So for the past two years, I’ve taken part in the Write 31 Days project – in fact, it’s how I really got my start as a blogger. Because, “Go Big or Go Home!” seems to be a personal motto of mine. The deal is that you commit to writing and publishing a blog post every day for the month of October!
It was great way for me to get into a regular, daily writing practice – but it’s a little grueling, I’m not going to lie. There were a few times in year #1 that I hit the publish button at 11:59 pm – just barely making it under the wire to be counted for the day. Year #2 was much more organized and much more specific – I wrote all about the 4th Trimester, those first three months home with a newborn. It was great to have more of a particular focus and I really enjoyed writing about this part of the pregnancy, birth and parenting picture that gets short shrift.
Well, here it is September 30th and the Write 31 Days project begins anew tomorrow. And historically (can I use historically when I’m really only going back two years?) this has been the day that I’ve announced: “I’m starting tomorrow and here’s my topic!”
But I’m not doing it this year.
I’m a little bit saddened by this, but also proud of myself for recognizing that this year, with everything that’s going on in my personal and professional life, it just doesn’t make much sense for me to jump on board again. This is not an easy thing for me to say no to… In fact, I have a hard time saying no to lots of things. It’s not in my nature – I tend to not only say yes, but to scream it from the top of my lungs!
This can be both a blessing and a curse.
It’s a blessing because some of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life have been a result of me saying yes: Climb a mountain? YES! Go Skydiving? YES! Be the “hood ornament” on the raft in Class 4 rapids? YES! Walk a marathon? YES! Write a book? YES! Be one of the chairs for the school auction? YES!
It’s a curse, because I tend to say yes before I realize fully what I’ve committed myself to!
Climbing a mountain is haaaard work, people! Who knew it would take eight hours and that even my eyelashes would ache the next day? (Everyone else who’s ever actually trained to climb a mountain knows this, that’s who!) How often does the one-way speaker go out on the helmet you’re wearing as you let go of the plane 3,000 feet up in the air for your first solo jump? (Not very often. But it’ll scare the crap out of you, that’s for sure! I can attest to that!) If I sit in the front of the raft as the “hood ornament” for extra weight, I won’t have to paddle. Ohhhhh, I might fall out because of the wall of water that I’ll be the first to encounter – no wonder nobody else raised their hand. How long can it take to train for a marathon? I mean, we’ll be walking it – not running it. Oops – didn’t realize that our training walks would take 4+ hours on the weekend. It doesn’t take that long to write a crappy book. But if you want to write one that’s actually worth reading? Well, that’s a different story. So is the fact that as you get farther into the telling of said story, the focus gets more refined and the 70K words you’ve already written need to be rewritten. Who says that having four kids in four different schools this year and chairing an auction is a dumb idea? (Everyone. Absolutely. Every. Single. Person.)
You see? I’m a “Let’s DO this!” kinda gal and I leap before I look a lot of the time. I don’t have any regrets – for real – but that’s why this decision to not bust out another 31 days of writing is both hard for me, and smart of me. I’m feeling a teensy bit more mature than I was feeling this time last week as I was trying to figure out what the focus was going to be for year #3. Nope. Not going to do it.
Instead, I want to toss this back to you, my readers, and ask if there’s anything that you wish I would write more about or maybe write about for the first time. I’ve published 136 posts (137, if we count this one) and they’ve been all over the map about pregnancy, birth, parenting, couples relationship, sex, the 4th Trimester, partners, and birth stories (the links here are to a few of my personal favorites from each category…) What else would you like me to explore within those subjects, or outside of them?
I’ve kept my posts primarily focused on the experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting of young children, newborns in fact. But I have a 17 year old girl, a 14 year old boy, an 11 year old girl, and a 7 year old boy (hence the four kids in four different schools…). I can talk about what it is to parent older kiddos, the chaos that I asked for and usually embrace as a Momma to so many, the life-work-creativity balance of trying to do all that I’m wanting to do in these three realms and what that messiness looks like (because it is mess-sy, my friends!), maintaining a loving relationship of 20+ years, what is means to be in conflict with the age that my driver’s license says I am vs what I feel like on the inside… Oh, there’s lots of things I could write about!
But I really want to stop and listen to what my readers are wanting. How can I make this blog more useful to you? What can I write more – or less – of that would speak to you and the people you know about this experience of being human? I would love to hear from you about this. I really do want to know what you want, what you really, really want.
And now, for your listening pleasure, an ear worm from the late 90s, Wannabe by The Spice Girls. I guarantee you’ll be singing this one all weekend long. You’re welcome.