I’ve decided to join Jeff Goins‘ 31 Day Challenge, in which he challenges writers to write 500 words every day for thirty-one days. It’ll be interesting; you’re supposed to write 500 words every day, without editing, and for me that would lead to a lot of really incoherent ramblings. I guess I’ll try to edit less, maybe, since editing while I write is an ingrained habit.
The challenge is not going to be in the writing itself, the challenge will be in the discipline to do it every day for thirty-one days. Rambling is easy; recording it and making it coherent and representative is not. (I write a lot of things that expose things about myself, where I use those things to reflect and repair. Most of my writing seems to be “things that are wrong with me that I need to fix.”)
So is this a journal? No, I don’t think so. This site isn’t really a journal, and the things I write that are explicitly to myself need to remain private, of course… and if you think I ramble here, you should see the tangled spaghetti thoughts that get recorded in my journals. I don’t know that I’d call it villainy, but a hive, yes, jumping from topic to topic with very few connections and little sense.
I don’t know that I’ve ever been a good blogger – I write fairly well, I think, but I also write formally and impersonally. I think I present some decent insights, but because I wall myself off, I don’t have the warm, empathetic approach that people seem to want.
I don’t even want to have that warm approach. It’s not who I am. I’m not especially friendly; I’m rather prickly. I keep people at arm’s length, typically, and strangers especially are at arm’s length… and going from “stranger” to “associate” (or even further, to “friend”) is a long journey, protected by shotgun, attack dog, and landmine.
I don’t think that’s especially healthy, honestly, but it’s the truth. I know it’s a problem; it affects my daily life, too. But it’s who I am, and I’m not going to lie to people and say “Look how friendly I am, look how fuzzy I can be,” without actually being friendly or fuzzy. I’d rather have a commitment to truth and honesty.
That way, if people do feel that they know me, they have a chance of honestly knowing me, at least to the degree they understand.
That’s the basis on which I’d like to have relationships; they’re honest, they’re real, they’re based on a valid assumption of distance.
The challenge – the five hundred words per day that instigated this post – will be fascinating, because while I can easily write more than five hundred words, writing five hundred words consistently on a specific topic, without chasing rabbits, is going to be hard on some days.
But I guess that’s part of building that habit, and if it’s a challenge I’m going to accept, I’m going to give it my best shot.