Everyday Posting Update 2

I began in August 2016, revised the plan in November, and in March 2017, pretty much 6 months after starting, I called an end to my Everyday Posting project. Here are some notes on why, and what I’ve learned over the past 6 months:

  1. It’s not because I can’t think of what to write, if anything in that respect, the challenge has been the opposite. Some days I’ve found it hard to stop tinkering with a post or writing notes for new ones. Other days, I’ve been frustrated that I can’t make enough time to cover everything that I want to get down.

  2. In this sense it’s felt a lot like free writing, becoming almost automatic at times. Or perhaps free association is a better simile, considering how therapeutic it has been.

  3. The clear benefits have been in honing my writing skills (though they’re still a way off where I’d like them), recognising recurring themes (and how they support interests outlined on my About page), and in having a chance to form a new habit, with recognition of how to make it sustainable:

  4. Routine and timeboxing. Two time management tricks that I’ve long loved and employed, but for some reason over the past 6 months their essential nature has become even more clear. To this end, with my continued writing, I’ll be setting either a single day or two halves to continue my writing.

  5. People said they couldn’t keep up with how much I was writing! While it’s one thing to imagine that no one is reading – as per the original rules – finding out that those who did, were unable to keep up, started to feel a little unsocial. Almost imposing.

  6. It’s been great format for keeping notes and publishing lecture notes. Two things which I’ve always struggled to do well in the past. Various note books or Textedit files here and there, or notes emailed to students, then lost in respective inboxes thereafter, all felt a little pointless. Having this public notebook forces good behaviour and makes public, any benefit that might come at a later date.

  7. Keeping my mind sharp. While there has been some ongoing With Associates work since closing last year, and while I’ve been teaching a little since October, I have mostly taken the role of main child carer at home over the past 6 months. It’s easily the most important job I’ve ever done, actually teaching, feeding and looking after little people, rather than working with older ones, but it doesn’t provide the best opportunities for technical or theoretical conversation (though I have made notes of some of their more intriguing observations, such as (on a plane) “I would love an emergency landing because we could go down one of those slides.” And “I think Daddy’s gonna die first.” And “Imagine if you were a bee and you didn’t have a forehead.”). Writing here therefore has been a brilliant outlet for my mostly colleague-less existence.

  8. Already noted above, but worth another mention: Recognising recurring themes. Kind of like this! Really though, forcing yourself to write every day reveals important patterns over time. Between irreverent posts and cool link sharing, these themes emerge and you get to see what you’re really into and interested in. Not just what you say that you are. Or what you think that you should be. For that reason alone I’d recommend a similar experiment to anyone. Get to know yourself, and see what you really like.