Are you better today than you were yesterday?
It is a question that intrinsically motivated people ask themselves a lot. It is the method they use when looking at the world and comparing their place in it, but it is done so in a way that limits anxiety, because it emphasizes baby steps rather than sweeping change.
In fact, hardly ever do we have the revelatory moments that demand us to change so drastically. Usually, it consists in small moments every day.
It is rather impressive what one is able to do using small steps each day. I have been doing a number of things that have almost gone whole cloth out the window in the past two days.
How does one take baby steps and observe a self-imposed sabbath?
Given the awkwardness of the time, and given the end of the school year, is it any wonder that, despite our best efforts to maintain routines, that real life can come barging in: buying a car battery, then selling the car, waving at students from across a parking lot to say goodbye, packing a going away gift package for a senior, picking up prescriptions from Walgreens. All things great and small.
And oh yea, a pandemic.
I admit that there is a certain amount of pride here at writing on this blog for 50,000 words since March 8th, two months and a third. And yet here are some issues I take with my writing that I would like to improve on with the next 50,000
I would like the improve the organization and the style of the writing. For each genre I write in, whether it is more journalistic, or it is some kind of analysis, I want there to be a little more rigorous in my approach to them. That would mean reading more heavily into the subject before going in. Reading other reviews of television before jumping in as a way to find my own avenue and create value through some angle that has not been explored. Or using verifiable sources as a way to create credibility. I love the word methodical, but it’s clear that I don’t practice it as much as I should.
One of my favorite phrases comes from Norman Foster: “Quality is an attitude of the mind.” I think he is right, and right now I hedge my bets on this blog when I should go all in.
2. Multi-Part Series
I’d like to create a series of works using the blog to create seasons. This would allow me to break up larger topics into smaller issues. Standalone issues in posts covering a larger theme over time, and that could build my engagement and planning for the future of this blog, as well as give myself over to larger topics that I find interesting but need more time to develop.
The benefit of the multi-part series does come at a cost, which would be that if people do not particularly like the theme or topic I am exploring. With a blog post each day, the hope would be to circumvent those worries by providing more content.
3. The Weekly Routine
This one is a little more risky, but I would like to write something themed each day? So for example the Sunday topic could be something philosophical or quasi-spiritual like a post on meditation. I worry that this would limit my work into gimmicks rather than deeply exploring topics, and if I wanted to wipe the desk clean and go into something big, I would need to feel free to do that. If I was to be broad enough, however, I’m sure a weekly routine would still provide that. One day could be “people,” another “places,” and finally “things,” and with those limitations it would be easy to create a post. But this is certainly a tertiary idea to think about and on that note I would like the first two to take precedence before this one.
I think writing a blog post every day only really works if I can perform a rigorous day around it. A weekly blog post allows some breathing room for real life to come in, but a daily rigorous blog post, especially anything above 1,000 words, will require more planned days, more in-depth reading, more intellectual engagement, and more coffee. I am so ecstatic about 50,000 words in two months (considering all the other things I’ve written and read), so I’d like to feel proud of myself in that way. But it is the first of many, and the only way really to push myself and improve is to see where I have weaknesses and work around those.
Try to fall asleep a little earlier? The sun is rising sooner and setting later and you should maximize daylight. Keep running and meditating. Those two activities have changed your world for the better without a doubt. They have taught you how to be.
Don’t be afraid to work harder to make something the way you want to see it.