WE MADE IT.
Seriously, we just claimed February as a month of writing love, and I'm all kinds of thrilled about that!
And now we get this amazing gift of an extra day in February (which I'm in nerd heaven about... I know, I know, I should be over the whole concept of Leap Day by now).
Before this month wraps up, can we grab a moment and take stock?
Whether you were only able to do a prompt or two, or whether you were here every day this month: TODAY is actually the day when we make the most of February.
Yes! This is the most important day of the whole challenge!
February 29: Keep the best. Change your writing life.
So I've had this really, really terrible habit that I'm trying to change.
It used to be that I could find something that I loved, something that seemed to nurture me, something that made me feel more alive, or stronger, or more healthy. AWESOME, right?
And then ... I'd label it as optional.
This isn't something I have to get to. There are other things more mandatory, I'd figure.
Decide something is healthy; decide to skip it. That's what I would do.
Turns out that's a really great road to take if you're looking for burnout, discontentment, inauthenticity, and perpetual illness.
It's not so fun. Whoops.
So, for the last two years or so, I've been doing some major work, in all areas of my life. I keep asking myself, over and over: what is the best set of practices here? How can I get to them on a regular basis? What's getting in the way? How can I get rid of the obstacles?
It's the self-reflection version of heavy lifting.
And it is so essential to crafting an intentional, healthy writing practice!
TODAY'S CHALLENGE: Grab a little chunk of time and think back through the prompts from this month.
- Which prompts were an immediate win for you? The easy ones, the ones you were excited for, the ones that felt fun?
- Which prompts presented the best challenge for you? The ones that might have been a stretch, but which brought you into a better place? Which did you get the most out of? (If you haven't had a chance to try them, which ones look the most helpful for you?)
- And, hey, were there any that didn't work for you at all? What seemed like a terrible fit? (There's plenty in this writing life that isn't "one size fits all," so no worries if a prompt was a total fail for you. Now you know what not to do, right?)
- What did you discover about yourself—as a writer? as a reader? as a manager? What did you learn about your approach to the writing life? Did anything surprise you?
- Out of the prompts that you skipped—which do you think could still bring something good into your writing life? (And can you schedule a time this week to try it?)
- What do you want your writing life to look like, going forward? Which exercises or prompts do you want to do on a regular basis?
If you learned anything useful about your writing life, or about how you operate as a writer, or about what helps you thrive: you owe it to yourself to make that part of your regular practice.
Find out what strengthens your writing, your voice, and your contentment, and pursue that.
Seek what nourishes you.
Make it a constant in your writing life. Make it unmissable, unskippable. Treat it as sacred.
And you'll be on your way to the healthiest and happiest writing life you can possibly have!
Oh, and as for me and the prompts this month: here's some of what I learned...
I needed those reading dates so badly! Somehow my reading life had jumped the tracks, and so the Sunday readings were exactly what I needed to relish some words again. (I've been reading this completely gorgeous book and maybe drooling just a little.) I'm going to keep leisurely Sunday afternoon reading as a priority.
I loved having the writing exercise refresher on February 10, as well as the haikus on February 15... definitely will be adding more freewriting into my mornings!
I'm thrilled with my refreshed writing area—clean and clutter free, thanks to February 13!
And it's always so, so good for me to think about the kind of writing heart I want to have one day (February 25).
What about you? Which prompts were your favorites?
And what kinds of habits do you want to take with you from this February challenge?