July 24, 2015

Halfway There: Forget Prayers. Give Me Caffeine.

I’m serious. Where’s my coffee?

This week’s post marks the halfway point of the year commitment I made to Scriven by Garen. I have been writing weekly blog posts for 26 straight weeks.

I’ve learned a lot so far:

1. Writing short, polished pieces each week helps keep me on point. Writing done well is a discipline. And like any discipline you need to do it on the regular. Good things happen when you keep your skills sharp by putting them into constant practice.

2. Writing without a reader is okay, but I learn and grow the most when people engage with what I put out there. I am beyond grateful for my friends that show up here each week and take time out of their busy days to read my posts. Really, thank you guys so much.

3. Twenty-six times I was afraid I wouldn’t have anything to write about and 26 times I’ve actually had plenty to say. Writing for Scriven by Garen means I need to pause for an hour or two each week and really think. Pause and reflect. It sounds simple, but it takes effort. And there is always something, some issue that starts to nag at me. It keeps pulling at the edges of my mind. I know that’s the thing I need to put down in the blog, and I always feel better for having done it. Writing is the best free therapy around.

4. Setting priorities works. So many weeks I have been tempted to skip my post. I’m tired. It’s late. So You Think You Can Dance is on. But I have my priorities in mind. Family, fitness, writing. Those are my top three, and that means they get done. Period.

5. Putting myself out there in the world, even just a small slice of the world, is scary. Writing my thoughts down for other people to read and judge makes me feel vulnerable. But it’s a fair price to pay for being known as a writer amongst my friends and acquaintances. For a long time I was too shy, scared, really, to let people know that side of me. So putting it out there feels good. I’m proud of my writing. Why not share it with others?

And there’s still a couple things I have to figure out:

1. How will I be able to generate 26 more blog posts that add value and don’t just take up space??? Panic. Slowly. Rising. Oh, wait. Let me just refer back to number three above.

2. Each week, despite mounting evidence to the contrary (see points 1-5 above), I ask myself whether this blog is just an exercise in futility. I’m beginning to realize that it’s just my inner Gollum (Garlom?), holding tightly to the ring of uncertainty and self-doubt that she loves so much. Each one of these posts is another nail in that sad creature’s coffin. Get lost, Gollum, while you still can.

The halfway point is worth marking, but not celebrating.

It’s actually a difficult place to be. The exhilaration of the beginning has faded and the sweet satisfaction of the finish line is far away. There’s just the weekly hustle left in the middle. And that’s not to mention the revelation that all the hard work that’s gone in to getting halfway has to be doubled in order to make it to the end. It’s the same for any goal, any project that takes extended effort over time.

For me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed if I think about it too hard. So I won’t.

Instead, I’m pouring myself a shot, throwing it back, and getting ready.

Hard work. Dedication.



Image credit: Mount Caramel, MV Blog

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