That’s it. I made it. I published every single day an article on this blog for an entire year, this is the last one. What started on January 1st, ends on December 31st.
How do I feel at the end of this challenge? Good question.
I don’t feel very different from the beginning of it. Yes, there are specific skills that have been honed during this challenge, and I will write about them in a second. But, overall, I’m the same. Well, a year older, of course.
So, in terms of skills, obviously discipline was the most important one. Getting back to the task at hand, showing up, doing my job, all this helped me add even more layers to my structured approach. I couldn’t say I was lacking discipline before, but now I know how much more I can improve in this area if I really want to.
Another skill that improved was, obviously, writing. I don’t know if I write better or worse (that’s for you to decide, the reader), but I find it easier for me. Not only in terms of writer’s block (I only had it a handful of times during the challenge, and it quickly went away) but more in terms of finding it easier to express my thoughts in a clear way.
Another important thing that happened was the actual material out there now. Out of these 365 articles, at least two thirds are ideas or scaffolds for potential longer essays or books. Having this road ahead, with potholes that I needed to fill every day, forced me to get out of my head a lot of thoughts, to clarify many points of view, to crystalize many structures that may be well developed further in the next years.
What I Missed
It wasn’t all good, though. Writing every day requires constant energy spent on the process. In all honesty, I felt quite a few times that I was missing out on other areas of my life.
Sometimes, during days with lower energy, the most important part of the day was spent on writing, just to make sure I’m not going to miss the article for that day.
That left me at times a bit depleted (I was also working full time, it wasn’t a sabbatical year), so not much energy left to spend in other areas, like learning to play the guitar, or running. I did ok in these areas, there was some progress, but I could have done so much better.
The Biggest Takeaway
If I think more about it, though, there is a significant takeaway at the end of this challenge.
I starts from this feeling, that I am at the some time relieved and a bit confused. As of tomorrow, there will be no more pressure. I won’t have to show up for this specific task every day.
On one side, I feel relieved, because there was this constant, daily stress about showing up (not necessarily bad, this stress). On the other side, I feel confused and a bit lost. What am I gonna do? What other task an I going to take up on?
But as the last words of this article are finding their way out, I realize I don’t really have to take up on a task every day.
The biggest – and probably the only specific – takeaway of this 365 days challenge is that we can create meaning outside structured behavior too. Yes, having a fixed scaffold to build upon, like a daily task, really helps. It gives a sense of purpose.
But life goes on regardless.