Welcome to Day 90.
I’ve tried it before, but I think this time is the farthest I’ve gotten.
What I’ve learned in my previous attempts is:
1. You’re only blogging for you, not anybody else. When you do it for someone else to see, or someone else to admire, you’ll burn out, and those “someone else’s” rarely care at all.
2. Not every day is gonna be a homerun. But, you will have homeruns. But you’ll only get your best stuff if you work through your worst stuff. You have to shift your mind to seeing success as not “writing a great post,” but “writing a post.” Leave your hesitation and near-perfect standards for other areas of your life.
3. This outlet is unlike any other thing you’ve done or will do. For many of our ideas and thoughts, there’s an appropriate place to share them (social media, in a conversation with friends, through a video, in a speech at an event, etc.). But a daily blog is here to serve you when you can’t figure out the best outlet, when you’re blessed to have something to express but not blessed to have a medium to express it, this is a home you can always come back to.
What I’m learning this time around:
1. A daily blog doesn’t have to be a headache. A great number of my posts were written in bed on my phone before I went to sleep. Yes, because I wanted to keep the streak. But even with that very practical deadline driving me, taking a few minutes to write something usually resulted in something I was at least a little proud of, if only for the fact that it was my honest expression.
2. The best writing is rewritten. I’ve known this for a long time (“writing is rewriting”), but this was the first time it practically played out before my eyes as a sort of laboratory experiment result. There’s a very direct correlation between the posts I’m most proud of and the posts that have the most revisions/re-reads. What surprised me, though, is that this bore true even in the small numbers — if I read through my post once, I find things to fix that make it better; if I read through it twice, I find things to improve; just one extra time adds major improvement. Although, I imagine there’s a law of diminishing returns after re-reading 20 or 30 times.
3. Consistency is a decision you only have to make one time. It’s not something you decide to do every day. In the past, I’ve found myself asking whether I’m going to write a post today and keep up with my daily blog. This time around, I decided to keep a daily blog, and so the question shifted from whether I’d write today to what will you write for your blog today? That shift takes the pressure off the question of whether you’ll be consistent, and just sets you up to be consistent.
4. Your unique voice or style is not crafted, it’s discovered after examining a large body of work. I’d spent a lot of my younger years trying to craft myself and my brand and figure out exactly who I was. With this daily blog attempt, I threw all that away and decided that I am who I am and I don’t need to figure out anything, I just need to be who I am. The more time I spent trying to keep my old blogs consistent or speaking in a specific voice, the less I felt like myself. This time? I don’t give a damn if things fit together or creates a cohesive story of who I am — I’m gonna write about improv, and movies and television, and Quranic verses, Prophetic stories, Arabic grammar, and whatever the hell else comes to mind because I am who I am, and trying to be anything else or anything less is exhausting. It’s been 90 days, I’ll wait 900 days before I start looking through and trying to find patterns to put me in a box. ‘Til then, it’s whatever comes through these fingers.
I’ve never done P90x, but I assume it’s absolutely nothing like this.