My November Writing Challenge: Old Fears, New Beginnings

I endeavor to write and publish for 30 days straight during November 2020

Here I am, again. I’ve made a run at something like this before and have failed miserably to put it lightly. I’m going to have to do some things differently here if I want to succeed.

Trust The Process

First, I won’t be overthinking this too much if I can help it. The habit is what I am after more so than anything else. I need to allow myself to go anywhere, for any reason, and at any length. I’m already OK with myself taking a few days “off” with pre-packed posts or brief posts.

Second, I would say guilt is the last thing I want, but it is actually the thing I probably need to see this through. Guilt is a huge trigger for me and I should learn to better channel it as a force for good. For this challenge, I have shared my intent with friends and family in order to ensure I see this commitment through, which I will.

Third, I need to stay the hell away from factual, informational, or persuasive content for a number of reasons.

  • The editorial and quality standard I hold for that content is significantly higher
  • I am already writing in this manner professionally for Ivio
  • It is so much more laborious to produce in the first place

Fourth and finally, instead I am going to face my fears and will will write primarily in a manner that is more akin to a public journal. Journalling is something I know quite well so I expect the process to be familiar in both subject matter and process, which is basically just a stream of consciousness.

As such the nature of this content will be very personal and a great deal of vulnerability will be needed to muster in order to write in this manner and share it publicly. I just need to get over myself which is one of the core reasons I am doing this in the first place.

Ground Rules

I am not going to allow comments on any of my posts during this exercise. To be frank, I am not looking for feedback, input, advice, or otherwise. It would be a distraction and I fear it would color what I write about and/or how I write it. While I do hope to generate conversations, I would like to be direct and private in nature.

I am going to fully and properly format my posts in a best practice manner because I know better and not doing so would be lazy and I don’t want any lazy habits to creep into this budding process I am trying to establish for the long haul.

I will share my daily posts in a few places on a regular basis as part of my personal accountability plan. I should post on all the places I would normally shy away from, so that means:

  • Facebook, which most of my professional contacts and family use
  • Instagram, which most of my friends and a crush or two use – @dust.n
  • Twitter, where I have no audience so I am just speaking into the void – @d_ustin
  • SMS, Discord, Slack, WhatsApp, and Signal for my desperate friends around the world

Looking Ahead – Facing my fears ahead of starting this challenge

I am extremely private and reserved both by nature and nurture. There are many reasons for this and I could probably dedicate an entire month to exploring them. Perhaps I will someday.

I am most nervous about alienating those in my various circles with something I say or even worse because they lose any shared identity we have. I walk in many circles and keep them pretty compartmentalized. This process will be the first thing I ever have done that breaks down those barriers.

This is especially true for those whom I work closely with every day, be it a teammate, colleague, or client. I feel like the risk here is the biggest, but so is the reward. Deep down I know this fear is ridiculous and that only good things can come from this process. I just need to trust the process.

Needless to say, there will be many people who will have no idea that this is who I am, this is what I think about, this is how I think, and that I even fancy myself a writer someday. It would be heartbreaking if I lost any contacts because they feel like we do not have anything in common (anymore). It’s a risk I have to be and am willing to take.

Lastly and surprisingly, I am over the fear that nobody will care about what I have to say. I think that’s because I am not writing for “them” and instead am doing this purely for myself. Nobody has ever read any of my thousands of journal pages and that hasn’t stopped me from cranking them out.

Pro Tips

  1. Write every morning and treat it as the most important thing I have to do each day, because it is.
  2. Spend less than an hour per post
  3. When facing writer’s block, turn to your favorite quotes for inspiration
  4. Test out a new writing platform, currently I’m giving “Ulysses” for Mac a whirl right now – so far, so good
  5. Consider automating the posting of the content to various platforms
  6. Don’t hope for anything here and risk being hurt – nothing would be more discouraging at this stage in the process
  7. Stay away from the forbidden topics, perhaps I will write a post about these

Here goes nothing!

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November 2020 Daily Writing Challenge