Let me set the scene. The thirteen colonies have fought a long hard battle. But now their tenuous new government, strung together by a weak Articles of Confederation, is in danger of breaking apart.
Alexander Hamilton comes up with the idea of writing a series of essays, which he calls The Federalist Papers, urging for the ratification of the United States Constitution and the strengthening of the young country’s resolve.
Hamilton approaches fellow statesman Aaron Burr about helping him with the project. In Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musical Hamilton, Burr turns him down, rapping “Why do you write like you’re running out of time. Write day and night like you’re running out of time. “
In the end, Hamilton recruits James Madison and John Jay to join forces with him, using the pseudonym “Publius,” to write the Federalist papers. They argue that the proposed system would preserve the Union and empower the federal government to “act firmly and coherently in the national interest.” In a span of six months, John Jay wrote five essays before getting sick. As the musical states in dramatic fashion: “James Madison wrote twenty-nine. Hamilton wrote the other fifity-one.”
I’m no Alexander Hamilton. I’ll never have his mind. Or his turn of a phrase.
But I have been surprised over the past year with the number of blogs that I’ve managed to post. In fact, this week marks my one year anniversary. I started the blog because I wasn’t writing much anymore in my “day job” and wanted to get back to the craft. I thought it might even get me working again on my long-forgotten novel. Unfortunately, the novel is still sitting with dust on it in a desk drawer, but it’s been fun writing the blog. In that time, I’ve posted 124 blogs.
‘I’m not throwing away my shot’
Some posts have surprised me by the amount of praise and comments that they’ve received from family, friends, and people I’ve never met along the way. I must admit these little surprises have gone straight to my head. I could live off that praise for a month and not require one bit of food or water. Okay, maybe a little water, but not much. A few of my other blogs deserved scorn, but have fortunately disappeared quietly, never to be seen or heard of again. I’ve had some personal favorites. I have had some I would probably like to try again.
There’s no question that my writing would benefit from the help of a good editor to clean-up some of my messier thoughts and most certainly to correct my many grammar and punctuation mistakes. In addition, I tend to break too many social media rules. I post too frequently and write too long, both rules that I’ve lectured others in the past. The writing, though, has brought me tremendous joy and pleasure.
Here’s a few of my favorite posts this year:
- Missing the Big Valley — My love letter to the community where I grew up.
- The farmer: a message of hope even in time of despair — A touching scene of a farm family and their grit to overcome a devastating fire.
- An Amish girl leaves home to create a new way of life — My mother’s decision to leave her Amish upbringing behind and start a new life for herself.
- Watching my kids grow up in front of me — How the passage of years has a way of changing your perspective.
Here’s a few more that I think were missed for one reason or another:
- A kid with a bright future — My son’s drive and hard work to overcome Dyslexia and build an exciting future for himself.
- My cry for help — A dark story from my youth that taught me how to overcome life’s challenges.
- Two versions of the same man — The strange, sometimes hurtful, dynamic of fathers and sons.
- Through Mary’s eyes: The day Christ died — How I imagine Mary suffered watching Jesus die on the cross.
- How I carved out my own place in the world — How I developed the writing itch.
I’m no Alexander Hamilton, but my hope is that that by “writing like I’m running out of time,” I’ve left you with a post or two that has hit home. Care to tell me what you liked and didn’t like? No matter what, thank you for spending a few minutes of your time on my blog.