Better Late Than Never: Day 1 of the Writing 101 Blogging Challenge

writing-101-june-2014-class-badge-2The Prompt for June 2:

To get started, let’s loosen up. Let’s unlock the mind. Today, take twenty minutes to free write. And don’t think about what you’ll write. Just write.

And for your first twist? Publish this stream-of-consciousness post on your blog.

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I can’t remember the last time when I lost my voice. Well, actually, it was a few weeks ago when I got a cold and sore throat. But I mean my writing voice. I thought I was just floundering because of deadlines and scheduling, but there was obviously more to it than that. In fact, when the Writing 101 Blog Challenge came along, I thought it was just the thing. I signed up and even found a writing partner to join with me. Surely, the accountability with another would help, right?  But it didn’t. I had every intention of starting these prompts on June 2, but it didn’t happen.

Initially, I blamed it on my schedule and the heavy pressure of the deadlines I was under. But the truth is I had already been doubting my voice. I had already failed–multiple times–at follow through. The reasons for my blog dying again don’t really matter. I’ve mentioned some of them in the past few days, and I’ve though about them extensively during my written silence, but it’s time to make a plan for reclaiming the voice. A few times, during my silence, I posted things that touched me, but they didn’t propel me into any writing.

Luckily, the last few days have produced a couple of posts. And yesterday, I started this stream of consciousness at the coffee shop as a way of recommitting to my blog and my intention to participate in the blog challenge. So what if I’m a couple weeks behind. I’m here now, and I’m going to write and see where it takes me.  I need this place where I can stop judging whether or not I’ve lost my voice and just start writing again.

I admit to a kind of theme envy when authors and entrepreneurs and hobbyists have blogs that have a clear focus. I know they work hard to make it happen that way. But I’ve stopped looking for a niche right now. I just want to get back to writing and posting regularly. For now, that means nearly daily–because I can. And when it goes back to less often, that will be ok too.

admin-ajax.phpI have made so many plans for blog posts, but I’m done planning for a while. Follow the prompts. See where they lead. As I’ve looked at some of the prompts, I can feel stories open up from my past. Not stories to explain the present. I’m not looking for reasons, excuses, or explanation. I’m looking to recapture a few memories that intrigue me. They won’t be accurate. Seen through the lens of time from a different perspective, and knowing that I only had the ability to choose a few details to notice even then. The prompts will encourage me to explore ideas and scenarios that I wouldn’t normally do, but that will help me find my way to my voice again.

I can add other things that come up, whether from past lists or new ideas that pop up. The point is that the frozen ideas may now actually be thawing. I’m going to go with the flow.

 

 

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This is part of the Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit Challenge: Day 1

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_assignment/writing-101-day-one/

 

 

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23 comments on “Better Late Than Never: Day 1 of the Writing 101 Blogging Challenge

    • How true! haha Interesting how thawing even came up in a stream of consciousness since I was drinking an iced latte as the temperature approached 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Let’s not even mention the humidity. 😉

  1. I am not sure how I missed this challenge, but good for you for taking it on…and on your own terms too. 🙂

    I also get theme blog envy, like I think I am too random sometimes. Then I just keep doing the “random thing” anyway. LOL

    • It was one of the actual WordPress University Challenges. I didn’t do well with Blogging 101 or 201–haha. So I didn’t want to lose on this one, too. When I signed up, it seemed like it would be doable, but the first part of June sure got away from me.

      Good to know I’m not the only one with blog theme envy. Though I must say, that you are one of the last people I would have suspected for said “ailment.” Your randomness IS your theme, and I love the surprise of never knowing what I will find when I go to your posts. They are always insightful, entertaining, or both. And well written to boot. If I could be that “consistently” random, I’d be happy. Oh crap, now I have a randomness envy. 🙂

      • Aw, that is kind of you to say, thank you. It really is hit or miss but it keeps me out of trouble, so I plug along 🙂

    • Thanks, Emmely! The other good news is I’m getting back into quilting. A post on that will be upcoming in the midst of the challenge posts. I’ve really missed the fabric play. 🙂

  2. Haha, a theme of writing would be nice, but I think the randomness can be rationalized- variety is the spice of life, or some other trite saying like that 🙂 Good luck with your writing!

    • HAHA! You, of all people, using a trite saying! Unheard of! 😉

      It feels good to be getting back into it. It’s not like there isn’t writing in my life. There is–sometimes too much (of the wrong kind at times). But I’ve really missed the blogging and the interaction that goes with it. And I got SO far away from all of that. It feels good to be reconnected.

  3. Hi Deborah —

    I am firmly convinced that unless you intend to monetize your blog (which I will never do), themes are not as critical as personality. You have a strong voice with many aspects or tones. That’s what makes your blog interesting. Just write what makes you happy or interested or otherwise engaged. This is supposed to be fun. 🙂

    • Thanks, Geri! That’s a really good point. This isn’t about making money; it’s about making connections. And people connect around a variety of topics and ideas. I appreciate your support of my voice. If I was making a decision about finding a theme at this point, your message would convince me it’s not needed. AND thanks for the reminder that this is supposed to be fun. It makes me wonder if you’ve been talking to my daughter. She reminds me of that constantly, particularly if I start stressing about my quilting. 🙂

  4. I am so glad you are back Deborah ;), Your posts always get my grey cells bouncing around, I love that you write about your thoughts , feelings and your life . I have not been writing much on my crafting blog ,but crafting loads ). I tell myself It will happen one day. I am not sure why I have stopped . I for one can relate to to our feelings.Your posts are great for making me look more inwardly, so Thank you x

    • Thanks, Sharon!

      I apologize for not responding to you sooner. It’s been a little rough around here. But I have to tell you, when I got this message from you, it helped me realize that it was important to express myself not just for me but for the people it touches. I sometimes forget that writing is only half of the act of written communication, and that the reader is often looking for something too.

      I haven’t been crafting as much as I’d like, but I really am moving toward a more balanced way of scheduling myself, so I have high hopes for the next few weeks. And I have high hopes for keeping in better touch. Thanks so much for your comment and encouragement! 🙂

    • HAHA! It’s not that I can’t or don’t follow directions, but I’m not sure of the wisdom of it all. I like your blog. And I like the freedom to write about whatever strikes my fancy. When I look at other blogs, I find the “slice of life,” random stuff a lot more appealing than those that always stay to one topic. Of course, I love the quilting blogs I follow, but even they will offer a little variety here and there.

      I’m not sure what that advice about sticking to a theme is all about, unless you have something very dedicated that you are trying to focus on. I could see it for that, but hell, I don’t know I want to do when I group up yet, so I’ll just keep being random. 🙂 Thanks for your comments. 🙂

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