Day 31: Lessons Learned

Writing for 31 days in a row (well, almost) has been an eye opener!  Most of the posts I did actually write on the day I posted them.  There were a few that I wrote in advance and had on hand in case there was a day so jam-packed that I didn’t have time to write.

I’ve learned a few things about myself from this adventure, and the light it shone on my life was not necessarily  just a happy glow – more like a harsh spotlight.  Here are some highlights:

1)  I’m a terrible time manager.  Horrible, at least when it comes to managing MY time.  I have a bad sense of time passing and I continually underestimate how long any particular task is going to take. My husband told me that when we were dating he always added 15 minutes to whatever time I said I would meet him because he knew I’d be late.  I don’t think I like that image of myself.  I attribute some of this to a hopeful nature, as in I usually go for the best case scenario and don’t allow for the unexpected but I could really improve my time management skills.  Period.

2)  I have a hard time telling myself “no”.  I believe this is commonly known as “poor self-discipline”.  This may go back to my childhood, when I was an only child and generally was set free to do whatever I pleased.  Whatever the origin, as an adult of such “advanced” age, I should know better than to give into myself every single time.

3)  Ditto for my children.  I have a hard time telling them “no”.  Clearly I need to practice this skill a bit more.  My children are old enough to learn to delay gratification, something I apparently didn’t learn myself.  I guess we’ll all learn together.

4)  If you feel called to do something, you’re still going to need to make time for it.  And not just 10 minutes here or there like I’ve been doing.  An hour here or there to write ahead, plan ahead, gather my thoughts…

5)  I read a blog post that describes all the in’s and out’s of procrastination, complete with hilarious drawings (and a little colorful language, so be forewarned).  It reminded me that I do have some control (okay, a lot of control) over my behavior.  It also equates procrastination with a little monkey in my brain, an image that is sure to stick with me for years.

Overall, this was a good exercise for me.  Because I didn’t have a lot of time to sit around and consider how I sounded, I wrote in a more natural “voice”.  I learned some things I can improve and likewise I learned that I have more material than I thought I had.  If I could sum up my series in just one phrase it would be:  Just Do It.  Stop thinking so hard and just sit down and write.  It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time.  Just.  Write.

Would I do it again?  Definitely, and next time I will write a little cache of posts to have on hand for when inspiration doesn’t strike out of the blue.

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