushi on a warm Birmingham night.
I’d been restless, having returned from a business trip, performing my time to get rest and do laundry before going-back-to-work on Monday drill. But also because of the place in which I sit at this point in my life.
I’ll be 40 in 90 days. I’m not freaked out about it, but it’s a milestone, a crossing point. Or just another day, if you don’t believe in time, like Prince. (Still reeling from his death, but I’ll spare you that think piece.)
On this business trip I met a tattoo artist and told him that I was thinking about getting a tattoo (much to the chagrin in the men in my life -- sorry Shane, Dad). In reality I don’t know if I’ll ever take that plunge, but I do love the idea of a permanent imprint to denote a turning, a passage, a major life event.
George and I were talking about the most pure part of a reporter’s life, which is listening to someone’s story and having the chance to tell it to the world. I told him that I missed that, and the writing part. “Sometimes I feel like I have to ask for permission to do that.”
I grew up in a time in which one was anointed a writer by a man in a corner office saying, “Congratulations, you now have a job here writing. Go forth and make words.” Or maybe that’s just how I perceived it. Those days are long gone. And now, there is no anointing. And no one is stopping me from going forth and making my own words. Except myself.
I’ll be 40 in 90 days. Between now and then I’m going to tell one story each day here. (And they won’t all be all be wa-wa I-need-to-write-posts. You’re welcome.) 90 stories in 90 days. Some will be short and some will be longer. I haven't mapped it out, or created an editorial calendar. These 90 days of stories aren't about metrics or ROI. That's not how I got my start.
There is no plan, except for stories of life unedited.
"I think you know what you need to do," George said. "Give yourself permission."