I’m guessing, at this stage, that these journals won’t end up in some literary archive to be studied at length to see the original sources and inspirations of my greatest works. Their main contributions to literature, in fact, may be if the paper is recycled and becomes the journal of some truly great writer.
But now I’m exercising false modesty, because I am (perhaps) foolish enough to imagine that these little books may actually have some historic value someday, and while I wrote that bit about recycling the paper, in my heart of hearts I was hoping someone would someday write how one day Bluhm despaired that his stuff wasn’t going to live forever and little did he know that he would be remembered as blah blah blah et cetera.
I want to “live forever,” but I’ve never put in the work at the level of a Bradbury, writing a short story every week for most of his life, or a Maugham, meeting his appointment with inspiration every morning at 9 a.m. The best I have managed is little victories like setting time aside to journal four days in a row, or finally establishing a habit of blogging every day for more than 900 days. “Do the work.” Show up every day. Learn the craft. Apply the craft.
My career has been about creating disposable words, and I yearn to set some words down that instead will live forever. I want to write some words that move the heart and change the world for the better. (No delusions of grandeur there, right?) Every person has something to say. Everybody wants to change the world, so I am no different from everyone else, except in the sense that each and every one of us is different from everyone else. It’s a paradox. We’re exactly the same but unique, every one, God bless us.
Was that them, just now? Did I write the words that will live forever and change the world? You never know what those words could be, you just keep writing what moves you and see if they move anyone else, and one day, maybe, you will and they will.