1-Year Writing Challenge: Two Months in
A second month has passed. I know February is a short month but it really flew by in an instant. Many things happened in my personal and work life and this clearly had an impact on my ability to write and to improve my writing in itself.
The challenges I faced this month were both strong enough to make me reconsider this daily blogging and to consolidate my wish to continue.
Here are a few things I noticed that were positive first.
This second month allowed me to notice that my creative mind is flowing more and more despite feeling I am running out of topics to write about. Choosing topics is getting harder but the pleasure of writing after deciding it drives me and pushes me to want to write more. While the average length of my articles in January was between 200 and 400 words, I noticed that the average this month was closer to 500–700 words. The length is not all that matters but being able to write longer articles without breaking much of a sweat proves that the act of writing in itself is getting easier.
This month, I wrote an article about skipping the basics in a language. This is a topic that is very close to my heart and I hope it could be felt while reading through it. The feelings I had when I wrote this article are what I hope to learn to convey properly in the long run and I will strive to keep improving in that way.
Many things this month, between the coming back and then final departure of my flatmate to Australia, an incredibly busy schedule at work and being sick for a week, have challenged my thoughts about writing and what it brings me. My girlfriend saw this and asked me a few times why I had to post every single day, saying that I could rest a bit here and there. The feeling she was trying to convey was that she could see how much it strained me at times. It was coming from the right place. However, all this contributed to me doubling down on my opinion to continue. Resting is important but if I were to rest, then there’d be other things that would be cut off first (such as gaming).
I also had for the first time the experience of writing extensively about my feelings at a specific time and place. On February 7th, backing up for 2 countries taking their New Year Holidays, I broke down in anger as nothing was going right. Letting my anger drive my fingers on the keyboard allowed me to get a different perspective on it and let go of it, thus sharing my experience with the reader and hopefully helping someday someone handle their own anger.
All this being said, I disappointed myself in a few ways.
First of all, I did not write the very short story I was planning on writing. I tried numerous times to do it but no inspiration came to me. The articles that excite me the most still end up never going about the 1300-word limit and so writing a piece entirely from my imagination that would be 1500 words or more feels incredibly difficult at the time. I do plan on doing it along this year, but I suppose I will get there more around the midway through this 1-year challenge.
Sticking to a schedule also proved to be complicated this month. I had taken the habit to write in the morning but have ended up pushing it to the last moment every day recently. I did succeed once in writing a few articles at once but the following days I wrote only part of one each day, thus eventually being caught up by the daily task of writing the day’s article. This will be the main challenge I plan on tackling for March.
I also somehow cannot seem to understand what you, my few esteemed readers, are looking for in my articles. My goal in writing online is to share my experiences as a way to help others in any possible way while helping myself get a better understanding and handling of my life. Not being aware of what you wish to read is proving to be frustrating at times. Yet, this is the story of life isn’t it? It happens to us daily. We don’t know what we want until we see it in front of our eyes. My job as someone writing online is to find what you wish to read before you even realizing it after all. Isn’t it?
The organization within my articles more and more seems to look like my own mind. This is something I am grateful for since it means that I am finally starting to be able to transfer my thoughts and feelings on paper. However, as I wrote in the past, this also means that my articles are becoming little by little less organized, like one long string of thoughts, interrupted with unrelated ramblings. The lack of headlines here and there especially bothers me. Writing is not the same as talking. It needs organization and clarity for it to be both understandable and interesting until the end.
Finally, the more I write, the more I realize that I wish to write about languages but don’t seem to find topics either not covered yet or with a different angle on said topics. I can feel this frustration slowly growing inside of me so I will need to tackle it sooner than later.
Objectives for March
As mentioned above, my main goal for March will be to learn to schedule my writing and articles more properly. I recently read an article by one of you on her own blog about managing one’s own blog like a project (I wanted to share it but cannot find it anymore). As a Project Manager myself, I really related to this article and it struck me how my handling of my writing was so much less organized than my day-job.
Following my frustration of not writing about languages, I have decided to slowly but surely act on it. I will start this month with writing once a week or two a small article about how to learn/grammar points in Burmese. Learning it myself with numerous resources is proving difficult but also thrilling. The rarity of this language is proving to be a great opportunity to help other future learners through their own journey and simplify their research of resources. I am still unsure of whether this will be an extra article not counting in my daily article count (thus meaning that once in a while I would post 2 articles in one day) but this will certainly be decided through checking my handle of scheduling posts.
This month, I didn’t read that much and I believe this may have been part of the reason why I am having troubles improving my writing style. I will do my best this month to read more books as well as online articles. If this is made into a proper habit, this should, in the long run, allow me to improve without even noticing it.
In any case, just as I said last month, I will keep on having fun writing, taking rests when needed while keeping my promise to myself. Luckily, while starting articles has gotten more complicated, the pleasure of having my fingers running on the keyboard, putting into words my thoughts is still here.
It has only been 2 months since I started this challenge but I can already start to appreciate the challenges and pleasures it has brought me. For this reason, I will keep on crawling so that, one day, I can walk properly.