I made it! Thirty-one days of straight daily blogging for the month of August, and I have finally arrived at the other side. It’s been a good and useful challenge in so many ways. Firstly, it’s really got me into the habit of writing daily, which, as someone who’s main goal in life is to write a book, can only be a good thing. It’s also freed up my concept of what constitutes a post – I’ve realised I enjoy posting short, or visual messages as much as the longer written format. And perhaps most importantly, I met the challenge that I set myself and did it all the way to completion (being a fundamentally very lazy person, this is a big one for me).
Apart from the blogging challenge, August has also been an interesting month in and of itself. All year I’ve had the feeling that big changes will be happening in the spring, and August is the month that runs hot on the heels of that season. As the days have grown longer, and more sunshine has been present in my life, I’ve felt a corresponding lift in my outlook and, even more crucially, in my self-belief. Somewhere over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve gone from feeling stuck and confined to knowing that I can go after my most deeply-held dreams. As I mentioned above, the dream that is hammering most loudly on my consciousness at present is to write a book. I can’t think of anything more awesome to do with my life than to immerse myself in stimulating research, interview interesting people, and pull it all together into something that I sincerely hope approximates a masterpiece. Well, a masterpiece in my own terms, anyway.
Things that I previously thought were important (like building my house) have taken a back seat to this huge, overwhelming need to live a creative and self-directed life. Outwardly, nothing’s changed. I’m still showing up every weekday for my secretarial job. I probably still look and act like someone who’s just going through the motions of everyday life rather than chasing a long-held dream. But inside, something’s changed. At the risk of sounding like a condensed self-help book, I am experiencing a sense of certainty, and belief in myself, that has not been present in my life for many, many years.
It’s difficult to pinpoint, but I think part of this can be attributed to writing in this blog. Just having an outlet, however small, is such a relief when you have been bottling in your intelligence and creativity for as long as I have. My challenge for August was simple: all I had to do was write something in this blog, write anything, every day for a whole month. Sitting here at my keyboard on the final day, it feels like I’ve achieved more than the sum of thirty-one posts. It is, I sincerely hope, the beginning of rediscovering my faith in myself as a writer.