31 Day Challenge - Perpetual Blogging and Conflict with First Life

Britt Watwood suggested that I should post my response to his And On the Seventh Day post in my own blog; so here goes.

My response here constitutes a bit of a F2F conversation with Britt over coffee, but for the sake of the blogger community, I’ll reply. This also counts toward my meager participation in the 31 day challenge. :=)

As I walked to Starbucks with Britt, I started talking about thoughts I was having about the first 7 days of the 31 day challenge. I said that I felt like posting that the 31 day challenge is just that; 31 days of 24/7, non-stop commitment to blogging. The idea promotes the concept that you have to always be monitoring, reading and writing. I also said that since the challenge started just before last weekend and I chose to address a number of other personal time demands in my 1st life (yard, house, church, piping, etc.), that knocked two days out. My days have been busy with work issues and evenings this week have also had other time demands; suddenly I’m feeling stressed and most of 7 days behind. Britt then stopped me and said, “read my recent post”. The point is that Britt has already posted about several of the ideas I’ve been contemplating. I could accuse him of taking my ideas, but that’s not the case. Ideas are in the air. I think that’s why there are so many similar posts. When the time is right, forces present ideas and the first to snag them gets credit. This concept is not a new one. It is a thought that was shared with me by Jewett Campbell (a graduate school instructor), who’s father was an inventor. His father told him that “ideas are in the air”. Essentially, if you make contact with one, act on it quickly.

I’m getting the sense from this networked community that we are all struggling with balance in our lives. And, periodically, we recognize some of the issues raised by Britt in an earlier post as well as thoughts shared by Jeff Nugent about his fishing trip. The metaphor discussed there was the stream and ideas, blogs, twitter, etc. represented information constantly flowing down the stream. Jeff learned during is vacation that it’s OK to dip into the stream and then walk away for a while.

I’ll continue to look for threads of these ideas in other posts as we all begin to figure out our individual rhythm of participation and how to make this experience meaningful without creating unnecessary stress.



  1. Well Bud, I am going to try to be the first who agrees with you about the balance bit, at least in this forum.

    Teachers tend to be workaholics. They also tend to be people with a lot of ideas and energy to implement these. Sometimes when they focus on something, everything else goes by the way - at least for a while.

    Alexander Graham Bell, a teacher, did just that to get his telephone out of his head and into the world. Thanks to him and a subsequent succession of innovators you are able to share your ideas with us all.

    Cheers from Middle-earth

  2. Bud--I completely agree with your concerns about balance. The Challenge couldn't be happening in a worst month for me (I considered saying "no to Sue Waters, but who can do THAT?!). I have several major pieces of work coming to fruition in May, plus I'm moving at the end of the month. So far I've been so busy with that and just writing the activities that I haven't actually DONE many of the challenge activities!

    BUT, that said, this isn't meant to be one more thing people should feel guilty about doing or not doing. We wanted it to be fun and a way for people to connect to each other and to the idea of conversation. So don't feel compelled to do each activity each day. Also, I found that you can combine activities--ask a question on a post you disagree with on a blog that's new to you, for example. That's three activities in one comment. This should definitely not add to to your stress in any way.

    That said, since I'm beginning to worry that I won't be able to come up with 31 days of activities, maybe we need a few days of rest. :-)

  3. Ken, thanks for your insightful comment, "Teachers tend to be workaholics. They also tend to be people with a lot of ideas and energy to implement these." True, we tend to be creative people who want to do it all.

    The irony here about my own post is that I run hot and cold. When I'm consumed with an idea, I sink my teeth into it and go all hours. My problem now is focus. I have too many ideas and want to pursue them all. I guess I need to play some Diana Krall recordings and get to work.

    PS - checked your bio and I'd like to get to know you better.

    Best regards,

  4. Michele, thanks for the reply and your comment, "...don't feel compelled to do each activity each day. Also, I found that you can combine activities--ask a question on a post you disagree with on a blog that's new to you, for example."

    I've discoverd that as well. One thing that helped me was your overview of the first week of the challenge. By scanning that, I felt like I do many of the things that were listed. I'm just not keeping in sync with the challenge. However, I'm still benefiting from everyone else's posts and the concepts being shared.

    All the best,

  5. Kai Ora Tatou!

    @Michele - There's no time like the present - procrastination is the thief of time - the road to Hell is paved with good intensions.

    @Bud - A stitch in time saves nine - how do you eat an elephant? - brevity is the soul of wit - Rome wasn't built in a day. Yes Bud, I think we should share a few things.

    Ka kite ano