What is my motivation for the next 30 days? What goals do I have for this writing challenge?
Honestly, I didn’t come in with a goal beyond getting through it. Beyond wanting to build a habit of writing directed, focused content every day. I have no problem writing 500 words; I’ve been journalling almost all my life. The struggle lies with following a consistent theme or train of thought. My mind is usually scattered all over the place.
What should I work on? I think the obvious answer, and the priority, should be my blog. In the beginning I was trying to publish twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, but that quickly proved to be a problem. I simply wasn’t able to keep up – I was publishing every other week for my first month. Obviously, that’s not something I wanted for myself, and I am now currently able to publish weekly. But I would like to get to my original plan of twice weekly. So first goal: consistently produce quality content for my blog.
My second goal is to be more vulnerable in my writing. I don’t like being vulnerable period, but it goes double for my writing. Mainly because I value words and language so much. I need to work on being more open and authentic. Not that I’m being fake in anyway, but I tend to hold back a lot. This stems from not being comfortable and confident, which is a whole other problem that writing 500 words a day for 31 days is not going to solve. But I think this is a first step in that direction.
Let’s have one more goal, because why not? I want to communicate better. I stumble over my words a lot. Maybe because my mind thinks faster than my mouth can keep up. Maybe because my working vocabulary is limited. Or maybe because I’m just not as good with words as I think I am. (No to the third one – we are not having those self-limiting beliefs anymore.)
I want to be able to write simply and succinctly, to get my thoughts across without the flowery language I’ve come to depend upon. The first time someone brought that to my attention was my senior year in high school. The English Literature teacher asked me to write my own letter of recommendation for my college applications; she will edit it and sign off if she agreed with the content. When I gave her the letter, she said to me, “There is no content. You write amazingly well, but you’re not saying anything.”
Part of my problem is, I love convoluted sentences. I love sentences that take you on the same journey as a paragraph, or even an entire page. I was making an art form of twisting and turning a sentence, taking it through a seemingly endless labyrinth of adjectives and adverbs, phrases and punctuation. Each sentence was a figure skater going through a spiraling step sequence. The ending effect was the same – dizzying. But I was focused so much on the style that I neglected the substance.
So to recap (for myself more than anything else), my motivation and goals for this challenge are:
- consistency and quality
- vulnerability and authenticity
- simplicity and substance
To paraphrase a very inspiring person, that’s 500 (552, actually) words, see you tomorrow!