Evaluate

You’re halfway done. How do you feel? Are you tired, worn out? Or more energized than ever?
Write about it all. No judgment or expectation. Just share how you’re feeling and what this challenge has meant to you so far.
Are you a better writer, or a worse one? What changes do you notice in your attitude, in your actions?

Halfway, that wasn’t expected. It’s nice to stop and stretch the legs though, have a look at the map and see where you’re at.

The whole point of doing this was to try something new, up my game in an area where I would say I was substandard. I am not on a quest to change the world of writing and become a Joyce or Beckett. I suppose its more narcissistic if it’s anything, not that it matters. Practise practise practise, it’s the best way to improve at anything.

I would say that maybe I have swayed on some of the subjects, granted there is some sway on that. This challenge has served — so far at least — on just actually doing it, if I had set my own challenge I wouldn’t have written as much as I have. I haven’t been regimented though either, if I miss a day I just try to catch up. I don’t skip topics even if I dont like them, I make sure I do what has to be done and then go from there.

Being more open about what I write has helped a lot. If I am talking within myself I notice I think more about what I am saying, I don’t overanalyze things or become too restrictive on what I say — I do edit somethings out though — I still put myself as the subject which means there is plenty to talk about, leaving just enough out so that it doesn’t become a sob story.

What have I learned?

If there is anything that has struck me, it’s the ease at which I can now just write/type. Before there was a fear of it, a lack of understanding creates a fear, to quote Batman Begins:

“You always fear what you don’t understand”

Learning or understanding yourself puts you in a better position to evaluate your options. Should I try x or y? It’s good to ask yourself that, in the same way its good to just try something new.

The me from 1 year ago would never have dared to do something like this, not that there wasn’t support for it, more so because I was afraid of the possibility of being embarrassed at trying something I wasn’t used to or familiar with. Just looking back on that shows progress alone, it brings a simple smile to your face and a little bit of joy.

It shows that trying something new can turn into a really healthy habit. I have no real agenda when this challenge ends, will I continue to do it once it ends? Possibly. I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get to it. What I did have in mind was to get my writing up to a level to then undertake writing for my employer and the future blog we have in the pipeline. I wouldn’t want to do that without some practise, that would be bad.

Am I better than I was?

I would say I have improved simply because I actually write now. Before I had started this I was writing in a personal journal, I have found this has made a profound impact on my mindset. The act of getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper is a very healthy and almost forgiving thing. I see it as a form of maintenance for my head, letting thoughts run free is a nice way to clear some space in your brain — I think there was plenty of room there anyway — with the extra space I have been able to get a clearer idea of what I am doing and what I would like to do. Not just with writing, in general.

Writing as a skill is still a bit beyond me, I am no wordsmith. Writing as an act of personal assessment is something I can definitely see as a worthwhile practise.

Medium gives you a good opportunity to get your writing assessed, getting feedback is crucial in design, so using it for writing seems like a good idea. My stats show that some people are actually reading what I write, yet another shock!

Keep it up

Now I’ve started, I don’t feel like stopping. Like I said before, it was something new that I wanted to undertake, see if I can flex my mental muscles at a different craft. I don’t intended to hang up the design-boxing gloves just yet and trade my laptop for a feather, I see no harm in doing both though.