Hello there. So, here we go. Building a blogging habit. Took me long enough, and I hope this challenge finally gets me there.
Assignment Day One: Twenty minutes of free writing, without thinking about what I might write. Only writing.
2:34 pm, the timer is set on 20 minutes.
My mind immediately starts to race because… 20 minutes. That’s long. It also is pretty short from another point of view. Why did I sign up for this? Will it take “only” 20 minutes each day, or longer? Do I really want to develop a blogging habit?
One of my major problems on some days is the fact that my brain acts like a squirrel on too much caffeine. Or like a dog that just saw a squirrel… I have to do lists, on paper, in my mind, but if the tasks are not appealing or fun or the pressure to finally do them is really high, I always find something else to take my mind off them. Luckily, I know I am not the only one who has that problem. But it annoys me. A lot.
My little “brain squirrel” often keeps me from developing habits. Habits are a good thing. They give your day structure. They simplify daily chores. They can be annoying, but nevertheless necessary. Cleaning out the kitties’ litter box is not my favorite daily routine, but I do it nonetheless. Why did writing on a regular basis always seem so difficult beforehand?
My goal when I started this blog was to keep my folks back home in Germany up-to-date with all the exciting stuff that happens when you move to another country. And there is and was a lot of exciting stuff. Moving across the ocean with four animals was exciting. Remodeling a house (and not being finished with everything yet) was new and adventurous. Learning so much about DIY projects, health insurance, power tools, how to handle things in a new surrounding… Everything was new, and surely it was/is all worth writing about.
I constantly think that it’s maybe not exciting enough. But now that I see this on my screen – who is the judge of what is interesting and exciting and what should be on my blog? I am. So I think starting this challenge already moved something, and caused a little shift in perspective.
Life is not an infinite loop of thrilling things happening. Life just happens. This morning, I had to go to the lab and get a little blood drawn. Nothing exciting about that, but very different from how it happened in Germany. And they always make very nice compliments about a) my veins (not to miss even for beginners) and b) my very exotic accent. German… exotic… Two words I usually don’t mention in the same sentence, since for me they not necessarily belong together. But it may be nice for the folks back in the “Vaterland” to read about it, they also may find it funny, or take it as a compliment, or just be mildly amused by this little anecdote.
Small things like that are probably what makes your life your life. I want to share more of that with those of you who read this. It doesn’t always have to be a novel – bite-size pieces of information to share are also totally fine. This is what I hope to achieve through this challenge – to share more, to ponder less. Create an easy (?) habit with a result you can immediately see, giving you the boost for the next thing to do. Because you already accomplished one thing. What’s holding you back from accomplishing the next one?!
Wow… the timer just went. These 20 minutes went by pretty fast. Cool.
One final spell check, and then this word mess will be out there. I think I’ll enjoy the next 19 assignments, and hope you’ll enjoy them, too!
The challenge and the original assignment can be found here: Writing 101 – Day One