I’ve been very aware today that I have to write my six hundredth blog tonight. A long way from the thirty days I originally challenged myself. As each day has ticked by I’ve been surprised how I’ve stuck at it.
That got me thinking this afternoon as I stood on Stromness harbour. I watched six sail boats out in the wet weather practicing manoeuvres in the bay. Much more of a physical challenge than my writing. Then to visit the home of Eliza Fraser who was shipwrecked after travelling to Australia. Captured by aborigines she turned her challenge into a media show (or what passed for one in eighteen thirty six) and had an island named after her. A life full of all sorts of challenges then. Not least when it seemed she had really been rescued rather than captured.
I also found Login’s Well where many explorers took their drinking water on board before setting off. Arctic challenges, Hudson Bay Company ships sailing with trade goods, Caprain Cook off to discover new lands. Lots of brave people taking on the challenges of the sea. Now those places are as familiar to us as our own towns. Because of the words written about them. Also now because of the wide reach of the internet. I wondered what those pioneers would make of my life. Of most of our lives. I can take a large ferry across those seas. Big tankers ply their trade. My biggest challenge getting here has been to get on the right trains.
Better still I can fly across the world to any continent I wish. Is that six or seven? It depends on how you define them. That’s true about challenges too.
My challenge with my blogs is wrapped around words. It’s not particularly physical. But I’ve found it has stretched my emotions. Especially with my determination to stick with it on the days when my thoughts went into hiding. Or I felt like there was nothing noteworthy to write about. When I felt like no one could possibly be reading the blogs. And when I was working on my book as an extension of my blogs. Some days my writer’s block was overpowering. Yet I needed to keep going.
This evening I stood in the late evening sunshine and watched a Pipe Band. I thought about all of the discipline required to make bagpipes sound good. The hours of practice and gradual progression. Six drummers stepped forward and gave a display of timing, teamwork and passion. Their challenge had kept them going until they could work in unison. My writing has challenged my discipline and my passion. I’ve also had to learn to work in unison with my words. We are a team. Describing my life. Exploring my experiences. And giving me space to work out my next step on my spiritual journey.
I have learned to love my writing enough to keep going. That’s important. Because I still have four hundred and one more blogs to write. Plus a book or six. What will your next six challenges be?
Day 600 of my blogging challenge