October was an eventful month, from work having the number one tax return deadline of the year (October 15) to traveling with my daughter to Maine for a long weekend. In-between all of that, I blogged daily for 31 Days.
Back on October 1, I set out my expectations and reasons for doing it:
- To focus me on my photography and writing
- To nurture and strengthen my creativity
- To continue with the routine of doing something every night to nurture my creativity
- To encourage my readers (friends) to nurture their own creativity, whatever it is
- To give my readers (friends) things to consider for their own application to their creative processes
- To practice nurturing myself with evidence of it
- To give me a body of work for my own future reference and encouragement
Those things all happened! Not surprisingly though, it wasn’t quite as I expected.
- It was harder than I thought it would be. When I re-read my posts from the month, it looks so easy, but I really struggled some nights to get out what I wanted to say. Some of my topics were complicated and I didn’t expect to write such thoughtful pieces. I really had a burning urge to do write it up, so I hung in there and just made it happen. I cringed each time I pushed the publish button, then spent time the next morning to lightly edit, especially repeat phrases. I look back now and wonder why I thought my pieces were so questionable.
- It was easier than I thought it would be. Before I decided to do this, I went through my material in Evernote and moved a bunch of it into a single folder for ideas and materials. At the start, I had 25 ideas to write about. I barely dented those ideas! More stuff came up the more I wrote and shared. I think it’s easier to post daily than once in a while. My ideas flow faster and easier if I do it everyday.
- I’m really pleased with the end result. I wanted a body of work for the future and I have it. When I’m tired and frustrated, I can look back on this and remind myself why it’s important in my life and that these feelings will pass.
- I developed reference material for myself. I also have some new checklists and “how I did it” for when I do things again in the future. That will save time and reduce frustration.
- Your comments encouraged me. The time you spent leaving me a note helped me realize that I was achieving my goal for sharing. Some of you wrote that this helped clarify your own thinking and creativity. Others found my posts to be something to try for themselves. Although I set it for an expectation at the beginning, as the month went on, it became more important to me that it was making sense to someone else and that I wasn’t the only feeling this way or struggling with some of these things.
- I had much more intellectual content than I expected. I intended this to be more fun – playing with pictures and posting results. Some nights when I was too tired, I did that. But I had a lot more thoughtful and complex posts than I thought I would have. That made is harder but also more satisfying. Those posts were good things for me to write up and remember going forward.
- I had to exercise willpower to keep posting. For those nights I didn’t think I could summon up the energy to stick with it, I’m glad I did. One night in particular, I did a good first draft and just couldn’t go longer. I saved it, shut everything down and got ready for bed. By the time I brushed my teeth and changed into pajamas, I perked up enough to come back to my office, turn on all my equipment, and finish the post. Another time, I saved it and did actually go to bed. But I got up early the next morning to finish and post it before work. I don’t think I would have done any of that without the challenge.
- My personal life changed. This took up most of my free time. I made sure to give my favorite boy toy my attention and to cuddle the dogs for a while each night. But I didn’t read, work on piles of stuff, or take care of any other projects. I didn’t cook much either but mostly used what was in the freezer. My boy toy took over more chores for me. Some nights I did my yoga before I wrote; some nights I did it afterwards. One night I did it at midnight! But I was stiff and needed to do something before bed to unkink my body and relax. I don’t think these changes were all bad, but they were unexpected.
Am I glad I did it? YES!! I really enjoyed today going back through the posts and working out what I wanted to summarize to finish this off. I’m proud of it and am glad I participated in it.
So now it’s on to November, Thanksgiving and Christmas. The year is quickly slipping away and there is much to be done still.
To see everything I’m doing with my 31 Days of Nurturing My Creativity, click here.
To see what others are doing with their 31 Days project, click here.