Patrick Ward words, code, and music

Yay! The 30th Post and Beyond!

I started the 30 posts in 30 days project on January 21st of this year (2010), just a few days after I arrived home from the Conscious Growth Workshop in Las Vegas. At the time, writing that many posts seemed almost unattainable to me. I knew it might have sounded like a simple goal to others, but I hadn’t written that much in years, if ever, and my goals weren’t very defined. I took the challenge anyway, reasoning that even if it turned out I didn’t have it in me, I would at least learn that much more about my drive to write.

So, to find myself here, on the 19th of February, writing my 30th post, is quite a feat for me. I know, the 29th post was a bit of a stumble, but I at least had the courage to admit that in a small paragraph; and I added to it the next morning. Despite a few stumbles and some rather bleak moments, I think I can be quite proud of having met the challenge to some degree. There are a few posts that I think were really beautiful. So, yay for me!!

It’s been a wonderful, eye-opening journey and I intend for it to continue indefinitely.

At this point, I thought about doing a retrospective, describing what I learned and how it affected me throughout the 30 day journey, but, quite frankly, I thought it would be rather boring for you. Instead, I’m going to lay out some ideas I have for the future.

I’ve covered a variety of topics over the last 30 days and presented them in both fictionalized and non-fictionalized formats. For the time being, that chaotic jumble of odd topics may continue until I find a specific theme that resonates best with me. There are many subjects that haven’t made it to the blog yet: including metaphysics, philosophy, religion, history, death, and psychology. All of these subjects, as well as others, may eventually find their way into a more cohesive theme.

In addition, I plan to add more fiction. While I enjoy the heartfelt essays and memoirs, I find that the challenge of writing fiction is something that appeals to me more. I find that I can more honestly explore my emotions and ideas through the process of telling a tale. As I improve my skill in telling them, I think those ideas will begin to have more relevance for my audience. Eventually, I’d like to think that my stories will help people understand their own lives better through the characters and events I present. I enjoy both types of writing, but I think I may be better wired to tell the stories than to write the essays. I want to both entertain as well as enlighten.

Although many of the essays and stories written so far were entertaining, I’m a little disappointed in the quality and depth of them. I don’t feel as if I was able to explain myself as well as I’d like to. I would also like to add a greater degree of emotion and knowledge to them. So, in the future, I would like to spend more time thinking about what I’m trying to say and refining the writing that goes into them. That will require a greater degree of effort for each post. So, the posting frequency won’t be daily as it has been for the past 30 days. Instead, I plan to post at least 2-3 times per week, sometimes more, but I expect the quality of the writing and the discussions within will greatly improve. Having a full-time job (yes, I know CGW fans have a suggestion for that) requires that I plan out my writing times. So, I’m going to work on a more structured writing schedule. That will also provide me with ample time to keep up on my reading lists as well. To be a great writer, you have to be a great reader.

One thing that may become apparent, if it hasn’t already, is that I’m not a life coach, a personal development writer, or a lifehacker. There may be a little of that interleaved within the pages of this blog at times, but it’s not the primary purpose. I enjoy those types of blogs and I learn a great deal from them daily, but it’s not who I am.

I have an earnest desire to help people, but I will have to do that in my own, unique way. That may mean that some posts won’t always be pleasant, but I don’t think that a blog post has to be agreeable for you to learn something from it. Even a horror story can have some great insights hidden within it. You can often learn a lot more about yourself, by how you react to certain characters, themes, or conclusions. That’s the kind of challenge I think I’ll be better suited for. I’ll leave the life coaching to people who are far more qualified for that than I am.

In order to meet those challenges, I’ll have to go deeper into some rather intense themes and emotions. It won’t be my intention to offend anyone, but I’m willing to accept the fact that there may be some who are offended by something I write or that one of my characters says or does. If you become offended or uncomfortable about something, try asking yourself what is it about that piece that disturbs you the most. You may find out some interesting truths about your own psyche; it may help you grow as a person.

That’s not to say it’s always going to be heavy. Indeed, as has already been demonstrated, I’m a huge fan of both dark and wacky humor. I expect there will be a lot more of that twisted kind of amusement in the future; it’s something that I relish greatly.

You should also expect some changes as I progress; both as a writer and as a person. I’m growing along side the rest of you, which means I’m going to make some mistakes here and there. The learning process can be a little wobbly at times. That means changes in writing style, observations, and conclusions may reveal themselves in awkward ways before their fully refined. My pledge to you, though, is that I will always strive to be as truthful and entertaining as I can be. I’m going to give you as much of myself as I can muster through the pages of this blog.

Finally, thank you, truly thank you, to everyone who has supported my efforts so far. I hope you continue to find the journey enjoyable. I know I would like to provide even more entertainment and value in the future. So, if you’ll stick around long enough you may just find something magical happening.