Eleanor Roosevelt wrote at least 500 words for her My Day newspaper column six days a week, with few interruptions, for nearly 26 years (1936 – 1962). She was the first Blogger. This blog you are reading is only 300 words, and I can barely finish five a week when she did six. Writers like us count words and the number is significantly different. 6×500 is 3,000 words a week 5×300 is only 1,500 words, half the amount. And I’m happy when a few of the words I ply are half as good as hers.
Like Eleanor, I typically write at night. I aspire to write early in the morning, in order to be done and not have that concern lurking in the back of my mind – similar to exercising early and knowing that you’re done with it, but it seldom happens. For Eleanor, it was usually the end of a long day. Typically, the same for me.
So why do we do this? Eleanor didn’t have to, she wanted to. I don’t want to speak for her, but my sense is that it is the reason most of us write, myself included: for you, the reader. We want to be read. Kurt Vonnegut used to say that the most important thing about being a writer is “to have something to say.” Eleanor had a lot to say, and the strength to share it regularly. What I have to say is, check out the legacy she has left behind as a role model for us all: First Lady- First Blogger.
People say they stand on the shoulders of others. I stand on hers. She believed that the purpose of government was to make life better for people, but at the same time, as is true with Unite for Rights, it’s the people that have to organize to make those in government do the work. She was right. That’s why Unite asks you to sign a pledge stating “I support the idea of a Global Bill of Rights.” Unite carries on her inspiration to write the rules for those who govern.
Thank you, Eleanor.