Day 31: The Final Day

Standard

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.

————————————————

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.

🙂

Advertisements

Day 29: The Importance of the Comma

Standard

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 23: Entangled Nightmare

Standard

The tears began to blur her vision, ready to spill unto her cheeks and reinforce her sorry state. “Why does this happen? Every single time?!”

She gave another tug, but the knot just tightened. All she wanted was to release the melody and enjoy it with ease, but it seemed that the limp wire had other ideas.

She was almost defeated, but the desire to shun the world made her fight harder. Eventually, she felt the thin wire loosening between her fingers. SUCCESS! 

Her path to comfort was untangling. With a content sigh she loosened the rest of the knots, basking in the knowledge that she could now listen to music, unrestricted.

 

How frustrating, eh? Headphones + Knots = Grrrr (and eventually tears). Who can relate?

 

 

 

Day 20: a shockingly pointless poem

Standard

Remind me why I decided I’d blog every day?
Because right now I really have nothing to say.
The hours were long, I don’t mean to let you down
But I gotta be real, I’m not up to it now.

Otherwise all you’ll read is a waffley nothing.
My stream of consciousness is not that exciting,
Not when I really want to sleep, eat or both.
Didn’t want to try, and give you false hope.

Would you look at this, I’ve typed out a post
With no real meaning, a short poem at most
But hey, this is writing, and all the words matter
Tomorrow, my friends, we’ll resume the natter.

Day 16: You Don’t Miss a Thing

Standard

The stress of it all has got me feeling weak.
I’ve tried not to let this chaos impact my sleep.
I can’t say I know why things turn out like this,
So much pressure, but it’s all worth the risk.

In spite of that, I want them to know
That harvest is coming, so crops have to grow.
It’s patience and pain, a journey uphill
But let’s not ruin what took so long to build.

I know it’s not me that they’re targeting
But they do need to watch where they’re hitting,
‘Cause all they’ll find are heavy, pierced hearts
From words like knives that land like darts.

Again, it’s not them, it isn’t their fault
But it hurts when it feels like love’s come to a holt.

So I’m looking to You, ’cause it’s only Your Grace
That helps me forgive and reopens the way,
For friendships once broken and hearts once sore
It’s only Your love that turns dark into dawn.

I’m holding on to Your hope
And of this one Truth I’ll sing
You’re my anchor, strength and comfort
And You don’t miss a thing.

Day 15: “Character Development”

Standard

I’ve been wanting to write, but i don’t really know what.
I’ve started, but It’s hard to stick with the plot.
Should this character do that, is that really what he’d say?
Is it morning or night? A cold or rainy day?
Will they meet at the beach or the shops or while dog walking?
Will this relationship move past the one-sided talking?

When will my characters take flight,
where’s that point that I won’t have to write any longer
’cause the words just pour out and the passion’s getting stronger?
Why am I thinking of eye colours
when really I should be writing more chapters?

I’m bored now, it’s starting to feel like a chore.
But to get better I know that I must write more,
Or perhaps I’ll do some research and then I’ll finally know
If he would dress in black, or if his name suits his persona.

Attempting to write has made me sleepy. So many ideas, but how do I get them down on the Word doc? How do I get those beautifully strung sentences carving a poetic stream of consciousness? It’s time to face facts and see that I’ve been “writing” for hours, but the words are barely on the page. Grrrrrr.

Any other writers having similar experiences?

Day 14: Praise You in this Storm (or rather, in this traffic)

Standard

The irony of being allowed to go home early and yet arriving home over 2 hours late. This is due to the beauty of emergency roadworks and the chaos of traffic. I’m exhausted and all I’ve been doing is sitting on a bus. At least I got to write this post.

I haven’t eaten since 12:30pm. It’s now 7:50pm (I didn’t have internet on the bus, so I’m posting this as I’ve now arrived home). I’m sleepy, a little bit cold and a fair amount of frustrated. But still. All things work together for good to those who love The Lord and are the called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28) That’s me. And if you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, that’s you too.

I can’t say that I understand why I’ve been subject to this delay. But I can say that in everything , God is still good. Through any amount of inconvenience and hurt and delays, God is still faithful. This isn’t a very dramatic situation, but I’m using it as an example. I’m holding on to God, knowing I’ll get home eventually. I really feel that God is using this to mirror other things that we wait for; be it healing, restoration or anything else.

Whatever you’re holding on for, whatever you need right now, however long you’ve been delayed, God is still good. As the song by Casting Crowns says, “You are who You are, no matter where I am.” God will never leave us or forsake us. 

So even though my tummy has been rumbling so much it’s now just given up, I can praise The Lord. I’m sitting comfortably. I have time to pray. To listen to music. To think about others. And perhaps, the whole point of my predicament was so that I could type this blog post and share some words of encouragement with you.

Trust God’s timing. He requires us to be patient, but whatever we’re holding on to Him for (however minuscule or massive), when God provides it, it’ll be worth the wait.