Saturday, 31 May 2014

Day 31: Baby it ain't over till it's over

Wow, that was quick. Well it was actually 31 days, but it seems to have rocketed by. So how did I do?

Hmm... 23 out of 30 by the looks of things. Can I call that successful? I'm not sure. What do you think dear reader? The fact that I wrote 23 blog pieces in a month is pretty good going, even if I didn't hit my target of 30. The point of a 30-day challenge is to experience something new, either by giving something up or taking on a new thing, so from that point of view I was successful: I now know what it's like to have to write everyday for an audience, on top of my regular routine.

This was definitely the hardest challenge so far. Not because I had trouble finding stuff to write about, but because of the time involved. Writing is not something I can just hammer out in 10 minutes. OK, I probably could, but it wouldn't be very good. It would be like this piece. Just a stream of thoughts and words.

My approach - with only one exception - was always to think about what I'm writing first, then write it, then read it through, and then, very often re-write entire sections. The thinking part of that often takes the whole day and I probably change my mind about the subject several times. The writing part can take up to an hour, including edits and publishing on-line.

I'll probably change this when I read it though. There I just did!

I read somewhere once that there is no such thing as spare time. All our time is ours to command. We know exactly how many hours there are in a day, so there is no extra. Nothing is spare. If you chose to do something, then it's knowingly at the cost of another thing. It's unlikely that anyone suddenly stumbles across a few extra hours they didn't know they had and certainly not on a regular basis. The only real spare time is either accidentally mis-allocated time (I didn't think I'd finish the mowing the lawn so quickly) or just a bit of luck (what were the chances of there being no traffic in the west end this afternoon! I got home 20 minutes early!) And if you are the happy beneficiary of one of these unlikely scenarios, seldom does it allow for much more than a hastily grabbed extra phone call or a few extra minutes of rest.

So this challenge was hard because I always had to move things aside for it. Now I've learned how tough that is in my current life schedule.

Saying that, however, I'm a bit disappointed that I didn't make all 30, even if I have mitigating circumstances. The missing 7 days were all pieces I either really wanted to write or promised I would write, so...  I'm going to do them anyway and over lap this challenge into the next one!

Baby It ain't over till it's over. Watch this space.