Commitment

Day 26, or so

Well, it’s the home stretch, the final few days of blogging every day, or almost every day, at least. I may have missed one or two. I’ll have to go back and check.

I realize it’s a bit early to be reflecting, but at this moment, I’m really considering how this challenge has affected my writing and blogging practice.

There’s a lot I want to write about, and it crosses many genres and topic areas, and that’s fine. I think that there’s still room for all of it here. Room for politics, room for fun, room for reminiscing, room for exploring different writing forms.

But another thing I’ve realized is that if this is something I’m going to be doing, I need to make room for it too. This can’t just be an afterthought, as I’m brushing my teeth – oh, that piece that’s been swimming around in my head all day, it needs to be written (at 11 p.m.) And the night owl in me craves the night time for writing, but in the morning, I feel wrecked by the late nights at the computer, day after day after day.

In subtle ways, I’ve let go of other things to make space for this. Like writing for yeah write, which I miss. Like my bedtime routine, which was just getting its momentum back. Like a good chunk of doubt and self-criticism, which can keep running off into the horizon, thank you very little.

Continuing this kind of writing practice, I’m also reconsidering my role in a larger community of readers and writers. I’m considering my responsibility, and the kinds of messages I want to support and amplify. The world moves quickly, and if I’m to dive in to write about it, that needs its own kind of space too. Space to read, reflect, and then react in a measured way.

I often feel both relieved and nostalgic at the end of a project. As this commitment is coming close to wrapping up, I feel those, but I also feel motivated to move forward, excited. After almost a month of “just do it”, I know I mostly can. And now I want to do it better.

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Commitment

I read about NaBloPoMo and considered doing it. And then not doing it, and then doing it, and then not doing it. I decided to do it and then got busy with other things until 11:30pm. At that point, I realized I had to either commit to starting or let it pass altogether.

Committing to starting is the first commitment. After that comes commitment to maintaining a goal, and commitment to finishing the project.

It’s something I alternately reach for and struggle against, confusing commitment with regulation. Regulations have often been imposed by outside forces under the noble guise of helping me grow into a better person, a person with better routines, a person who can commit. A dutiful, responsible citizen.

Looking back, though, I’ve never really had a problem with commitment. My resistance to it is a feeble cover for another resistance: resisting the pressure to achieve goals that were never fully my own. How can I blame myself for having a faltering commitment to other people’s goals for me? ┬áHonestly, that sounds absurd, but it seems to be a pattern many fall into.

So I’m here, and I’m typing, because writing more often, more consistently, and hopefully – eventually – writing better as well, those have all been goals of mine. These are things I’ve wanted my whole life, but that have only more recently come into sharp focus.

A blog post every day for a month – can I do it? Honestly, I don’t know. But today, I commit to starting, and tomorrow I’ll see about the rest.

NaBloPoMo November 2014