November 25, 2014

Five Lessons from the 31-Day Challenge

Last month I took up the challenge to write a five-minute blog post every day of October. My favorite days from that exercise were the prompts ViewSayLife, and Visit.

Overall, working through the challenge taught me:

1. A blog post doesn’t have to be lengthy to be meaningful.

2. Putting thoughts into written words doesn’t have to take long. However...

3. Editing is crucial. For me, it’s the most delightful part of writing. It’s what distinguishes the craft of writing from just journaling. The writing process loses a great deal of its joy when I rush the editing. So it follows that…

4. Writing every day is a must for me, but posting every day is not. Writing is how I process; for that, I keep a journal. But as much as I desire to share more freely, I also yearn for both the process and the result of the craft of writing. A well-crafted post takes time. I'm happiest with writing when I can explain to you exactly why I chose each particular word I selected. Because this blog is a passion project, and because it is not a journal of life events, I have the luxury of ruminating and refining before I publish. So most of the time, I will do just that.

5. Sometimes stress is a choice. I missed several days of the challenge because I was out-of-town without my computer, then catching up on a heavy workload afterwards, then sick. I learned that it was possible to choose not to stress over the missed days.

The past few months have been intense. They have been calendar-full and heart-full. They’ve been months of exploring and experimenting, questioning and re-examining, dreaming for the first time in a very long while. Other than those October posts, my written and spoken words have been few. I feel that like Mary, I’ve been pondering things and tucking them away in my heart. Perhaps a day will come when some of those ponderings, fussed over and endlessly edited, will find their place among others on this blog.

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