Well, this is it. This is my last blog post for the 31-Day Writing Challenge.
In a way, this last blog post under the hashtag, #my500words, is like waving good-bye to a dear friend who has visited for a month. For me, the ride has been relatively smooth. Although I sometimes struggled with what to say, and, on many days, was beyond exhausted, the joy of writing kept me motivated. It was something I not only had to do, because I wanted to complete the Challenge successfully, but, also something I wanted to do, because I wanted to write.
When I began the Challenge back on July 5th of this year, I was on a search for greater understanding of social media and human interaction, and my role and purpose within, between and amongst these two dynamics. Honestly, I am not sure if I understand Twitter as a social media platform any better. On the other hand, I have developed what I consider more valuable and meaningful insights, skills and perspectives.
Number One, I have a great PLN – on Twitter, and in the blogosphere. I draw tremendous support, knowledge and positive energy from them. In a word, they are my tribe.
Number Two, my writing, in both skill and discipline, have developed tremendously. The Challenge gave me not only the platform, but also the structure to accomplish both. Since December of 2006, blogging has been my primary mechanism for reflection. But, these past ten years as both a blogger and a writer have not been without their challenges. I was writing all too infrequently, and, I was writing for the wrong reasons. These two factors combined resulted in a blog that became a burden to maintain, writing that lacked a voice, and a process that was frustrated and frustrating.
Number Three, the Challenge has allowed me to become a more authentic person through my writing. I am taking greater risks in sharing deeply personal subject matter that I would not have touched with a proverbial ten-foot pole even one year ago. It is akin to jumping into the deep end of the lake; you know you can do it, and want to do it, but, it is much safer to swim in the part where you are submerged only waist-deep. Writing about personal failures, for example, is perhaps the most difficult for me to write about, because in doing so, I have to admit to myself that I am not perfect, and, I don’t know everything.
My therapist told me recently that I am good at reflection. Over the course of the last 31 days, writing as reflective practice has allowed me to write with greater purpose. Of course want my writing to resonate with my audience as well. But, I now realize that too much focus on the latter is what creates issues, problems and dilemmas for writers. And, I now consider myself a writer, in the true sense of the word, which I certainly did not when I began the Challenge.
So, here’s to writing, and blogging, and continued learning, growth, development and connection.