Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ninety

Well, here goes #90. Ninety days ago I took the 90-in-90 challenge, partially as a way to jumpstart this blog (I wasn't posting enough here) and partially as a way to motivate my students to keep writing and stay vital. The idea isn't mine (it comes from Brad King at Ball State University in Indiana) but we made it our own.

Along the way we found a tribe. What started as two grew into a group of people who were blogging. Today I reach the finish line, and others will be trickling across in the next days and weeks. I think I might be the only one to actually do 90 posts in 90 days, but that's really not important. What's important is to keep writing regularly. But I want to encourage those who fell off the pace to finish. Doing it in 90 days isn't the point.

That said, I like to prove to myself I can do things. I was always going to complete this. I'm wired that way.

I've realized some things along the way. In part, my poor academic blog has been neglected due to time issues. Posts take a while to write. So I've realized that writing every day comes at the expense of other blogs for which you write. I'll be seeking more balance in the coming days; I won't stop posting here but it'll be more varied as to where I'm writing.

I've also rediscovered how much I love writing. I'm an emotional guy, as those of you who know me have learned, and writing is cathartic for me. My posts have been varied in these 90 days, from thinking and analysis of what kind of parent I'll be to fatigue-laden frustrations about how our baby wasn't liking what we were feeding him.

There was always a plan for post 90; I planned on highlighting my favorite work from these past 90 days. Not everything I posted was amazing, and I get this. It's a marathon, not a sprint. Some days you do the workmanlike post while working on a bigger one. But three stand out:

1. My post from the day Austin was born. This one is probably my favorite.

2. My post on 9/11. I wasn't sure what to make of it but other than the first one, this got a lot of good feedback and I've come to see it as a declaration of goals for this dad. Make the world a better place.

3. My post reflecting on being a dad in light of my own experiences growing up. This was my big-risk post during the three months because I shared some things that were pretty personal. I had a few folks with similar experiences write to me and thank me. I think it's good to reflect on the good and bad of family life. I do love my family a lot but that post had to be written.

And that's sort of the point. Writers write. They write things that are uncomfortable at times. They ruffle feathers at times. Writers have stories and observations in side that are begging to get out, and if you're doing it right you're figuring out how to let it out. Ideally you keep your sense of grace at the same time, and learn to balance it out with voice, humor, personality .... be, you know, interesting.

If you have a favorite post of mine from these 90 days, I'd love to hear about it. Leave something in the comments.

These 90 days, in my view, are one giant love letter to my son. Someday he can read through this and see what was going through my head the two months before he was born and the month afterward. Hopefully he'll learn a bit about his old man, what makes him tick, why he's so nuts at times. But I hope love leaps off these pages too. Even in moments where I'm tired, love is the overriding emotion for all of this.

Yeah, I'm a sap. Sue me.

Anyhow, this blog isn't going away. I came back from SXSW last March inspired to do this after sitting in on a great session about dad bloggers (how to connect and what a huge opportunity there is because of the dearth of dads actually blogging), and I'm more committed to it than ever. But I'm going to take a couple days off. Posts won't come every day, but there probably will be less filler.

Thanks, as always, for reading.

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Post #90(!) in my 90-in-90 blog challenge. Blog with us and join the fun. I'll be blogging both here and on myprofessional blog for the challenge. For more about the 90/90 challenge, read about my call for participants. The blogs participating are on the list at the right, or follow us on the #LUBlogTribe hashtag on Twitter

1 comment:

  1. My favorite was the Austin post, hands down. I personally am really bummed that 90-in-90 is over. Perhaps you would be interested in another program I just invented called 365-in-365?

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