March 13, 2010
Thoughts on my Journal-in-a-Jar project
I wanted to record some of my thoughts on this writing project before I forget. In my typical organized, bullet-point style of thoughts, here is what I think about it:
- Challenge: Pulling a new topic out of the jar each day creates a significant writing challenge. Some days I want to throw the slip of paper back into the jar and choose a different one, because I have no idea how to write about that topic. Or, I have thought that the topic I pulled out was going to take some research and more thought than I had time for. But I take the challenge anyway and figure out how to write something, because that's part of my goals for this project. I must write about the topic I draw from the jar. As one solution to writers block, I have started pre-drawing the next day's topic so I can think about it for a day, before I sit down to write. I still don't have enough time in life to research or do pre-writing, but I can put thought into the topic and turn it over in my mind a few times. The challenge still remains of writing about completely random topics in a non-linear progression. I'm jumping back and forth in the timeline of my life. It does make me think about the bigger picture and how all of the pieces in my life are connected.
- Persistence: This project is supposed go for a year. The discipline required to do this every day consistently is a lot to ask of anyone. My life is full. I work a full-time job, help run two non-profit organizations, do art, practice music, read, study languages, and participate in community building activities. Daily writing is also one of my goals for this project. So I take the time to do it, regardless of whether I feel like it or not. I did take one day off during this process, because frankly, at 11:30 at night after a full day of other important things, all I wanted to do is get some sleep. So I allowed myself one day, but vowed to prepare better when I knew that my other activities were going to take up most of my time. A feature I love about the newer versions of Movable Type is Scheduled-posting. I have used it once during this project. I am still not sure if I consider that legal within the parameters I've set for myself about daily writing, but it did make my entry show up the next day when scheduled. And because of the challenge of writing daily with a really busy life, this is one strategy that works to accomplish the goal of being persistence and consistency. I've also thought about writing two times per day when I want to write about other topics 'outside of the jar'. But I'm allowing myself to skip a day of the journal-in-a-jar project when that comes up, because it's still in the spirit of writing daily.
- Fun: I am really enjoying this. I love the challenge, I love the daily thought it provokes, I love the sense of accomplishment it gives me, and I really enjoy the conversations it leads to with friends and family. I challenged my wife to write about the same topics, and although she's not doing it daily, I'm really enjoying seeing her perspective and thoughts. We've had many conversations about these topics already and I look forward to more. Simply fun!
Next topic: Did you wish you had more (or fewer) sisters and brothers? Why? Oooh, sister, are you reading this! ;-)