Life in the Fringes

My friend Herbert writes a daily blog. He used to be a freelancer with more time on his hands, but right now, his day job is keeping him pretty busy.

When we spoke a while ago, Herbert said he only has around 15 minutes each day to write. Last week, he half-joked that “right now, it’s more like five minutes.” Some of his posts are more like tweets, Herbert said. He might share a quote he liked and only add one line of his own thinking.

And while Herbert is wondering where I find the 25, 45, sometimes 60 minutes it takes me to write my daily blog, I’m constantly impressed by his ability to wring something from the hands of the muse in just five or 15 minutes on a daily basis.

I know Herbert sometimes feels bad about how little time he has for his writing. I know he wishes he could spare more minutes for his daily blog. But when I look at Herbert and his incredible dedication to maintain his daily blog against the odds, all I can think is this: Life in the fringes is still life — and sometimes, what happens in the fringes is the most important activity of all.

A writer who can maintain a daily blog through the chaotic storm that everyday life can be is a much stronger writer than someone who only types when they feel like they have the time for it — and whenever their art takes center stage again, they’ll come back swinging.

I’m proud of Herbert, and if your passion, too, has been relegated to the sidelines for the time being, I hope you’re proud of yourself too for maintaining what would otherwise wither and die. Sometimes, your art might feel like it’s on life support, but that doesn’t make your art worth less. It only makes your support more important.

Keep steady until the next door opens, and remember: Life in the fringes is still life — and every part and kind of life is worth preserving.