October. Already! Where did September go? Where, before that, did summer go? They all sped by faster than ever.
How do you get hold of time that pours away like sand in an hour glass with ever-widening neck? Grasping it in fists, you find it just sliding through, quickly gone.
We can’t really manage time, cannot alter its inexorable, steady course. What we need to manage is ourselves instead. “Time management” is really management of what we do through the fleeting moments.
If we blog, we can use devices like the “Write 31 Days” challenge that invites us to write-and-post something daily, to strengthen our writing commitment and build a more disciplined work routine.
But, in light of my last post, where I commit myself to not posting what I’ve just dashed off in such reckless manner, what shall I do with the 31-day challenge?
A: I decide to adapt it.
I never have committed to the “Write 31 Days” daily posting of just-written pieces, and for good reasons:
- I treasure my weekly sabbaths. Blog writing is work, not rest. Just getting the post up there, published, sometimes involves far more unforeseen fussing with photos or tussling with technology than I ever expected. Perfect way to ruin a sabbath rest!
- To write-and-post daily as prescribed allows no sit-time. ‘Nuf said. (See last post.)
- I see lots of burn-out by day twenty-something, in bloggers really grasping at straws to get something, anything, published in the challenge’s final days. This (for me, at least) is not a good desperation.
- Linking up then on an open public forum can just display frantic scribblings to all the world. In a closed community of a few writers holding one another accountable for getting writing done, such link-up could be very helpful. but instant world-wide display is another thing.
- The need to pour so much energy daily into my own writing leaves less time for reading and encouraging others’ offerings on community link-ups. Feedback from others can likewise get very scanty. This can be discouraging, especially when you’re exhausted.
- You never know what else is going to happen in your life during any given month. The commitment to fresh writing daily may conflict with some very needful other activities, before unforeseen.
Yet the basis of the challenge is good, helpful, disciplining. If you’ve been letting your writing slip away into nothing—as I have lately—its commitment is a very good remedy.
So what shall I do?
Modify. Commit only to what seems wise for me:
- WRITE daily (except Sundays). I just won’t obligate myself to post my new writing daily.
- Make a 31-day commitment. The experts say 28 (mostly) consecutive days of repeating an activity, especially at the same hour, turns it into a habit, or at least routine. This month minus its Sundays equals only 26. That’s close, but still fudging. So for me a 31-day commitment (to write), extending into November seems to fit the bill.
- Meanwhile, I already set a September challenge whose results I can share for this month: to create one COLLAGE per day of that month. I can post one for each day in October, sometimes as an illustration for a written post (as above, and yesterday), sometimes on its own, perhaps with just a short commentary.
So there you (/I) have it: 31 Days of Collage and Commentary.