Day 8

We are over half way done with the challenge.

Way to go everyone for sticking it through this far! How did your first week go? Like Julia, I’ve had some ups and downs.  Over the weekend, I didn’t even make it to the writing table, despite my commitment to the challenge.  I realize that on a weekend, without the structure of work, the only way for me to write is to get up early and do it before the day begins. Both days, I swore up and down I would do it before bed, but plans with friends the first night and exhaustion the second night won out. This is a familiar pattern for me. I tell myself I’ll get to it later and don’t.  But, if I do it first, whether that’s early in the morning or first thing when I start working (before email or teaching prep), then I get it done.  What times of day work best for all of you? Have you had any insights about your writing style during the first week?

Today, I found myself in the middle of the mess with my writing. My carefully planned outline has fallen apart and although I’m writing a lot, I’m not quite sure how it all fits together. It would be great if writing were linear – if my carefully planned outlines could be executed with discipline and precision. But, there always comes a time in any writing project where I find myself lost in a beautiful mess of thoughts and connections.  What am I really saying? What evidence best supports that claim? Do I need this section? Should I add another?


My desk in the messy middle of things

In the messy middle, I am reminded that writing is not just a form of communication but also a form of thinking.  It’s okay to think my way through the problems and then edit it later.  So for today, I’m focusing on getting words and ideas down on paper. If I stick to the process (rather than jump ship, which is what I often want to do at this point), I’m hoping to write my way through the jumble of connected ideas to a coherent narrative about the topic.


Where do you all find yourself in the challenge? In your writing project? Are the pressures of the semester starting to find their way in? I know my email is getting busier by the day.  What is helping you stay focused? What have you done to get back on track if you, like me, have struggled with the challenge?