On Writing

Those of you who have been reading my blog the past few months may have noticed that I have not posted anything the past few weeks. While July has been spent with vacation and company, in June I was distracted by a writing project of a different nature.

My good friend Kate and I often challenge ourselves to artistic ‘accountability projects’ where we have to do something artistic every day for a month and send each other evidence thereof. Well, for June, we decided to do something similar with writing. We came up with thirty prompts we each had to cover throughout the month and created a blog on which to post our efforts. It was a great challenge: in some ways it was more challenging than our previous art projects, but it was also by far (for me at least, and I think Kate would agree) more rewarding as well.

For the most part, my writing in my adult life has always been essay style or (bad) poetry, generally thinking through my beliefs or current events, or sharing interesting discoveries in my academic ventures. Taking a stab at some fiction was a welcome departure. Here are some general reflections on the experience:

  • For some of the prompts I had ideas about what to write well before I started writing; for others, I had no idea until I started writing. Interestingly, many of my favorite posts were of the latter category. I’m not sure why that is, but my best guess at the moment is that the ideas I had from the start had time to stew a bit and in the process became more fuzzy abstractions than ideas strictly speaking.
  • The most interesting thing I took away from the project was that my favorite pieces were ones that explored a topic from many perspectives. I actually think this is pretty instructive about my personality, how I think and approach things, and the specific kind of curiosity I have about the world. The world isn’t a simple place and like to dig in to and explore these complications.
  • It was a wonderful experience to discover voices other than my own.

Anyway, nothing too startling in this post. I just really wanted to say hi and to explain my lack of posts. It looks like Kate and I are going to extend our project a bit, so posts here might be scarce for a while yet.

If anyone is interested, I highly recommend such accountability projects. It has been a truly wonderful experience!

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