I just spent the last few minutes scrolling through the 30 posts I cranked out for this writing challenge. I found interesting to inventory the topics I wrote about it and the writing styles I tried out, my life scooped out in 31 different flavors.
Some posts were journal-entry style chronicling the major events of my day in chronological order. I think I saved these outlets for the nights I was racing the clock and only had enough creative juice to catalog my day.
Other posts fit the “slice of life” call a bit more appropriately and focused on a single event or moment from my day. These style of posts most often involved my children, illuminating one of their goofy quirks or one of the many daily adventures of motherhood. These were really enjoyable to write because while I generally began with a random isolated story, I found that I often ended up exploring a more meaningful idea or emotion related to the instance. I think the process of creating these posts really helped me reflect on my relationship with my children and my role as a mother.
Many of my posts were memory snapshots from my childhood, which almost always hearkened bittersweet reminiscence of my parents. In the past, I have done quite a bit of writing about my parents’ struggles and tragic early deaths, and I typically gravitated towards the catharsis of documenting some of my most unpleasant memories. When I would write these tales of woe, I would feel an emotional release but I would also leave the keyboard feeling anxious and unsettled. But in reviewing the blog posts for this challenge, I was happy to see that I mostly wrote about childhood memories of contentment and illustrated my strong relationship with my parents. Without even deliberately setting out to do so, I conjured up some of my parents’ best qualities and re-created some of my best childhood memories.
And then there were just a handful of posts where I experimented with genre. I kicked off with a poem on day one and then snuck in a semi-poem that turned into prose some time in the middle of the month. There was a silly recipe for a Manic Monday tossed in there too. If I do this again (or perhaps if I dare to continue blogging regularly without the challenge motivation), I would love to push myself into other genres and styles a little more. I think I’ve worked the wordy reflective narrative style into the ground!
But all in all, I am proud that I completed this challenge and am so grateful to my dear friend, Deborah, for introducing me to this writing adventure and cheering me along the whole way. After not writing in my blog for over a year and a half, the idea of carving out daily writing time for myself was incredibly daunting. But now I feel like I have a sense of how one lives a writerly life, how writing becomes a predictable signpost in your daily routine that offers introspection and reflection. With that introspection has come opportunities to express gratitude and release anxiety. The experience has been challenging and therapeutic and incredibly rewarding.
Thank you to all the readers and commenters who pulled me along throughout the month. You were the just the nonthreatening audience I needed to cast my words out into the open waters again.