I’m not one for challenges.
I mean, if you bet me I won’t eat the last cookie, I’ll probably take the dare. But big things at which I’m likely to fail? Not so much. Because I’m not much of a follow-through-er. So I make my own challenges that work with my life and they spur me on and all’s well that ends well, right?
So until this morning, I hadn’t even considered the October 31-day blog challenge (courtesy of the Nester) that so many bloggers participate in each year. I’d heard about it years past, and even contemplated participating once or twice, but I have both a focusing problem and a finishing problem and FP + FP does not equal 31 days straight of blogging.
Also, you can’t blog every day in October if you didn’t start on the first day of the month. Just saying.
But this year I hadn’t yet considered it because besides being relatively away from the blogosphere lately (my apologies to those of you whose blogs I love) and also because I didn’t even realize it was October. It’s still summer here, and ne’er a leaf shall turn, so August = September = October = November…
Then this morning I fired up Voxer to hear a few reading-group messages and one of the girls mentioned it (she’s not a blogger, btw, so that was odd), and then I came upon several “first day” posts, and then I got to thinking.
I also got scared.
This is not the month to be taking on a writing challenge. (Did I mention I don’t like challenges?) I’m going to be travelling, I’m stretching to make major strides with our business… and did I mention I have a focus problem and a finishing problem?
But there it is, this challenge, scurrying around in my mind. The main question being, “should I fail by trying or by not trying?”
I hate that question.
But there they were, topics demanding to be considered, uninvited guests of a well-over-fire-code brain party. I dismissed several feeling they weren’t really worth the sacrifice, not-so-secretly hoping nothing worthwhile would present itself so I could have an excuse to pass. But then emerged the one. The one that wouldn’t leave. The one I knew I needed to fail-by-trying at:
31 Days of Humanity
For all my far-reaching interests, I’ve discovered humanity is the common thread. Every iteration of my thinking about this blog (and the one before it) has had “humanity” in its description. I love history and languages and culture and travel and artifacts and people-watching and reading widely and staring out the window contemplating it all.
The things we share as humans, our triumphs and tragedies, our desire for more and better and to be known, all of it… excite me, overcome me, ruin me. I’ll take 300 over Legally Blonde any day because the strength of human community and vision, enculturated and fed, the desire for glory and immortality, the temptation of comfort, and doubting it all is human through and through.
High heels and toy dogs? Not so much.
The problem with this theme, humanity, is that I’m not up to the task. What I want to shape with words about the universe and our pinhead piece of it is far, far beyond by ability. In so many ways.
Ira Glass discusses this problem in a now-famous bit he offers to storytellers but which applies to creative wannabees of all types. And his advice, the thing he implores of his hearers, is to create a volume of work. On a deadline. And another deadline. And another deadline.
So with oceans of trepidation I’m diving in. I have a few ideas, but many things will be taking shape as I explore and experience them. I’m travelling this month, after all; perhaps I’ll have a few stories to tell.
Here’s to failing by trying!