Art at Heide Museum of Modern Art - Melbourne, VIC
Blog, The Journey

What I Learned from 31 Days of Blogging

…and we’re back!

Sorry for the hiatus, everyone. True to my introvert nature, I needed time off to recharge after spending 31 days unable to distinguish where my fingers ended and the keyboard began.

Originally, I was sure I’d spend the final day of my personal blogging challenge waxing poetically about the wins, struggles, and lessons learned. By the time I reached the finish line, though, I was too exhausted to know what I thought.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve reverted back to “business as usual;” amidst all the life living and trip planning (Sri Lanka and the  Maldives, here I come!), a handful of little gemstones crystallized into four big ideas:

Practice makes habit.

I’m a textbook perfectionist, but even I struggle to believe that practice really does make “perfect.” For me, perfection is elusive, a moving target designed to put your character and your limits to the test. Instead, the 31-day challenge taught me that practice makes habit. And as I’ve talked about on the blog before, habits are an important part of a healthy, happy life.

Commitophobes need not apply.

Now, I’m not trying to inflate my ego by suggesting that the sun rises or sets on whether I publish a blog post every day, but when it comes to blogging–as with many things in life–commitment is key. Just as I have an ongoing fear of rejection (someone disliking or leaving an unsavoury comment on a post, for example), readers have a fear of abandonment. Human beings are social creatures who love investing in one another, but when the return on investment dries up, it can cause irreversible damage.

I took on this challenge because I knew I needed to make room in my life for my personal writing practice. Instead of setting aside one day a week to churn out ideas and drafts en masse, I vowed to write every day, no matter how “busy” I was. I can tell you that those 31 posts were not typed from the same desk at the same time each day; some were penned on trains, others in cars, and still others at dinner parties with friends. I was committed to making room, so I made room.

A whole new world.

A Little Mermaid tribute, but also an exhilarating truth. Although I was lucky to lean on friends, family, and total strangers for post suggestions, I also found myself increasingly curious and interested in the world around me. I began extracting inspiration from the strangest of places–an otherwise uneventful trip to the grocery store, for example. Curiosity is a powerful thing: when you harness it, the world opens up to you in a new and exciting way.

Tough in, easy out.

Habits don’t happen overnight; it they did, we’d all be fit, rich, and well read.

Over the past two weeks I’ve been moderating an internal debate about how and whether to rejoin the blogosphere. There were a few days I was convinced that a post or two a week would seem feeble and weak after proving I had what it took to publish a new idea daily.

Then I realized I was obsessing over details that were, in turn, hijacking my original goal: to sit my ass down at my laptop and write.

When you’re forming a habit, it’s helpful to keep in mind that all habits are tough in, easy out. I’m not saying you need to commit yourself to a monthlong challenge like I did, but I’m here to tell you that it helps. The more accountabilities you build into your plan, the more sustainable that plan becomes.

 

With that, I promise to keep writing. Hopefully you’ll promise to keep reading, too.

J.

 

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