I have finished the challenge to myself to write a blog every day for a month, and, as is traditional here on Medium, I will now discuss what I’ve learned.
I have learned that I can, indeed, write a blog every day … and nothing horrible will happen to me. I stepped up and succeeded. Even though my blogs were often short, I never ran out of ideas. Even though some of my blogs were blatantly boring (uhhh, I mean, some were “less interesting” than others), I plowed on. No one ridiculed me, nor called me out for being a fraud (I have no idea where this recurrent fear comes from). If you write, you’re a writer. This isn’t rocket surgery.
I sometimes wrote in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons and the evenings. Of all these times of day, I found that I prefer to write in the afternoon. I think that I could actually do this forever — write every day, I mean. But I won’t, because my other writing has suffered. I stopped writing fiction completely for the duration of the month of September, and I missed it.
I also found that I didn’t use as many adjectives as I thought I would, and that is both good news and bad. Good, because sometimes I use too many adjectives. Bad, because I do like my descriptors, something that was missing from my blogs at times. I think of adjectives as salt in cooking. Just right and the food tastes great. Not enough or too much, and the food tastes off. Except, unlike cooking, I can simply delete a few words, but taking salt out of a dish can be downright tricky, if not impossible.
This challenge taught me to separate the wheat from the chaff — and that everything I write is chaff, until the re-writing, when it becomes wheat.
I learned that I use fear as an excuse. I found this experience enriching and liberating, and recommend it for other Medium writers. It teaches that fear is just an emotion and an emotion is not solid, like a table, but rather like fog. And, like fog, it can dissipate when confronted.
Once I stopped fearing to fail, I could do anything I wanted. I decided to not stress over perceived problems such as lack of ideas or originality. I also decided once and for all, that the best editing is reading my stories out loud — always has been, always will be. Well, except my husband is still the best editor in the world (for me) and is (at times) more invested in making my blogs shine than I am.
With this blog, I am going back to writing two blogs per week. In the words of Mies van der Rohe, architect, “Less is more.”