When I decided to participate in the 31 Days of Writing challenge, I really had no idea whether or not I would be able to sustain a daily writing habit for the entire 31 days. I hadn’t planned ahead, having decided to join the challenge at almost the last possible moment. That’s not unusual for me. If I think too long about something, I’m highly unlikely to start it. (Me overthinking marrying my husband contributed to our 25 year separation. When we reconnected, I knew I needed to leap right in or we would be spending another 25 years apart!)
I’ve heard other writers talk about the value of creating a schedule for all their posts. I’ve resisted scheduling posts because it felt so much like I would just be creating a huge weight of expectation to lay across my shoulders. What I didn’t know before October is how much creating the schedule of posts still feels like writing rather than making another to do list. What I experienced in October is that the process of putting together the posting schedule is very similar to the process I use for laying out a book. I sketch out the story arc which gives me a road map to write to and is an essential part of my creative process. Turns out laying out a posting schedule can work much the same way for me as the story arc sketching process and I intend to use this method going forward.
Over the years that I’ve been writing in this space, I’ve meandered through all kinds of topics, and there are SO many more things I’m interested in and have considered writing about. Before October, I was experiencing some flagging enthusiasm about my writing here. I’ve been working hard this year to complete my first novel (more about that later!), and I’ve been focusing a lot of my writing energy on the book. What I experienced during October was a heightened enthusiasm for the conversation surrounding soul tending. As I look back through the prism of that understanding, what comes into focus is my longstanding desire to not only maintain my healthy soul, but also to see others fully inhabit their own lives, learning the practices of soul tending. With this knowledge freshly renewed, I’ve decided to continue writing about different aspects of soul tending. There will be further exploration of the ideas from the October series, plus some new ideas I’ve been pondering. As I said in the series introduction, the seven concepts of soul health (gentleness, gratitude, community, solitude, celebrating, margins and rest) are what I’ve identified so far. As I wrote the series, I began to see the possibilities of one or two additional pieces, and I’m sure there are more to discover. Soul tending is a lifelong practice, and I’ll never be finished adding to my understanding.
From time to time before October, I used my own photos in posts here. I enjoy photography but never considered myself talented enough as a photographer to place much emphasis on it. What I experienced in October showed me how enjoyable it is to communicate with images as well as words. I’ve always thought in pictures. Using my own photographs in the series gave me new opportunities to explore the language of image. Look for more photos to be showing up here, perhaps even some image only posts which should be a lot of fun!
Based on what I know now that I didn’t know before, I’m making some changes to what you’ll see here. On Mondays I will be continuing the journey of learning how to tend my soul well, building on the October series and expanding from there. On Thursdays I’ll be writing about leadership, a topic that is near and dear to my heart. This Thursday I’ll be sharing some introductory thoughts on what leadership means and how we determine its effectiveness. Finally, on Saturdays I’ll be writing about things like my experiences as an American living in Canada, reviews of books I’m reading, and general observations on life (yes, there will likely be random references to Dr. Who and Star Trek). I’m looking forward to this next phase and hearing your thoughts.