3/31 – Missing the Challenge

It happened so fast – one day I was writing every single day: motivated, time carved out, sifting through and discarding all but one of too many ideas. And then, April. No more writing challenge. Now, I can just do it tomorrow, which means the day after is fine, too, until suddenly a week (or more) has gone by and the ideas float lazily in their brain fluid, sipping margaritas and arriving nowhere. 

In truth, nothing but the date has really changed. I don’t enjoy writing any less. I don’t have any less need to sort through and process my journey, and I don’t have any less time. But this challenge gave me a sense of urgency, of purpose and direction, of a deadline, however arbitrary and unpoliced, that has now melted into complacency, or at least an acceptance of what must be deemed inevitable.

But the challenge also gave me the immense satisfaction of putting words on a page every single day. Of deciding which to keep and which to adjust; of concluding somehow, and then grappling with what was said and how; of wondering at all hours of the day and night if there could be a better way to get across an idea so close to my heart using words that can only ever approximate until somehow, magically, the right combination comes auspiciously close.

I thought I’d have revamped my blog by the end of the challenge. I thought I’d have categories and tags all worked out, and streamlined my online writing presence. I thought I’d have more answers. But all of that seemed to take time away from words on page and I always chose that. And now, that’s what I miss most, and what I will seek to continue, someway, somehow (some ideas here).

So I am starting by writing the reflection I promised myself I would write. It looks nothing like the draft I started at the beginning of the month (which was sort of a cover for the goals of the challenge which all went out the window, as explored above) and I am too late to publish it on the twowritingteachers page like I had hoped. But here it is, nonetheless.

I stayed up a little later. I erased a few extra times. And voila: the end of a beautiful, meaningful, inspiring challenge and the continuation of my writing life.



3/31 – #SOL18

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations on finishing and reflecting! What a journey. Mine turned out to be quite a bit shorter, but so much longer than my writing life would have been in March otherwise. I am glad you joined me!


  2. Yes to all of this. Something about not having the daily challenge makes me not write daily, even though the same desire is still there. I still don’t understand what that’s all about. Perhaps we just need to be like Austin Kleon and commit to daily blogging for the whole year! (Really an impressive achievement.) It is hard to have that daily structure, routine, grappling, that working through ideas in our minds, and then have it gone. I think there is satisfaction not just or even so much in the daily creativity of it as in the daily finishing of it.


  3. berries781 says:

    Congratulations! I enjoyed reading your blog. I miss writing every day too. It was really nice having the challenge pushing me. I’ve been doing the Tuesday challenge, but it’s not quite the same. Like you said, so many ideas and thoughts go floating by without writing about them.


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