The 30-Day Notebook Challenge
It's that time again.
You haven’t heard as much from me in the past few months as I had hoped you would, and I did not do an August Essay Camp. My confidence was a bit shaken in May with regards to my writing and this newsletter, and the truth is that I’ve been struggling to recover it ever since. Someone influential had some less than charitable things to say to me about my work here, and although I really should be tougher than that—perhaps it was the timing, perhaps they were going through something themselves, I don’t know—it knocked me off my perch.
There I lay, a felled canary, afraid to chirp, yet occasionally, feebly, chirping anyway.
I sometimes wonder if the primary task of writing is not simply to keep starting over (and over) from the beginning again. (And again, and again.) The blank page. The new idea. The blinking cursor. I took two months off social media, and when I logged back in to see some of what I had been missing, it struck me as even more distorted, deranged, and mean-spirited than ever. When you’re a writer putting work out on the internet, there is never any shortage of individuals standing gleefully by on the sidelines, ready to tear you down. I rarely lack ideas, but I do sometimes lack confidence, even though passion has always been a better motivator for me than confidence ever was. If you’re passionate enough about something, the confidence issue can sort of get overridden.
As longtime readers know, I do an exercise on here that I like to call the 30-Day Notebook Challenge. Every day for thirty days, I write and publish a notebook entry here on my Substack. Some are polished and essay-shaped, some not. The first 30-day notebook was from December 28th 2021 to January 26th 2022. The second, which I hobbled through despite some interruptions, was from February 11th 2022 to March 23rd 2022.
My third 30-day notebook challenge will begin on Monday, September 12th.
Would you like to join me?
If you’re a writer, or just like to write, do consider joining in and writing along with me in an informal capacity if you so desire. We’ll write or rewrite something every day for thirty days. There are no word count requirements, and no topical restrictions.
Some days I’ll be writing and posting new work that didn’t exist at all that morning. Other times I’ll share things that have been in draft form for a few days, or that I’ve rescued from unpublished notebook entries and prompts over the past few months. I have nothing at all planned, but I think it’s more interesting that way.
Thank you all for sticking with me, and I’ll see you on Monday.
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