Today is the day after my birthday. I’m starting a new blogging challenge, 100 posts in 100 days. That will take me to the end of June, 2017. I need to write. I want to share what I write, because I read so much of what others share. If you like what you read here, feel free to share it with others – or join me in sharing what you do. After a week, I’ll collect the bloggers who want to join in the writing challenge and we’ll help each other out; read each other’s posts, encourage each other, you know – build something together.
I’ll be focusing my blogging challenge on these topics:
What I’m Reading /Listening To /Watching /Eating /Experiencing /Exploring This Week
Do you have a pile of books you intend to read? A stack of CDs, vinyl you haven’t heard – really heard in a while? What about films, TV shows that you want to see? Any experiences you might venture to try? What about the arts? How about interesting meals, restaurants, or other culinary experiences?
As an academic/professional, I’ve been trying to build a structure around my weeks. I’m used to daily and weekly schedules of meetings, rehearsals, classes, and events in which I would weave professional reading and recreational explorations. With the extra unscheduled time in my life recently, I’m just not keeping myself accountable or open to dialogue around these experiences.
I’m the kind of reader who engages in multiple books during the same week. Ideally, I’d dedicate to one at a time. I may have trained myself for less focus from years of social media and internet scrolling. Late at night, my eyes begin to go their separate ways due to a weakening eye muscle that refuses the prism lens correction after dinner.
I’m trying to increase my reading, especially that I have more time for it, and volumes of material acquired that have only collected dust. I also have a growing wish list on my Goodreads account, and more at the local public library. Some of the titles I read may seem like a potpourri of interests. Yet one may connect with another, or inspire a new exploratory path. I try to read for an hour in the morning, 90 minutes in the afternoon, and then 30 minutes before I sleep. Audiobooks are great motivators for exercise or solo dog walks. Each weekly post on reading will cover what I’ve actually read, and offer titles of other books I’ve heard about to spark dialogue if other bloggers or readers of this blog have read them.
The blog topic structure is to focus on one album or long work a day. If it’s a return to something in my collection, I’ll have it on when I’m cooking, editing, or doing housework. If it’s music I’m researching in advance of a live performance, it will need my complete attention, accompanied by score or lyric sheet.
Say it with me, “Binge watching TV is bad.” It’s not only a sedentary activity that makes a body feel worse by the end of 4 hours, it erases all personal imagination. Do you really think that watching four sequential episodes of Criminal Minds are going to inspire you to contribute something positive in the world? Granted, there are programs worth watching. And if you are fortunate for streaming films, there’s nothing wrong with spending time here. I’m also not going to trash watching awards shows or sporting events. But these are much more fun to watch with friends. In a bar. With beer.
Speaking of beer, the “eating” category is one in which I’d like to recap what I actually ate instead of what I planned to eat. Meal planning is a great activity that I do to feed my family. Our tastes revolve around traditional American middle class menu, a mix of adapted Italian, Irish, “American,”-like standard items usually served on Leave it to Beaver. We still like to switch things up. Leftovers are OK, as long as I can do something creative with it. I’ve found a couple of local food bloggers who inspire meal planning or local restaurant reviewers who entice an adventure. Taste as You Go, The El Vee, Jackie’s Kitchen, and the new monthly show on WDIY The Inside Dish (for me) are preferred to Yelp or other anonymous posters. I also do my own meal planning from other online sources and my healthy collection of cook books. The point is, the cooking is my daily creative/therapy zone. I make stuff with my hands. Food is often paired with the other stuff: what I’m reading/listening to/watching.
There may creep in a blog post about a local topic here and there, but this is the general idea for the next 100 days of writing. You in? If you’re interested, email me your blog name and if you plan on a focus area(s) over the next 100 days. Whether this is a push for productivity, or if you are looking to increase readership, it doesn’t matter.
I’m also going to try something fancy on this blog. Something I first saw on Mark Manson’s blog; who’s writing helped pull me out of a funk recently. He offers an audio version of each post. Readers can download an mp3 version to listen to later. I really like the idea. I’m going to try it. Because I need a hair cut – so video is out for now.
So let’s make.
Images are mine unless otherwise noted.