Today, I found a crumpled piece of paper at the bottom of my briefcase. This is what it said.

Things I know:

* I am a writer

* I am a reader

* I have committed publicly to complete a novel

* I love sports

* I teach because it pays

Things I don’t know:

* whether I’ll succeed

* whether I have talent

* what I’m supposed to do

* how I’m supposed to live

I write little notes to myself all the time and leave them all over the place. When I find them, I feel like I’ve traveled in time to the future to encourage myself or guide myself. Life is not linear; it’s circular. I’m not much wiser than when I was fresh out of college. The same lessons I needed to learn then, I’m learning again … and again … and again.

August is almost over. My master plan was to have finished my novel and begin looking for agents in the fall. I declared publicly I would finish the novel in my post Pledging.

I didn’t make it.

I got 75 pages done but I’m only through chapter four and a lot of it is crap.

I kind of feel bad about it.

But this failure tells me something about myself.

With all that time “wasted,” and no real results or end in sight, I still want to write.

I’m not giving up. Not ever. Writing is becoming more a part of me. I can’t really picture myself without it. It’s part of my makeup.

So … I’m making a new pledge. I’ll be done by Christmas. I’ll look for agents at the beginning of the year.

Some of you made pledges when I made mine. Anyone do theirs? If so, congratulations. If not, would you like to renew it? And if any of you need to declare publicly for the first time what your secret dreams are so you’ll be brave enough to do them, I invite you to declare them loud and clear right here.

I am a writer. This I know.