Writing About Writing

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This summer, I took an unanticipated break from blogging to experience my fullest summer since being injured in Fall 2007. It turned out to be a truly memorable summer with sorely-missed outdoor time and plenty to share and reflect upon. Yet, as the warm, sunny days of summer morph into the cooler, wind-biting days of fall, I will undoubtedly be ready to return to the delights of blogging here on Stumbler.

“OCTOBER!” she cried!

With 2015 nearly over, I have some writing goals that have yet to be addressed. As such, I’ve been gearing up for a writing challenge without really knowing anything about it–except, how to write. This challenge requires a commitment to writing every day for 31 days, the whole of October 2015. Even though I already write daily, I love the idea of committing in this public way, because of the following attributes of such a writing plan:

  1. Writing: It feels like it forces a more focused type of writing than I usually commit to daily (which is also something I need more discipline around).
  2. Learning: Such new approaches stimulate creativity and open possibilities, as well as enhance learning. And wow, have I learned already in just two days(!)–mostly about new blogging techniques such as buttons and linkys, along with dashboards and apps such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Canva, Feedly, InLynx, Katch and of course Periscope, which remain frustratingly foreign to me. If you want to remain humble, learn some new technology.
  3. Sharing: By joining the group, I am imposing an element of openness and networking that I have generally avoided, as I continue to be reticent about sharing my work. This 31 Days group is also a decidedly supportive group. Their encouragement may help me climb out from under my proverbial writer’s rock, which was crafted with precision by others in the writing workshops and academic arena I once roamed like some sort of modern day Sisyphus that I certainly never tried nor wanted to be.
  4. Reading: By taking this challenge, I get to expand my exposure to different types of writers  (some 1,500 of them) and their various subjects. I had already expected to do more reading during this challenge; what I didn’t anticipate was that it would include other bloggers like me. It’s always exciting to share the efforts of a homogeneous group of craftspeople.

As a writer, I currently permit myself to write what I want when I want.

While writing daily takes discipline in itself, I am otherwise untethered and free floating in my writing habits. Some days I might compose a poem, some days a short story, some days a chapter for my never-ending book project, some days morning pages, reviews, assessments, editorials, or even comedies. I especially love to journal, but rarely find time these days.

Again, the nemesis of my writing life is that I have always been reluctant to share my work. With varied and sundry reasons for not wanting to share (as alluded to above), this is nevertheless something I am finally willing to conquer. I think.

With great anticipation then and the t-shirt to prove it (photograph forthcoming), I am going to give this writing every day for 31 days a go. What’s more, but with some trepidation, I am going to try to do my best to publish here on my blog at least something each day, if not the exact writing I have done for that day. Uncensored, unedited, unselfconscious…

This says a lot about you, my blog readership. So generous have you been in your responses and support, that I am trusting with you what initially was to be a private experiment.

I have prepared a list of topics (for these purposes called a series). These topics fall under one specific category, which my next post will address. As the daily posts are composed, I shall link them to this page so that in the end they can all be found in one place.

In addition, I have some surprises planned. No new Oprah cars, but hopefully some smiles.

I am also requesting on this post your feedback on any particular subjects you would like to see me write about. Perhaps it is something you are experiencing, something you read about in an earlier post, or an issue in your daily life or the news–really, whatever comes to mind as a reader of this blog. You can also send me questions, and these questions will be addressed this month in a special post called Ask the Author.

I invite you to leave your responses in the comments below or to email them to me, Debra Valentino, at firstlightofevening@gmail.com

It’s going to be challenging to find the courage, time and energy to post each day…and interesting to see how it all turns out in the end. Either way, I am grateful and excited to share this journey with you.

31 Day Writing Challenge

As always, thanks for stopping by Stumbler.

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