Another year, another 500 words challenge. I’ve attempted this challenge several times, including on this very blog a year ago, and I have yet to complete it successfully. If I want different results, I have to do something different. What will be different this time?
The first thing that is different is my mental state. A year ago I was trying very hard to power myself through something that ultimately wasn’t for me, and I was spending a disproportionate amount of my time and energy on that. I’m not even sure why I committed to this challenge in the first place at that time. Maybe I knew deep down that I needed some sort of creative outlet, even if I wasn’t ready to give it the energy it deserved then.
I hinted at this in a previous post, but I didn’t quite spell it out. I basically spent the first half of 2017 not being very true to myself. After I’d had enough of that misery, I made a commitment to do a better job of honoring my own wisdom. While this didn’t result in a ton of blogging over the last six months, it’s hard to overstate the difference in how I feel about my life.
Something Jeff Goins talks a lot about is the danger of succeeding at the wrong thing, and I think that’s what I was trying to during that awful stretch. The sad part is that I wasn’t even that successful!
When I reallocated my resources toward succeeding at the things I actually care about, lo and behold, my life improved. I have a job I love, and a few paid freelance writing gigs have come my way. I don’t necessarily want to stay where I am forever, but I think it’s a good basis for better things to come.
There’s one other thing that is different for me compared to my previous attempts at this challenge. I actually have a recent successfully completed writing challenge under my belt. I participated in a short course from Jeanette LeBlanc and completed it in a more or less timely manner.
The vast majority of my work was not published, but that wasn’t the point of the course. The point of the course was to get clearer about what I truly want in life, and it’s helped me do that. I’m not going to say I have perfect answers about what I want for the rest of my life, but I feel like I’m headed in the right direction.
You might be saying, “That’s very nice, Danielle, but what is any of this going to do for me?” Well, you might notice that I’ve added a tagline under my name: “Life beyond the default options.” This ties in with my post laying out my worldview, where I said, “Every person should make the effort to craft a life that works for them.”
I’ve seen many people (and been one of them!) who try to live by life’s default options and are miserable. Now, depending on your environment, you might have to do it in the short term to survive, but there are serious negative consequences for not living your truth in the long term, whatever that means for you.
So I don’t just want to talk about how I’m going beyond the default options. I also want to talk about other people who are doing the same thing, with an emphasis on people dealing with some sort of disadvantage. Self-inquiry isn’t just for privileged straight Christian white people.
It’s going to be an interesting month! I look forward to hearing from you.