Dec 1, 2016
Maybe it's a little too soon to say this, but I think this past month has been revolutionary for me. The 30-Day Writing Challenge really did jump start my writing again. Now that I've been writing every day for a month, I don't want to stop! I take such pleasure in putting words and sentences and paragraphs together to say something unique and meaningful, to express myself. Writing daily, I've become more aware of my writing habits--some of which aren't so great--and I've been taking steps to improve my writing.
I've also been reminded that writing while often a pleasure, is also just as often a discipline. I'll never finish anything of consequence if I only write "when I feel inspired." I learned that back in 2008 when I finally finished the novel I'd been tinkering with for the previous four years. It took me six weeks. But I wrote, whether I wanted to or not, for 4 to 6 hours, every single day (Ah, the days before kids when such feats were possible). During this past month it was like that again. Not writing was not an option.
I now feel optimistic about my various writing endeavors. I think I'll be able to get back to posting at least once, maybe twice a week on my blog. One of the things that held me back for the past few years, was the need to write the perfect, utterly original and insightful blog post. My ideas for entries always seemed overwhelming and I never felt like I had time to actually create those posts. During this past month, I realized that the important thing is to write, not to get it perfect. I'm also working on a play for a new drama ministry my colleague Wayna and I have started. It's a reboot of Point of Impact, the play I co-wrote with Galvin Guerrero over 14 years ago. I sat down to start sketching out some ideas this past Monday and ended up writing for over an hour! There's still a lot of work to do, and I know it won't be easy, but I'm excited. Last, I feel like I'm getting closer to beginning work on my second book, one that will tell the story of the hardest and best year of my life--my ten months as a student missionary in Chuuk. For a long time I've felt this is a story that needs to be told, and I think it's about time I got to work on it.
So here's the deal: I'm moving directly into a second 30 day writing challenge. This one won't be a blogging challenge. Instead my focus will be to do some sort of writing every single day for the month of December (I'm giving myself one day "off" so it's still 30 days. I haven't decided what day that will be or if I'll even take it.). I will be maintaining that one or two entries a week. I think it's important to make finishing something a necessity. Otherwise you can end of up tinkering with one sentence for 15 minutes and tell yourself that you "wrote" today. That's fine occasionally, but if it becomes a habit, you've started fooling yourself. Requiring a finished product regularly keeps me honest. I'll be working on the play for sure, as I want to have it done before our drama group returns from our holiday break in January. I'll be continuing to work on some longer blog entries--ones that can't be finished in a single day. And on Friday nights when I'm taking a break from my laptop, I will write in my pen and paper journal (now in it's 49th volume!).
Whatever I work on though, the goal will be to write. Now.