The 10 Day Writing Challenge – The Round up

I am proud to say that I finished the 10 Day Writing Challenge without missing a post during the period (please see links below for all the posts), and I’m actually thinking of doing something longer next time.

Yes, I wrote spontaneously — sometimes very briefly — but I wrote what came to mind or what was happening to me at that moment.  I usually found myself scampering to write before midnight, sometimes finishing the post just a few minutes after.  Surprisingly, the pressure wasn’t all that bad.  The topics weren’t difficult to find.  So I wrote on and you can see that the topics were varied, although most of them were about what I was thinking of at the moment.

There were posts where I wish I had more energy or time to write — they were like the many draft posts that never found themselves published because I just wasn’t happy with the content because I wanted to write about it more.  There were times when I got into the groove of writing, but then I lost myself somewhere and in the process, decided to hit the pause button. Not this time.

Lessons learned:

I can actually write everyday.  I just need to find the focus and deliberately set aside time to complete a post, no matter how short or how long a piece it is.

I can still write more than one post in the course of a day, but I am more productive if I focus on one until I hit “Publish”.

I should start writing early during the day instead of looking at the clock only to realize my deadline is looming overhead.  I know these aren’t my best 10 pieces, but the point was to write 10 — period.  I wanted to see if I can actually go 10 straight days writing a post here, and I did.  Some of my better pieces I did in one sitting, but without the pressure of midnight tolling.  So I still need the leeway to write and go and edit my work.   One thing I’ve learned is that that is best earlier during the day.

10 day challenge done! So what’s next? Maybe I’ll go thirty..

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Sewing Decisions

Fridays be like

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again 

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love

Out of focus

Today was one of those days that didn’t quite start out as I wanted it to. It’s the middle of the day and I should be preparing my lunch of half a slice of Brie and walnuts, but instead I am trying to release some stress by writing here.

So how did my morning go? I hustled the 10th Grader to get ready to catch the bus to the city when I got a frantic text from the boss before I could leave the house. I had to pause and concentrate and replied and finally walked out — then I realized halfway through to the bus stop that my phone wasn’t in my purse when I walked out the door. I sent the boy on his way and went back to retrieve my “lifeline”, relieved that the boss’s tech woes were over.

I caught the next bus, breathed deeply and started to get ready to do my morning bus routine. (Paint my face). There’s a good half hour between my stop to the last pick up, and the last passenger who got on the bus at the last stop started screaming. He was clearly upset. I was too far back in the bus to make anything of what he was blabbering about but he got our attention. Worse, he made me nervous. It appears someone accommodated a fare swipe, and another passenger grudgingly gave up her seat so he could sit alone. It was already jarring enough when he behaved the way he did getting on the bus, but he kept ranting throughout most of the trip.

I figured there were enough men on the bus to subdue him if he started getting physically disruptive, but my main concern really was that the bus driver would pull over and refuse to keep going which would put a major dent on my morning time table. (And forget that it’s UN week in New York which makes for traffic stoppages and major gridlock on my side of town!). It was the driver’s prerogative to interrupt the trip if he felt threatened in any way, and I am glad he decided to charge it to another New Yorker having a bad day.

My usual five minute ride from exiting the Midtown Tunnel to my stop at Grand Central took all of a half hour not even midway through. So I got off the bus two stops ahead and walked. I was still late. At this point, I was just praying that no more mishaps or curve balls would come my way.

And just as I was ready to make my routine stop to say a prayer at a church I pass, I got a text from the boss on an urgent message I needed to make sure was received and acted upon. I was late but I was working. And I got the job done.

My morning was not any less hectic than usual. I had a birthday present I had brought for one of my closest friends at work. This year, I was ready with a card and the gift– I just needed the gift bag and the tissue to wrap it in. I could’ve postponed for later in the day but I wanted to do something cheerful and positive. I am fortunate to work in a place where everything is just a literal hop, skip and a jump away.

I picked my gift bag and tissue and wrapped my present in one layer, layered the bottom with tissue and then inserted two more sheets for flair. I always loved wrapping presents. Wrapping gifts has always been a favorite part of the holidays for me. Nowadays, we do shortcuts with the gift bag but I am happy to jazz that up with my own touch. I needed some cheer.

The morning rolled off rather eventfully but with no major glitches. Still, these little things have sort of rattled me into being unsettled. I’m hoping writing will help calm me down to that level where it will no longer be a throughly bubble at the back of my head.

I am usually not so easily sidelined by the unexpected, but one after the other coming in one morning can be a stumbling block. The good thing is I have my ways to get back up on my feet again and keep going. I am trying.

I am focusing on the positive and digging into my bin of happy. Breathe in, breathe out. Just another day..

Out of focus

#10daywritingchallenge Day 1

This post is Day 1 of the #10DayWritingChallenge.  Below are related links to this blogging list.

10 Day Writing Challenge

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Sewing Decisions

Fridays be like

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again

Self love

Paying closer attention

The 10-day Writing Challenge

I read somewhere that you need to write even when there is nothing to write. Or something like that.

And with how my writing has been going in stops and starts, I thought I’d set a goal of doing a 10-day writing challenge. The goal is to write and publish 10 posts here in the next 10 days. (Ambitious, right)

Not for lack of anything to do, but I know how difficult it can be to muster the words and ideas to complete a post– and how complacency can actually silence your voice. It is a high pressure goal in setting just to see if I can do it, and what will come out of it. I want to push myself to the limit and stir up my creative juices.

Writing has always been a part of who I am– be it in letters, poetry, stories or random musings here. Sometimes, even my Instagram posts have a mini essay for a caption. My pictures have stories behind them, just as they tell a story within the frame. And more often than not, there is a need to relate those stories, even if only in hashtags and blurbs that make sense only to me.

Our words paint a picture in the reader’s eyes. My words, to me, are like paintbrushes that make my thoughts, memories and ideas come to life. It is how I share a deeper part of me with you.

At first, I thought I’d list down the topics to write about, but then it occurred to me that that would curtail the attempt to let the words flow spontaneously. No rules. Just words. 10 posts in 10 days.

Here’s to 10 days of being spontaneous, and of marshaling the words to bring you into my world.

Below are the 10 posts that were published as a result of this personal challenge posed to myself:

Out of Focus

One Day Soon

Sewing Decisions

Fridays be like

Slow Saturday

Getting back up on your feet again

Autumn Monday

Taking it easy

When you fail again