Mark Noldy


1000 Words Is Better Than None — for now.

After writing only 1000 words the entire week, I felt a little deflated… that is, until I considered all the awesome things going on in my life. My youngest is starting softball this spring for the first time ever, so I have had fun spending extra time playing catch and showing her how to grip and swing a softball bat.

Number 3 is a senior entering post-season basketball play. (On their way to District Finals this Thursday!) What an exciting season it has been. Finishing 20-3, the teams was seeded first in District tournament. She works very hard; she will be graduating valedictorian of her class.

Number 2 and Number 1 are in their sophomore year and senior year of college, respectively. So we get to attend not one, but two graduations. Plan two graduation parties. And we are planning what may be a last “family” vacation where all four children travel with us. (Number 1 missed out on last year’s vacay due to her summer job.)

It’s times like this when I recall Jon Acuff’s advice in his NYT bestseller Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work, and Never Get Stuck. After reading this book, I was better able to recognize my season of life, and gave myself permission to “write in the margins.” I am a husband and dad first and foremost. Secondly, I’m a teacher, because that pays bills — for now. Thirdly, I’m a son and brother (and brother-in-law). I am at a stage in life where writing, although important to my dreams, is farther down my priority list — for now.

So even though 1000 words for the whole week seemed light at first, I am cutting myself some slack. I don’t do this for a living — for now. My day often starts at 3:00 am… 5:15 am at the latest. And it can finish anytime between 8 pm to 10 pm, depending on kids’ activities and other side hustles. While writing is fun and enjoyable, it doesn’t hold a candle to watching my daughters play sports, participate in clubs, and earn awards. The wife and I usually do housework on Saturdays, and Sunday is a day of worship, rest, and recuperation.

Are you hustling on any dreams in the margin?

Ready to subscribe?