Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Falling Down: 31 Days is Hard

"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."-- Anne Shirley, with an 'e'

Image credit: Andrea_44 via Flickr

Oh yes, I'm glad, too, Anne. A refreshed love for October has been kindled in me this year because of 31 Days, the blogging phenomenon, started by the Nester, that has taken on the blogosphere and showed many of us who's the boss. Hint: it's not us.

Why are we drawn to it? Why are we attempting to bleed out 31 posts of provoking words, eliciting emotion, and pinnable images?

Here's my theory this year, my first year, of why it's an alluring challenge:

31 days is hard.

It's a challenge. It teaches you if you have writing chops, or writing tartare. It teaches whether you have passion for this space of internet real estate that you look at every.single.day., or... not.

If you started early, with half of your posts written, I admire you. Snaps. If you started like me, with five posts done on October 1, I feel you. Snaps. If you're doing this day by day, I want to meet you. Snaps.

For many, our blogs are our songs, our stories, our diaries, our love letters to our Savior, to our friends, to our families. And if we commit to nurture, nourish, and nurse these blogs for the time it takes to produce 31 posts in a row, we can't help but learn and grow.

What am I learning?
1) My writing style evolves daily, and I love that. I'm an embracer of change, and get bored quite easily.
2) Keeping a promise and completing a challenge are more important to me than ever before in my life. And I take this as a good sign.
3) Slow & steady wins the race. I'm behind by two days, and I've fallen from the original plan; but I'm still plugging along, fully intending to finish what I started.
4) It's okay to take a break when you need it-- to enjoy, to refresh, to listen.
5) I'm learning what works for me as a writer, as an artist, and for finding inspiration. I'm learning how to write-through.

It remains a challenge, and sometimes it seems a daunting and mocking task-master. But then I remember who is the boss... the One who loves me, the One who said it was okay to take on this challenge, and I say to 31 Days: "You're my challenge. You belong to me. I'll be calling the shots."

What is 31 Days teaching you? Is your subject matter or your process? Are you writing or reading this year?