Day 6: Case of the Mondays

Oof. We found it, friends: the first Monday of the 100-day Challenge.

Mondays are especially hard for me, as we have a team creative meeting after the workday more or less ends, starting at 5:00 and running until 6:00 or 6:30.

Yes. Someone on our team thought the creative juices would be flowing at 5:00 p.m. on Monday. I’ll give you a hint: no, it wasn’t me.

So after working a roughly 8-to-5 workday, I finally left the office a little after 6:30. Luckily for me, I saw an email from a freelance client as I was walking out the door.

I say a freelance client like I have many. So far it’s just the one. But she’s awesome, so that helps.

And while I didn’t have the energy to cook or do the dishes – thank goodness for a helpful husband – I definitely had the energy to help her with a little proofreading.

That got me thinking. I say often I’m a better writer than an editor, that I genuinely enjoy proofreading. And while that second part is certainly true, I wonder if it’s not so much that I’m not a good writer, but that by the time I make time to write, I’m exhausted and my brain is shot.

Regardless, there’s something infinitely satisfying and soothing about proofreading. It’s simple even at its most complex; it’s straightforward, direct, obvious in many ways to someone like me who knows what she’s looking for. I assume its like how people who are good at math (I hear those people exist) are able to look at a problem and where others see chaos, find calm in knowing there’s a right and a wrong way to proceed.

I read somewhere that once you learn to edit, you’ll never again be able to read without errors jumping at you from the page.

And even at the end of a very long Monday, it’s fun to watch those errors jump.

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Diving in head first: My 100-day writing challenge

I don’t know about you, but when I set out to do something, I have a tendency to…

Procrastinate. Change gears. Shift thoughts. Become doubtful. And ultimately, not always finish what I set out to do.

That ends today.

Today, I’m diving right into a self-imposed 100-day writing challenge. And it’s as simple as it sounds: write something in this blog every single day, for 100 days.

But Ally, why 100 days?

Somewhat arbitrary, somewhat necessary, 100 days seems like the perfect length of time to create a habit. It could also be that I’ve recently been visiting 100 Days of Real Food, a site about healthy eating, and the number 100 is just implanted in my head. And while I probably could use 100 days straight of eating better, that’s a story for another day.

But Ally, what’s the point of this challenge?

The truth is, I would classify myself as a better editor than writer. Whether that’s because I write all day at work and the idea fountain has run dry by the evenings, I don’t know, but until I’m able to spend all day watching the clouds pass to kickstart my creativity, the next best thing I can do to improve my writing is to simply do more of it.

But Ally, what will you talk about every day, for 100 days?

I’m glad you asked, umm, other Ally! This is the part I’m most excited about. Let’s just say the spirit of the entrepreneur has rubbed off on me since working at a startup, and the desire to do more than simply work for other people is taking hold. And as a writer and editor, there are a lot of resources available for building a business; however, I want to share with you my journey of becoming my own boss, not just what I’ve learned once I get there.

And while I hope this journey serves as a guideline and not a cautionary tale for people trying to break into freelancing (is that a thing?), I’m going to share it with you either way. I’ll try to stick just to writing about writing and editing here; but I do a little bit of rambling about health and fitness at Carrots & Cookies. Because yes, for the girl who has trouble thinking of things to say, it obviously makes sense to run two blogs.

But Ally, who starts a 100-day challenge on the 24th of the month?

I realize, it’s weird, and I asked myself this very question. Why wouldn’t I wait to start until the beginning of the month? The answer is simple: if the point of all this is to create a positive habit, why would I want to put that off? Besides, ‘beginnings’ are arbitrary anyway – what makes one day any different than the next?

For the sake of getting this challenge started as quickly as possible, I say not a darn thing.

Day 1, in the books.