A month and some change ago I took on the challenge of writing a blog post every day. Actually, blog posts are for losers. I write essays! So posh. Anyway! Some takeaways:
- It’s hard to find something to write about every day. Maybe for some people, it’s easy. Not for me. My life is not that interesting.
- I have developed a genuine appreciation for websites that help you find beautiful images on a free Creative Commons license. www.pexels.com and http://compfight.com, thank you!
- The claim that a habit is formed in 21 days is a lie. Some days it’s a pleasure to write, but on others, it’s still a chore.
- It is incredibly gratifying to see that people are reading this every day. To all of you, THANK YOU!
- Doing this is neither more nor less enjoyable than writing for work (www.distantjob.com/blog) and than writing my fantasy fiction novels. It’s a different type of writing. It is not a change of pace. But it’s training. After a month, I feel that I am slightly better at articulating what goes on inside my head.
That’s all, folks! (See you here tomorrow.)
Today marks the 16th anniversary of the Portuguese video games website ene3.net . While I wasn’t a founder, I have been there since nearly the beginning, and at some point, the torch was passed on to me.
I tried to pass it along a couple of times, but like a particularly lovable but slow mutt, it kept coming back to me. I don’t actively post there anymore, but I kept it up as a repository of part of the written and spoken history of video games, in Portuguese.
I don’t actively post there mostly due to me re-evaluating my relationship with video games. I’m not entirely sure if they are something that I want to promote. I’m still figuring it out.
Still, sixteen years is a lot. This was a project that I joined pro bono, just because it was a fun thing to do. Eventually, it was instrumental in developing the skills and relationships that led me to do what I do today. Writing. Marketing. Leading teams. Weird – my little passion project ended up contributing more to my career than my alma mater ever did.
When you start something, know that’s ok to not stick with it forever. Just start it. You never know where it may lead you. Life isn’t a straight line. Leave room for serendipity.
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
Nothing wrong with taking a day off. Even God needed one.
If it’s not a strict commitment (like your job) where other people keep you accountable, then breaking the chain is problematic. Because it’s much easier to let it slide. It’s much easier to break a chain than to fix one.
A cheat day becomes a cheat weekend which in turn becomes a leftover Monday.
Miss a day at the gym, and before you know it, you haven’t gone in a week.
Creative work? Breaking the chain is death. The mind gets lazy; willpower flies out of the window. The muses don’t show up every day, but you should – if you don’t, then they won’t, for sure.
This may sound harsh. When I was reading “On Writing” by Stephen King – the book I credit with taking me through the writing of my first novel – the great author magnanimously allowed me one day off per week.
I guess that’s not so bad.
The problem with scheduling the day off, though, is that it doesn’t account for the other days off. The days when the kid (or cat!) gets sick. The day when the car breaks down, or the kitchen floods.
Gym. Dieting. Creative work. Learning.
Life gets in the way of all of those.
So what about, instead of scheduling our “day off,” we start saving them for those emergencies?