Day 31: The Final Day

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THE CHALLENGE IS OFFICIALLY OVER.

It was going to be thirty days, but if you recall, on day three I just waffled, and said nothing. Therefore, chums, I have decided that this is the final day. Here are five things I’ve learnt during these Thirty (One) days:

1) It’s a bittersweet affair.

Have I enjoyed it?

Yes.

No. 

At times it was torturous and frustrating. Getting home late after a busy day, having dinner and then wanting nothing more than to sleep, but realising that I have to create interesting sentences with words and then publish it to the blogosphere. Eurgh.

Other days, I really enjoyed it, especially when the words would flow, or I had something in particular on my heart to share. I do feel I’ve grown as a writer by completing this challenge, especially in terms of discipline. Sometimes you can’t wait to be in the mood to write, sometimes you’ve gotta just make yourself write.

2) Forcing yourself to write can help you clarify what it is you want to write.

I really like poetry. I already knew this. But since the majority of my posts from this challenge have been poems, it just clarified, and reaffirmed that It’s probably my easiest/ go to writing form. Or maybe it’s because I really like making things rhyme…

I did find it a challenge to do reviews, and it’s only through doing this challenge that I could identify that. (Practise reviewing = added to To Do List)

3) Blogging frequently takes a lot of willpower, creativity and time.

It is possible, and I’m pleased that I’ve completed this challenge, however churning your work out without rest can limit the quality of what you produce. Writing interesting, unique and engaging posts can be hard to do on a daily basis. So, I’ve decided that I will blog weekly, on Thursdays. I may or may not blog more frequently than this, but I will blog at least once a week. That way I can really think about what I’m going to post, and hopefully say something of interest, value and merit.

4) Proof-reading is essential.

We all know this, but it only becomes an “I told you so” when you’ve posted something, all chuffed with yourself, and then find out a few days later that you made a completely fundamental error thanks to autocorrect, and lack of proof reading. Linking to my previous point, because I haven’t had a lot of time to proof read my work before posting it, I made so many mistakes – some of which I spotted early on, others of which I didn’t spot – other bloggers pointed them out to me. Oops.

5) You don’t always have to follow (or stick to) a plan.

After the failure of day three, when I couldn’t think of any topic to write about, I wrote out a plan for each day’s post. This however became a source of stress, as after the first couple of days, I would look at the plan and think

‘No, I don’t want to write that.’

or

‘That’ll take too long, and I’m too tired to make it interesting.’

or

‘I’m not in the right frame of mind to cover that topic.’

or

‘I haven’t the time to research.’

or

‘It’s 11:30pm. I need something short and sweet!’

After continually rearranging my plan (so that I kept pushing back the things I didn’t want to cover), I finally decided to scrap the plan. Mostly, I ‘winged it’, went with whatever had happened that day, drew inspiration from present/past experiences/observations and/or feelings.

Plans are great when it comes to writing, but they aren’t fundamental. They can keep you on track and inspire you, but other times they can hinder your creativity. There are also times when we can be too lazy to follow the original plan. I didn’t delete the plan, so I still have it as a reference point of some interesting things to blog about. I may decide to use some of the ideas. We’ll see.

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In honour of this special day

Here’s a little note to say
Thanks for reading my ramblings,
I’ll try to post more interesting things.

It’s been fun at times and tearful at others,
But it’s part of growth, break free from the covers,
And don’t let yourself be hindered by fear.
Write whatever you want to, my dear.
The keyboard and pen await.

🙂

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Day 29: The Importance of the Comma

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Grammar Lessons (Part One)

Punctuation is important – but use with caution – a comma placed in the wrong place can create, shall we say, confusion.

Take this scenario for example. It’s dinner time on Christmas Day. Your Mum has told you to gather your family members to the table. This is what you say:

A) “Let’s eat grandpa.”

B) “Let’s eat, grandpa.”

C) “Lets, eat grandpa.”

NB: this is basically the same sentence, but where you place the comma completely determines and alters the meaning.

A) This doesn’t send a good message to children. They’ll grow up believing it’s okay to eat their grandparents. Guys, this is never okay.

B) This is the real message. You want to tell your Pops that it’s time to eat. This is a good use of the comma. This is what we want.

C) Okay, so this is unusable but just imagine that there is someone you know called Lets (it’s possible). By placing the comma here, you have invariable commanded your associate to eat grandpa. What kind of friend are you? Where are your morals? You’re setting a really bad example here.

Guys, let’s ensure that our words can’t be misinterpreted. Use the comma, with caution.

Day 3: I don’t know what to write about

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So the weather was nice today, until it started to rain….

Think…

Does anyone else find that they just download apps because they have space, and then find that there’s at least 20 that you’ve never even used? Yeah, I’m having one of those moments.

Must blog.

I’m tired. That’s really quite funny seeing as I just had a long nap.

Must blog.

I really ought to make a list of all the Summer projects I want to do before Summer runs away. I’ve already had two months off, and what have I done? #yikes!

MUST BLOG MUST BLOG MUSTBLOG!!!

Okay.

Please forgive me.

I have no idea what to write.

This post has hardly been informative or beautifully crafted. But I’m honouring my daily blogging promise, right?

hahaha… Yeah.

I know I Should Write (but first let me just…)

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Why is it so hard to blog consistently?

(Read above question as: why am I being lazy and finding several other things to do instead of blogging?)

It’s annoying, because I genuinely enjoy writing. But I’ve let it slip from my routine, and it’s true that the longer you put something off, the harder it is to start again.

Like exercising.

Writing is like exercise. Yes, I like this analogy.

Welcome to a writer’s internal dilemma, much like that of someone who should be exercising (read – me):

“It’s important.”
but it takes effort.
“It’ll be worth it.”
But it’s tiring.
“It’s for my benefit.”
but it’s challenging,
“I should really just do it.”
But I don’t really want to.
“If I keep putting it off, I’ll start to regret it, and time is just gonna fly by.”
But… Oh, look at the time! Well I can’t write now, I have to cook dinner/tidy up/wash the dishes/walk my turtle (etc…)

Too many excuses.

And you see, as I’ve started to type the words are now just flowing out and my brain is thinking, ‘gosh why didn’t I do this sooner?’

It’s been said that the only way to get better at writing is to write. And I’m pretty sure the best way to get over writer’s block is to write. So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m posting this to hold myself accountable.

From now, until the end of August, I will blog every day. EVERY DAY.

I don’t know what about. I don’t know if what I say will be interesting or beneficial to the blogosphere, but I do know that it will help me to be consistent. All writing practise is good, right? Right. Write.

Ha.

I did consider starting on the first of August, to make it a month of blogging, but if I put it off any longer I’ve this feeling that I might end up not doing it. You know how easy it is to ‘forget’ to do something when you find it a bit of a chore. Well, I don’t consider writing to be a chore. But then, sometimes it feels like it is.
If writing is really something that I’m good at and that I enjoy, then it’s a skill worth honing. I need to challenge myself, and stop hiding in excuses.

Being consistent and disciplined is important.

A wise woman once said “in consistency lies the power”. And so, thus begins my consistency journey.

I will write. Every day.

This could be the start of a beautiful self-discovery journey as a writer.

Or it could be a whole lot of waffle.

Either way, it’s happening!