Eight weeks ago, a couple of friends and I set out to do a weekly blogging challenge where we all had to publish a post every Monday by 5:00pm. When I first committed to it, I imagined that it'd be as simple as taking a spare moment here and there during the week to write up some cool technical thing I learned recently, no big deal. Instead, what happened was each Monday at around 11:00am, I would stare aghast at my computer screen, my head as blank as the freshly opened document in front of me. “I've learned nothing!” I would think to myself in horror. “I am a stagnant shell of a person who unwittingly has let time pass by wasted without growing in any meaningful way!”
And yet, despite all that muddle and fear, every Monday around 3:00pm, I found myself hitting the 'publish' button on a completed blog post. And now, suddenly it's the final week of the challenge and that weekly last-minute rush has turned into an unbroken streak of blog posts.
Part of me feels like it was luck, like each week I bought a lottery ticket that I only just happened to win. But wins can't statistically happen every week so each week I won meant I was probably decreasing my chances for winning next week and ahhhhh the world is full of scarcity!!!
I think the reality is that there was no scarcity to the thoughts gestating inside me, and that by showing up each week to provide a few hours of dedicated space to muddle through them, I was finally able to string them together into something coherent and tangible. Before where all I had were peripheral epiphanies, when I sat down to write and give them space, I was suddenly finding ways they all connected to each other into a constellation of a idea.
Sometimes, I don't have a good sense of who I am or how to share that with another person. I get into situations where I feel like I'm in such a reactive state of gerrymandering myself for each different crowd that it's hard for me to catch a glimpse of myself outside of that performance. But writing is such a necessarily slow process that suddenly, I had the space to figure things out. Where it was hard for me to be to draw up a narrative of myself, share my convictions, argue my ideas on the spot in a conversation, suddenly in the space of writing a blog post, it was only me and my thoughts, going at exactly the pace I wanted.
So each week, regardless of the how well the writing went, seeing the resulting essay felt a little like discovering hidden parts of myself. It's been a little magical, honestly, seeing ideas that I didn't even realize I was incubating suddenly reflected back at me in black and white. Even on the weeks where it felt like I was only writing dull and contrived platitudes, just the act of publishing something mediocre felt revolutionary. To be so unpolished in public, it felt like I was saying,
"Here I am with all these blemished words, and it's okay if they don't resonate with you."
Even if I don't blog as regularly now that the challenge is over, I'm super happy with where I've ended up. To all the friends who've followed me on this weekly journey, lots of love. I've learned a little bit more about myself, and hopefully maybe you've gotten something out of it too.