This isn’t working
I tried it out, but posting every Wednesday as a hard rule isn’t a good idea. If you haven’t yet read one of my posts from this 52 Memoirs project, every week I’ve been writing a piece reflecting on my life, and posting it on a Wednesday. Why Wednesdays? Good question. The rationale at the time of inception was more of a “why not?” It was a weekly goal, something to keep me regular, a tangible deadline. So onward I marched, with the Wednesday deadline looming over me almost consistently.
On Thursdays, I breathed a sigh of relief because I’d managed to post something the day before. I’d gotten into the right mood and headspace to write fluidly and effectively, I’d pulled at the threads of my consciousness to grab at some kind of entertaining story from my past, and I’d blasted it all over my social platforms. On Thursdays, I was free to focus on all of my other projects, my day job, my family and friends.
On the weekend, I’d remember that I needed to think of something else to write soon, but would quickly dismiss those worries. “Hey, Wednesday is so far away” I’d tell myself. Then it would be Monday, and I’d be busy catching up with work and going to meetings, and Tuesday I’d have my head down in the office… then somehow it was already Wednesday again. At some point during that day I’d need to find a hook and run with it.
At first, I was writing posts early — Monday or Tuesday. Then I’d write them Wednesday mornings. Then after work. Then closer to midnight. And now? Well now I don’t even have the energy to pretend that I meant to post this on a Wednesday — I’m happy to have made it by Thursday.
I lasted thirteen Wednesdays. On week 14, I posted on a Thursday. Last week, I posted on a Thursday. This week, also a Thursday. And I’ve realised that’s okay. Wednesdays aren’t working, and they don’t need to. The point is to write consistently, and to reflect on my thinking and my decisions. The point is not to meet some redundant deadline for the sole reason that I said I would.
So why am I reflecting on this? I discuss transparency and openness around failure a lot. I’m launching a digital publication called Tech’s Good on September 4th that has a major advocacy goal of doing just that — encouraging people to discuss what hasn’t worked, and why, so they can adapt and share those lessons with others. It sounds simple, but saying “I tried this and it didn’t work, so even though I made a commitment, I’m changing my tactic” is hard. I espouse that start-ups, technologists, humanitarian organisations and other companies should do it — “it” being admit defeat and not be afraid to adapt — yet it took a month of me struggling to meet my own silly commitment (to myself, no less) that I am only now kicking the Wednesday schtick.
So this is a tiny way of demonstrating my beliefs, because if I can’t even do it in unimportant ways, how will I honestly find the strength to do it when it does matter. I tried, but Wednesdays weren’t working, and that’s okay. I’m committed to finishing this project, and sharing a personal story once a week, so I will. Whenever during the week that inspiration strikes me, I’ll write it, and I’ll post it. And hopefully, when much more difficult situations stop functioning and need a change, I’ll be able to learn and adapt to those too.