This year I had a plan. I settled on my #write31days topic early and made sure it was doable. More than doable, it would be easy. One that wouldn’t require too much thought. A topic where the words would pour onto the screen in such ways they would be near poetic, yet effortless.
“How’s that working for you?”, you might ask. Not so good.
It’s not about page views or engagement with readers. Yes, I look at those. Yes, they matter. But I’m learning more in these broken plans.
Let me back up.
Last year I read about this writing, and posting, everyday in October challenge. I’d been blogging a few years but this was the first I’d seen of this challenge. I thought it would give my blog the reader boost it needed. Or I needed. (You know, the whole, “like me, please like me” thing.) I wasn’t hooked up with any writing groups. I din’t know there were resources out there or how to access them. Never fear. I could do this.
My expectations were for the blog to take off. It didn’t.
I floundered in getting content written every day and I’m certain there were a few days I said, Not. Today. My expectations were unrealistic and proved to me how little I knew about writing. Turns out it’s more than typing words on a screen.
This year I found the FB groups, the resources, the tips for planning ahead, making buttons and landing pages and I crammed as if it were finals week. I was going to nail it this year.
Back to the topic. You know, the easy one.
Easy is a copout. Easy isn’t always true.
A couple of months ago, I decided to be more intentional with writing. I was part of a book discussion at Kate Motaung’s site about the process of writing. I read with a more focused interest about the subject of writing and, through my limited experience, have learned writing is work. And good writing is seldom easy. There are days I look at the only words I could squeeze out and think, meh.
What I’ve learned, barely in the middle of this 31 days, is, my brilliant plan is broken.
It’s not that the topic was bad or the words are awful. It’s that my intention to give my best wasn’t there. Easy might work for a recipe for banana bread or a pattern for someone just learning to sew, but to think my readers deserve easy? At best, a selfish thought, at its worst, arrogant.
I’m not changing the topic, only altering my focus and readjusting my intentions to dig deeper. To sand off the veneer and polish the grain of the words to a warm patina.
I have this tiny ceramic cow in a drawer. It’s no bigger than 2″ high. Its tail and two legs are broken. I’ve had this cow over 20 years. It holds no monetary value, yet I keep it because it’s precious to me. Our son gave it to me when he was a young teenager. He’d been on an out of town band weekend. In the gymnasium next to the church where they were performing, a women’s group was having a rummage sale and he bought this little cow for 50cents because he knew his mama liked cows.
We’ve had several moves since he gave me that shiny black and white cow, with many opportunities to toss it. But broken and all, it’s one of the more beautiful things I own. I’m hoping my broken plans, broken before God, will yield a similar beauty.