Tag Archives: writing challenges

Stepping up to the “post a day” challenge

It’s Day 5 of the WordPress Post a Day Challenge. The enormity of what I’ve undertaken is starting to sink in.

On Jan. 1, when I first signed up for this, I was home. The holidays were effectively over. My sons, who live and work in Washington, D.C., had been and gone. My brother from Seattle and my mom and her husband (who live in Green Valley, Ariz.) also had returned home. The house was empty. The refrigerator was full of leftovers, meaning no need to cook or plan meals. My typically overloaded email inbox was eerily empty.

Conditions, in other words, were perfect. And remained so for the next two days.

I reveled in the down time, taking hours to reflect upon, write and rework my first four posts (“When life and work merge,” “No more excuses,” “Fighting doubt and personal demons” and “A part of me you’ve never known”).

These topics were deeply personal. Delving into them was therapeutic — initially distressing but ultimately calming. For three days I quietly rediscovered who I am without the stress, responsibility and distractions of running a small business.

And then I returned to work on Tuesday. The bubble of writing bliss burst with an audible pop.

No matter how much I lectured myself as I prepared for work yesterday morning — trying to compartmentalize and keep things in perspective — I couldn’t escape a stifling sense of gloom.

When you run a small, chronically under-resourced company, time is your enemy. The “to do” list grows exponentially with each conversation you have. The moments where you feel like you’ve “got a handle on it” are rare. Frustration and fear of failure are common companions. For small media companies like Raising Arizona Kids, creating content in the digital world is an endless task with fleeting successes. It’s like trying to appease “the beast who can’t be fed” (my husband’s phrase).

So there is already enough pressure. Why would I undertake the additional task of trying to write a blog post each day? Where, in the endless drain on my time and energy, will I find the resolve? Am I setting myself up for disappointment and failure?

I’ve thought of myself as a writer for as long as I can remember, pretty much since the first time I experienced the joy of reading. But with few deviations, my life and career choices have kept me on the fringes of a writer’s life. This year I’ve drawn a line in the sand. To be a writer you have to write. So I’m taking this challenge personally.