Tuesday, 3 July 2018

WTS Day XXX

Win the Summer is 30 days old today and to celebrate, we are opening a Twitter account and attempting to get some views.
I realise now that I should have started a whole new blog for Win the Summer. I didn't think I'd really write every day. Well, I didn't. If you're reading this and you recognise me, can you please inform me? I have been writing this blog in the supposition of anonymity, as there is little point otherwise. I am careful, but only up to a point.
What is Win the Summer?
Win the Summer is a personal project. I am a teacher who is off work for the holidays and realises that she did not make the most of previous summers. I am determined that this summer will be different. The main difference is that I am going about things intentionally, rather than drifting. Another difference is that I am following, as best I can, Hal Elrod's "Miracle Morning" routine. Had I picked up this book in my local Waterstone's (it's there), I would have dismissed it as just another self-help book that promised the world but is hard to stick to and ephemeral in its benefits. However, I downloaded it onto my Kindle Fire having heard it recommended on Twitter by people I hold to be sensible. The book itself is quite skimmable and there's a good summary of it here by Philosophers Notes. (Brian Johnson does good summaries and his blackboard presentations are much easier to take in than the usual animated book summaries that proliferate on YouTube).
So far, I can recommend it, as it works very well for some-one who is temporarily without much structure and who doesn't have to be in a particular place in the mornings. Would I recommend sacrificing sleep and getting up at half-five to do it? Totally not. I plan, when I go back to work, to get up a little earlier and incorporate elements like five-minutes meditation in my morning, but that's about it. Not that I am planning too much for work at this point. The summer is still young.
That is, relatively young. There are around seven weeks left of my mini-sabbatical. A mini-sabbatical is how I see it. For ten years I did not take this break, but instead earned extra income by correcting exams. What a mistake that was, but I can't go back now and change things.
Along with the Miracle Morning (can I stop capitalising that?), I have a couple of other projects on the go. Right now, I am attempting Less Plastic July. I have also started a #26habits ....what? "Practice" sounds absurd, but maybe that's the closest. This is inspired by Emma Gunavardhana's excellent podcast on the-pool.  I am still on the first one...Staying out of TKMaxx, and am due to start another one next Monday.
The other main thing, in fact the main thing, is that I am taking time this summer To Do Some Serious Writing. I know I am building this up to be too big a thing. How is this going? On the one hand I am writing every day. On the other, this is on various desultory, embryonic scraps of wittering rather than anything substantial or even fictional. And I am not spending enough time on it. Still, I must not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. I am doing a bit. There is progress. Still, progress doesn't get you there, just on to the next section of road that's indistinguishable from the other. To put this in perspective, I style myself as a fiction writer, but my current output averages out at one short story a year. In seven years' time ( I currently have three I consider presentable) I'll have enough for an anthology.
I feel there is more I could be doing. This feeling is in itself a sign of progress. How have I lost other summers? Through half-heartedness and not pushing through. Through not taking up opportunities, through going to events but not speaking to people and going home early, through failing to prioritise, through attempting to live some-one else's life and doing things merely because they were expected of me.
This year is different. Even so far, it is different.

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