Post 31

The end of October has arrived, and so has the end of The 31 Amazing Days Challenge. Not that I intend on ceasing to try to “live a life that doesn’t suck,” but I won’t be posting every single day anymore.

A blog a day for a month: harder than it initially sounded, yet I was surprised by how much easier it became with time. It became a habit, one that I had to plan ahead for and make slight adjustments to my day as necessary. There were days when I absolutely didn’t want to do it, didn’t think I could do it because I had nothing to say and simply wanted to go to sleep, but I wrote anyway. Sometimes the posts written in that state turned out much better than I expected…and sometimes they stunk.

Has my life dramatically change since I undertook this little challenge? No. Most of the time, I didn’t intentionally do something specific in order to write about it later, but my attentiveness to the little things in the everyday increased. Maybe that was the point all along.

 

Some highlights from this past month of blogging…

“Single,” Not “Incomplete”

Disclaimer: I’m a Mess

I Need Church

Weddings and Melancholy

My Student Loans Are Teaching Me About Jesus

Hi, I’m a Writer

I Hate My Smartphone

I Listen to Mumford and Sons (And This is Why)

Expectations Vs. Reality

It will be a bit strange to not post tomorrow…but freeing at the same time. My brain needs a little bit of space from blogging for a few days.

 

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

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Life is Now

Today I’m honored to be guest posting at Into the Mud, the blog of Christine Jeske. She and her husband Adam wrote the book This Ordinary Adventure, which is where the 31 Amazing Days Challenge idea came from. Here’s an excerpt from my piece:

 

Throughout the month of October, I’ve been learning to be more aware of what I do throughout my day. I’ve been searching for bits of amazing, partly to write about, but also to glean more appreciation for my life.

Often though, I’ve found myself making excuses for why I haven’t been more intentional about creating amazing moments. I’ve graduated from college, so in theory I’m equipped to be an active participant in the adult world, at least when it comes to the workplace. But it doesn’t always feel that way for the rest of life. This phase of life feels like an in-between time.

I catch myself thinking, “Once this next thing happens, that’s when my real life will start.” Whether it’s moving out of my parents’ house, finding a boyfriend, getting a full-time job—one of those things will be the catalyst for “real life” beginning. Where I am now is not the story I would have written if I had authored my own life. Sometimes, I am sure that once God gives me the go ahead to move on to the “next thing,” that’s when things will get better, and my “real life” will begin. Where I am now? It’s just a holding pattern, a temporary stop on my way to real life.

read the rest here.

And tomorrow brings October to a close, and an end to my 31 days of blogging. Reflections to come.

 

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

The Writer’s Enemy

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. -Sylvia Plath

The end of October is quickly approaching, which means my mission to post every day is nearly over. Throughout this month of writing, I’ve experienced the reality of Sylvia Plath’s words.

“Everything in life is writable about…”

My daily routine has not changed much this month, but my attentiveness to it certainly has. Knowing I’m going to be writing later in the day has forced me to be observant and think, “Could I write about this?” Usually, I come up with something I could say about it. That’s part of why this quote from Sylvia appeals to me so much–many writers I enjoy reading have lived overseas, gone on road trips, been married and/or divorced, lived for more years than I have, lived in huts, adopted children, etc., but that doesn’t somehow make my own life experiences not worth writing about. Mine are just different.

Which brings me to the second part I identify with so much…

“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” YUP. When I don’t feel like writing, feel like I have nothing to say, and am certain there is no point in writing anyway, I can usually trace it back to self-doubt. Much of my self-doubt tends to be rooted in comparison to those writers who have so much more life experience than me. I’m fortunate that I haven’t yet had anyone tell me, “You shouldn’t be writing because you haven’t done enough,” but I wouldn’t be surprised if that occurs. It’s perhaps the biggest block I face when writing.

My life doesn’t seem to have nearly enough angst, adventure, or upheaval to be interesting enough to write about.

But it doesn’t need to.

 

“Everything in life is writable about…”

 

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

 

p.s. Wes Molebash wrote a great piece that appeared on Prodigal Magazine entitled, “Your Life is Boring, But You Can Still Write Good Stories.”

Checkpoint: A Third of the Way There

On October 1, I decided to take on the challenge of participating in The 31 Amazing Days Challenge by posting each day for this entire month.

This is post number 10, so I’m a third of the way there. Already I’m learning a few things, feeling good about some things, and failing at a handful as well. Sounds like my life in general. (Or anyone’s life, for that matter)

  • Writing is born from observation. The more I write, the more observant I need to be–of little things throughout my day, and big things in life as a whole.
  • When I started, I told myself I wouldn’t post purely out of an emotional reaction. Whoops. Exhibits  and B of my failures at this one.
  • Good writing often takes time. I have several posts percolating in my brain and on my computer I want to get just right, and they aren’t there yet. In the meantime, I’ve posted ones that maybe aren’t works of art, but they felt right for the time. So up they went.
  • I am continually being reminded that words have power, and with power comes responsibility. To choose my words carefully. To speak truth but not brutally. To be authentic. To share enough but never things that might hurt those around me. To remember these words go places and say things about me I may never know.
  • As a Christian writing these words, these words take on eternal consequences. Which is awesome, and appropriately terrifying.
  • Declaring 31 Days of Amazing doesn’t guard against not-so-amazing occurrences. However, it can (and has already begun to) force me to look at those in a different way, and will continue to force me to look differently at what’s to come.
  • I’m not done. When it comes to writing, when it comes to figuring out what I’m doing with my life, when it comes to living the way God wants me to, when it comes to any piece of my life. But I don’t think we’re ever totally done in this lifetime, and that is okay.

 

Here’s to the rest of 31 Amazing Days.

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

 

p.s. Thanks for hanging out with me. If you don’t want to miss a post, you can enter your email address in the “Subscribe” box on the right side of the page.

Unrealistic Expectations for Awesome

The idea of 31 consecutive Amazing Days is an appealing one.

But it might be a bit unrealistic.

 

Can each day out of 31 have at least one amazing moment? Yes.

But one amazing moment may not be enough to turn a whole day amazing.

 

Sometimes things happen that are completely out of our control, and people are often quick to throw around reminders that though we can’t control our circumstances, we can control our attitude towards those circumstances, and that God has a plan for everything.

True.

But that doesn’t change the reality that sometimes things happen that, for lack of a better word, suck. To pretend they do something other than suck does everyone a disservice.

Acknowledging that something sucks doesn’t mean we fail to remember that good things can come from bad, or that there is a greater plan at work in and through it all. It’s calling a spade a spade, acknowledging that there are things we do not understand and that usher in a new (or continuing) wave of uncertainty.

We are never immune to uncertainty.

 

We should also never allow ourselves to become completely immune to the possibility of awesome, even in uncertainty. Even if only for a moment.

 

Til next time…

~Brianna!~

31 Amazing Days

Perhaps you flipped the calendar yesterday, or otherwise acknowledged the beginning of a new month. I wrote about expectations vs. reality, and how this October is shaping up to look differently than I would have predicted in years gone by.

I also made a decision. Took on a self-imposed challenge. And it affects you, in this space.

 

For the month of October, I will post every. day. To the very best of my ability.

 

It’s a bit terrifying to put that down in writing–once this is out there, it suddenly becomes more real.

I’m going to warn you right now: Not every post will be pretty. They may be short, not overly eloquent, or a bit too raw at times.

Then again, maybe I’ll surprise myself.

 

After deciding to post every day, I found out about The 31 Amazing Days Challenge. Being determined to live a life that doesn’t suck sounds like a pretty good goal to me, so here goes my attempt at 31 amazing days of sometimes less-than-amazing writing. It’s inspired by the book This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling, which I haven’t read yet but fully intend to.

For the month of October, I will be forced to be more observant, because to write means first and foremost to observe. It is only by observing that I have anything to say.

So here we go. And I do mean “we,” if you’ll join me. On the right side of the page you can enter your email address to be notified of new posts, or you can just stop by frequently to see what’s up. That’s cool too.

Here’s to living a life that doesn’t suck–and writing about it.

 

Til next time…

~Brianna!~