The Challenge Comes to an End

Today is post 30 for my 30 day blogging challenge. I didn’t do 30 in 30 days, but I did complete all 30 posts in 34 days. I never thought I’d make it that far at all. I figured I’d give up around halfway through. I’m not very good at sticking things out, especially if they’re difficult, and this challenge was, but I made it all the way through.

So what have I learned? First blogging every day is really hard. There were days when I just didn’t feel like I had anything to say. There were other days where I was so emotionally drained that sitting down and writing felt like torture. There were other days where sitting down and writing just felt like an annoying chore I wanted to blow off, like cleaning the bathroom. But I wrote anyway. Each day that I just didn’t feel like writing, I did it anyway. I remembered that I had made a commitment to myself, I took out my laptop, and I just wrote. And I am proud of every single piece I wrote for this challenge.

I also learned that it’s not super sustainable for me to write every day. I need to take days off for self care. I need to focus on my wants and needs in order to put out good writing. Instead of powering through on a couple of days, I recognized  and honored my limits. I know that posting every day is not the level of blogging that I can maintain. I’m going to try to stick to a four day a week schedule going forward. I do think that writing on a schedule has helped me a lot, but that schedule needs to be less than daily.

I discovered that I actually have a lot to say. When I started the challenge I didn’t have a list of 30 topics to write about. I had a pretty sizeable list, but it certainly was not 30 topics. I was legitimately concerned that I wouldn’t have enough to write about to fill 30 days. I still have topics left on that list because other topics felt appropriate on certain days. There wasn’t a single day that I felt like I didn’t have something to say, and I have a lot more to say. Having to come up with things to write about every day got me really comfortable with writing about my feminist journey. I’ve had to do a lot more learning and a lot more thinking, and I feel like I really discovered my voice on feminist topics.

I also discovered that I have so much more left to learn. Feminism is so broad. I’ve barely scratched the surface of intersectional feminism, which is what I really want to focus on right now. I want to expand my understanding of the topics I’ve already covered and learn completely new things. After 30 posts in 34 days I’m still passionately learning and writing.

Lastly, and most importantly, I learned that I can be a real writer. From a very young age my writing was praised and many a high school English teacher told me that they hoped I would pursue a career in writing. Life got in the way, as it often does, and writing fell completely off my radar. I kind of assumed that I’d lost my touch, and certainly that I lost my passion. This challenge has reignited my fire for writing. I really love it and I really want to continue.

So where do I go from here? Like I said, I want to stick to a 4 day a week schedule. Probably Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Weekends off and a break in the middle sounds good for me right now. I want to continue cranking out content and building up my portfolio. My original plan for the challenge was to build up a portfolio of my own work and then begin pitching major online publications. I intend to do this. I will be working on a couple of pitches and projects and sending them out by the end of April. Maybe I’ll get to see this dream of being a real writer come true. I’ve struggled in so many ways in my life, but I have always come out the other side and seen my dreams come true, so here’s hoping.

Thanks for coming along on this ride with me. Thank you for reading over and over again. The support I have received has been overwhelming and it’s kept me going. Please stick around and let’s see where this goes together.

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The Day I Decided to Live a Dream

In May 2015 I graduated with a Bachelors Degree. I realize that people do this all the time and it’s always a big accomplishment, but for me it was huge. I’d spent ten years trying to get that degree. I’d dropped out of four colleges. I’d take one or two classes here and there forever. I did as much or as little as I could for ten years and in May 2015 I finally walked across the stage and lived the dream of being a college graduate.

Not coincidentally, a year before I graduated I quit my high paying career and became a nanny. I had always wanted to pursue childcare but I had landed a high paying, high pressure, high prestige career early in life and abandoned passion for money as so many of us do these days. Also like many others I found myself so miserable I was actually chronically ill. The stress was triggering a previously managed chronic illness and I spent two years sick and miserable. I finally decided that money wasn’t worth this, no matter how much I was being paid. So I quit. I found a job raising a beautiful baby. It’s not always easy, as any parent knows, but I love it and I’m not miserable anymore.

The past two years have afforded me plenty of opportunities to pursue my dreams and most of them have gone exceedingly well. Today, I am committing to start pursuing another dream. Ever since I knew how to write I always wanted to be a writer. As I got older and life happened I quickly abandoned the dream of my work being well known or renowned or getting paid for my work. Today I am making a commitment to start exploring that dream again. I’ve joined a 30 day blogging challenge to get practice writing every day and to build up a portfolio. Once the challenge is complete I will start submitting pitches for guest posts on popular blogs and see if I can get any interest in my pieces.

We’ll see if I can stick it out. I hope I can so I’ll be able to call today the day I chose to live a dream.