December 31, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Happy New Year

As I wrote at the very beginning of this year's writing odyssey, "all things end." And so ends "The Daily Strick," after 100,000 words and countless hours writing on a near-daily basis about, as one reader put it, "political issues, personal matters and whimsy." Has this experiment been a success? It's hard to say. The intent was to make myself write something every day of the year, using the "blog" as a public writer's journal of sorts. But the project quickly became something bigger, as I often forced myself to write a more developed, polished article or opinion piece. This perfectionism transformed the project into much more than I had bargained for, robbing me of sleep on many a night as I composed the day's column at the end of a very long workday. "The Daily Strick," thus, became more like a performance and less like a tool.

This transformation was not inconsistent with the project's original intent, however. The daily writing exercise did indeed jumpstart my creativity, and I did generate some worthwhile pieces (some of which could be publishable with a little adaptation, if I ever find the time). Best of all, the composition of so many columns honed my writing skills. So in that sense, one could characterize the end result as a qualified success, even if fewer than ten people read what I wrote on any given day (after all, I was writing for myself, right?).

As I look back on my life during this past year, much of which has been chronicled in this forum, I see lots of travels, lots of new friends, lots of fun. But it is somewhat disappointing to find myself asking some of the same questions I asked myself last New Year's regarding the "Big Picture." Like the San Diego Chargers, I made little forward progress this year. One year later, I still lack a real career, a soul mate, my own home—and I'm not getting any younger. I certainly hope 2004 brings a lot more change for the better (and I do realize that I have to create those changes myself).

With the spare time I will ostensibly free up by no longer obsessing on this "blog," I plan to clean house, metaphorically speaking. My New Year's resolution will be to take a long, hard look at every aspect of my life and take action like a new head coach coming in to turn around a failing football team. I'll streamline operations, eliminate waste, trim the fat and hand out pink slips to most of the current coaching staff: offensive coordinator Sloth, defensive coordinator Procrastination and special teams coach Indecision. Maybe we'll finally make it to the Super Bowl next year.

To my loyal readers, as well as to the occasional visitors, a sincere thank-you for tuning in to read my daily rants and raves. It's been an interesting journey, one that I've been proud to make (despite the summer hiatus). Now it's time to move on to bigger and better things. Best wishes to all of you for health and happiness in 2004.

Do you have a favorite article from "The Daily Strick"? Check out the Archives and send me your votes for a "Greatest Hits" compendium. In the coming weeks, I'll review the year's articles and post a listing of favorites. Your comments are welcome, and will be posted along with your "Greatest Hits" pick.

 

©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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December Columns:

12/31: Happy New Year
12/29: Return of the Oscar King
12/28: The Year in Travel
12/26: Trial by Piranha
12/25: Merry Christmas
12/22: Red Squares
12/21: Havasu Falls
12/20: Last Will & Testament
12/19: Bah Humbug
12/16: Newsworthy
12/15: The "Strick" Dialogues
12/14: Animal-Animal
12/12: Old Memories
12/7: Letters to the Editor
12/5: Greed Strike
12/4: Another Day at the Office
12/3: The "Back" in Quarterback
12/1: Sixty-Four
Previous months in The Archive

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