3 Reasons I’m Starting a 30 Day Writing Challenge

[Image description: A sharp, yellow graphite pencil is lays atop a lonely, blank notebook which sits atop a lonely, white surface. Another less-sharp yellow pencil sits beside the notebook. ]

Why is writing so *difficult*?

Well, writing letters to friends is fun. Writing short tweets is ok. And writing emails isn’t so bad; I write 100’s of emails a week.

Emails to students soothing their grade anxiety. Emails to my Senator. Emails to applicants soothing their application anxieties. Letters to friends, soothing their life anxieties.

Lots of soothing, much less writing.

In light of the disproportionate amount of soothing, I want to spark another period of writing, just in time for Spring! (If you live in a perpetual state of summer, please don’t talk to me.)

All that being said, here are 3 main reasons I’m starting this writing challenge now:

  1. Writing takes practice.

The best way to become a better writer is to write. Every writer I admire espouses the same, or similar, advice. So here I am, following it (well, doing my best).

2. Ideas can become irrelevant.

Waiting to write means running the risk that my ideas could become irrelevant (if they’re not already, heh). Writing responding to a time-sensitive issue or a cultural phenomenon has a shelf-life. This is motivation to get to it!

3. Experimenting with audience.

My first written works were poems and songs written for self, family and friends. For example, when my Grandfather Ignacio “Nacho” Daniel walked on, nine year old me penned a piece in his memory, an offering which was buried with him the day of his funeral. Poetry played a significant role in my personal and interpersonal development and remains a vital force in my life.

Later, I learned how to compose theater in Central Virginia- an incredibly generative textual genre. The audience was broader, different, more challenging.

Soon after this, I began writing in academic contexts. This writing has been the most challenging, least intuitive. The audience is experts and others who can make decisions about my career.

In addition to a return to poetry and academic writing maintenance, I realized its time for me to experiment with different audiences and genres like:

  • SciComm
  • Arts/Culture
  • Satire
  • Humor
  • Politics/policy.

I’d love to practice writing/write for these audiences and find my footing. A 30 day challenge feels like a great way to do that.

Wish me luck! Or not*! Either way- see you on the other side.

*I always prepare protections from mal de ojo, so I’m *good*

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