The truth about setting oneself into a challenge lies in ensuring that this challenge survives long enough to rip the intended fruits. This requires to find the balance between the initial motivation for a new project (often with a goal) and the daily grind of walking a path, which is by essence challenging (why else would one set oneself a challenge otherwise).
In this context, the first hurdle will be to find topics to discuss on everyday. Yes, motivation will also be challenge at some points in the near future, but for now I’m still riding the wave of excitment which came with initiating this challenge.
Where to Start?
I suppose the easiest will be to define what the rules of this challenges. My present writer’s block is motivated by a fear of what others think and criticism, no so much about quality and quantity of said-writing. In this sense, sharing everyday will thus consistute the main objective, regardless of the length and elaborate level of the resulting piece of writing. Writing about what comes to my mind with minimal editing and rewriting (oh voices of perfection, I hear you loud of clear!) with the top priority to share everyday. There are numerous stories of people sharing everyday regardless of quality or quantity and have overtime learned a lot and even achieved a certain level of recognition for their work. CGI artist Mike Winkelmann (also known as Beeple) is one fine example. I want to free my writing from the shakles of my own fears, so let’s share everyday.
In terms of topic, I could have gone with the classic research-focused approach to present myself solely as an expert. However, part of my own fears are based on a sense of impostor syndrome where I see everyone around being more successful and me being unable to catch up. Life experience has taught me times and times again that this represents only the surface of people and everyone has their own flows and fears. Confronting mine will pass through removing (or most likely ignoring at first) my present mental constraints and being unlimited on which topics I will be allowed to share: power electronics research, engineering knowledge and skills, higher education teaching, mental health, politics (?), opinions, or simply interesting things I’ve come across in my daily errands on the internet or IRL.
As much as this post is already getting quite long for the purpose of this writing challenge, I still feel compeled to still share about one chosen topic. I will thus be quite unimaginative and talk about my approach to writing.
Of the Love of Writing
I love words!
What they mean, where they come from, and how much richness they often hide in plain sight. I suppose that my French heritage does play a big role and it took me a while to appreciate it; a node to my Latin classes which bored me to death at the time but some of it must have also sunk in. My father also deserves a lot of credits for sharing his own passion for writing (sorry Dad, I missed out on your great calligraphy skills though!). He made me discover and appreciate the definition of words and most importantly initiated me to Alain Rey and his vast knowledge of the French language; for those who know French I highly recommend you his radio shows ‘Le mot de la fin’.
I could elaborate more on this topic but it feels already quite late for today; more in another post, trust me 😉
Writing Tips of the Day
I will finish this post with a recommendation I read today on Twitter and most likely influenced my choice for today. This is the ‘How To Start Writing Online: The Ship 30 for 30 Ultimate Guide’ (https://startwritingonline.com/), with a summary found in this thread by the author, Nicolas Cole.
Of these 19 tips, conciseness features already high on my writing habits (I never managed or even liked to fluff essays just to grow the number of words). Many of the tips on deleting or replacing words (e.g. ‘that’ or “tiny-word-chunks” as he puts it). The point about deleting “I” actually made me think since he rightly pointed out that being the author of this blogpost I do not need to include statements like ‘I think’ since they are implied and often covers a lack of confidence in one’s opinions. I obviously have some reservations regarding the recommendation to limit or avoid the use of semicolons; I think they have their purpose and their bad reputation often stems from bad writing practices. The 1/3/1 sequence is also interesting and I will try to exercise it (see what I did in the previous section :p)
I should bring this post to a close but dread doing it abruptly. A nagging feeling tells me to find a funny or original way of closing this and any future posts. This raises again alarm bells about setting the challenge too high, so I will leave it here for now but rest assured that the idea will carry on circling in my head.
In the meantime, take care and see you tomorrow.