"I'm not going to make it," I've said. I wrote it here, I told my friendly librarian, I confessed to friends, both via e-mail and over coffee. "I'm not going to make it."
And what would it matter, really? People fail to meet goals all the time. I've failed at something on a daily basis for years.
But after hitting the 75th book, the tone of the e-mails changed. Instead of taunts that people were rooting against me, I received book lists. The wonderful librarians in my hometown put their heads together and made a list of novellas and short books, then smile encouragement whenever I stop in. Authors, readers - none of whom I've met in person - offer ideas and gentle prods.
As I've said before, what I'm doing is not going to bring "world peas" or cure cancer. It's simply a challenge to myself, with the egotistical hope that it may touch others in some way. Like this e-mail with the subject line, "I applaud you":
"Stumbled upon your website via the Emergingwriters website I believe. The idea's fantastic especially when you see the disheartening statistics about the dwindling numbers of people who never read past high school."
Thank you. The kindness of strangers...