So…I have abandoned the dream of making it to the end of a 31-day blog challenge and as I had previously written, more than anything I think it was a journey to greater self-discovery. Yes, it was a good writing exercise and a challenge to my creativity, but it also did force me to be honest about my level of commitment to my writing, my writing thought process and my writing style.
I’ve realized that I’ve been too hard on myself when it comes to potential topics to blog about. With the blog challenge, I learned that potential topics are everywhere and that it all depends on what perspective you want to apply, how deep you want to dissect, or what piece of the experience you want to magnify. It was a good mental exercise and it taught me to be more conscious of my existing thought process so that I can challenge it. Once I challenged what I was used to doing, challenged the route my mind had been so used to taking, it was as if something opened and lit up and I could see more possibilities. I see more clearly now that all I need to do is to allow myself to explore new avenues…new topics, styles and perspectives.
That being said, we all know that it’s unrealistic to expect that you can turn a tiny puddle into a well all the time. First of all, I am not that gifted of a writer to be able to turn something from nothing every single day. Maybe occasionally it could be done but not when the pressure exists day after day. Second, frankly I don’t think I have the time and energy given my daily responsibilities. There are way too many variables in my daily life right now to be able to set aside specific blocks of time for writing and hope that inspiration will pay me a visit during same blocks of time. It was just too unmanageable for me and I honestly don’t need the added stress.
Since I started to blog more consistently 2 years ago, I’ve learnt that you can really only survive on here if you quit being (too much of) a perfectionist. I now see the value in just freely writing sometimes and not having to worry too much about how it will turn out. But at the same time, I don’t want to lose the identity of my blog site nor my identity as a writer. Sure, I can write tips and lists and post reactions to videos, but do I want to do this too often just for the sake of publishing something? Perhaps if my blog had always been in the business of giving lists and tips then that is a different matter. However, Catharsis has a different character and I would like to keep my essays truly cathartic, at least MOST of the time. Giving in to the mere pressure of publishing on a daily basis, even though it’s material not reflective of what I truly want to talk about is a betrayal of my sense of passion and personal identity. It’s something I am not comfortable doing.
I’m not discouraging any of you from participating in a blog challenge. On the contrary, I think each blogger should try it at least once, if only to see what you’ll end up learning about yourself and your habits as a writer. Most importantly, I think it reinforces the direction you want your blog to take as it forces you to draw your boundaries in terms of what you will and will not write about. Ultimately the most important thing is that you remain true to your objectives for writing. Why do you write and who are you mainly writing for? These are questions we all need to be clear about as writers.