Wednesday, June 9, 2010

How do I write? 21 days of words.

On the spur of the moment yesterday I decided to join many of the peeps in the blogosphere at the 21.5.800 challenge, 21 days (huh, I thought it was a month.  Bonus!) combining yoga and writing.  To be honest, the yoga is not really the issue for me since I practice at least 5 days a week anyway (and teach!), but I thought it would be a nice opportunity to re-connect with my writing.  Also, I have 10 days of lovely holiday time coming up, so what better way to use them than spending some time every day curled up with that lovely journal I got a while ago...

I used to write a lot... ok, you might say obsessively.  Journaling to be precise.  Recording the intimate and inane details of my daily existence, page after page, book after book.  Private thoughts, social thoughts, and totally random thoughts, beginning when I was about 12 ("Today in class the teacher said..."), taking me through my teenage years (which I recall were mostly devoted to trying to figure out how boys minds' worked... big waste of time that one... ;) ), and into University (filling secretive notebooks with dreadfully important existential ramblings and social rants).  Blogging has been a nice way to take that compulsive self-expression to a higher level - writing for an audience, albeit a virtual one, is a very different animal, and one I'm enjoying thoroughly.  Cause you all really don't care what I had for breakfast (banana-cinnamon smoothie) and tomorrow, neither will I.  Blogging has been a way to focus my thoughts and my words on issues that I feel may actually be of interest to other people, and connect with you all through those ideas.

However my personal writing has really dropped off in the last 5 years or so (funny how that happens when you start working and you spend your free time enjoying yourself instead of procrastinating!) so I'm taking this challenge as an opportunity to re-connect a bit with that.  Which means that I will not be posting my writings as a daily blog entry, although the occasional bit might slip into my blogging!  I have to say from my experience yesterday the first thing I noticed was "darn, I am out of practice handwriting"!  Maybe a month of journaling will fix those cramped hands and scratchy scrawls.  I know that holding a pen used to be a source of joy to me!

I think most of us are here in the blogosphere because we love to write and read.  So tell me, what is your relationship with the written word?


  1. This was such fun to read! I haven't successfully journaled since my own existential ramblings in college, so it was a treat to find out that I really enjoy blogging. I try to be very conscious about what I write (I want it to be relevant to an audience), but it also allows for a bit of documentation of my life, which is what I'd always hoped a journal would provide.

    I don't have time right now to do this yoga plus writing challenge, but I think it's a great idea! Have fun!

  2. I'm using this challenge like you, more for the writing. I already do the yoga, and to be honest write about 800 words in total most days but I'm using it to focus that writing onto my book proposal which has been sitting gathering metaphorical dust for a while....

  3. Yoga is not the challenge for me either. I'm using these 21 days for a more strict meditation practice and to simply write more. I used to journal as well, but I actually enjoy typing more than writing. I've been considering starting a second blog (for my eyes only like I had before) so that I can "journal" freely there.

    Over the last year, I've been pondering my career choices. While I love teaching yoga, its important for me to find another professional outlet that sustains me. I want to do more serious professional writing. Writing content pieces online keeps me writing, but isn't what I aspire to in the end.

  4. I wish I had time for this challenge...maybe August, when I'm taking a break from teaching.

    However, one of the things I love about a blog is that I have a sense of obligation. I feel I should get something fresh up at least once a week. This deadline mentality really helps my creativity--I spend all week mulling the possibilities, sifting, thinking of additional comments, so the post usually pops out pretty complete. I also like writing with an audience in mind. I've never been much of a journal-er, but the blog has now become a 4-year habit!

  5. My relationship to the written word: intimate, sometimes tempestuous, loving, compassionate, unexpected, profound, inspiring, spiritual, meditative, emotinal, mental, even physical, necessary, unconditional. I write because I can't not write. I write like I breathe. I write because I can't help it.

    I like this challenge and I'm considering joining it. I have been doing yoga four or five times a week, and I'm definitely writing at least 800 words a day, so there you go!

    Blog writing has been so inspiriational ... I love the people, the community, the opportunity to share ideas and thoughts and such ... I was never much of a journal-er either, but this has become a habit which I do not plan on giving up!

  6. One of the most important relationships I have with the written word was the experience of teaching my daughters to read at the age of 5. The theory - controversial of course - was that if words are the tools of thought, early reading would result in stronger reading and writing capability and greater intellectual capacity. We used bribery with food and other rewards as the primary weapon; but it wasn't long before words were their own reward. And now readers of this blog can share in the reward.

  7. i am practising yoga and art and i like your blog

  8. Coming late to this post, but thank you all for your insightful comments!

    @Tiffany - yes, that's the balance I like about blogging too!

    @Rachel - It's good to have a focus for the challenge, maybe I should try that too.

    @Heather - I'm loving following your progress!

    @Brenda - I'd say 4 years of blogging counts for a lot of journaling - and is probably better quality, too!

    @Juliana - Thanks for your beautiful response. I love the dimension blogging adds to my writing and the community that comes with it!

    @Dad - Thanks for commenting on my blog! And for being such a great Dad who took the time to make sure J and I were budding little bookworms and writers! Love you!

    @Lilasv - thanks for visiting!