The 30 Day Blogging Challenge

I have a battle raging in my head.

Every blogger has that romantic period. When you begin your blog. Those first few entries. You think to yourself, ‘for everything I always wanted to say, I now have a medium!’ How exciting is it to know that there may be a soul somewhere out there in the internet netherworld that may chance upon your writing! So you embark upon the journey of the writing life, eager to speak your mind and tell your story. This is how it is.

What’s my story? I began this blog as a college student about one and half years ago. It was a travel blog then. I thought I would be here in East Africa for a fixed period of time. I thought I would tell stories of far away islands, sparkling cities, and remote villages. I thought I would share my encounters with wise women, witch doctors, friendly villagers, and city slickers. I thought I would recount times both happy and sad, of isolation and loneliness, but also of kindness and joy. All of this I have done. And now I am no longer traveling.

I envy other bloggers who have more discipline than I. Even after the blogger’s honeymoon period has lost its allure, they continue to write. I have sat before my computer countless times only to find that I am too afraid that what I have to say is boring, or worse yet, pointless. So I don’t get beyond the first sentence. And I quit. I even tried to fool myself into thinking that what I write is just for me. And indeed it is. But a blog is in fact a public medium, so again I would fall into the trap of being terribly fearful of painstakingly putting words to paper only to find that I have created something bland, mediocre, and not worth reading.

Despite this, I know that as a writer, in order to hone the craft and urge along the flow of words the only thing I can do is write. And write with a fearless abandon. I have to do exactly what I am afraid of. That is what brought me here to Nairobi after all. So today, this 12th day of the 11th month in 2011 I will christen Day 1 of my 30 Day Blogging Challenge to myself. Considering that I always felt like I was too cool for a 30 Day “anything” Challenge, this is a big step. Since these days I have less free time to write than ever before, the challenge is all the more important because it will force me to find the time to calm down enough to gather my thoughts and put them into words. It will be the push I need to think critically about the ideas I have in my head on any particular day. I might be able to identify patterns and gain a perspective that I wouldn’t normally from an unexamined day. For the next 30 days I will write on my blog every single day. My hope is that this exercise will open the so called writing flood gates and make it easier for me to transform my free-flowing thoughts into words, clear and simple.

Wish me luck.

N

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