Kim and I are writing on a prompt a day for the month of December. Feel free to join in anytime!
Prompt 31: Brand new. You can have a fresh start whenever you want. But there’s something nice about January 1. Share your plans for the new year.
This is my sixth year writing on these #reverb prompts in December. And this December was the fastest yet. Each December I think, eh, can I do this again? Write every day for a month on topics that require me to really think and often spill sides of myself that are less than attractive?
But then I always decide to do it, and each year I’m so glad I did. I do feel some pressure to make each post a masterpiece. But the awesome thing about these types of month long projects is that you’ve just got to push something out. I can’t wordsmith a post to death because I got to get it out and on to the next.
I used to think that I shouldn’t post anything (or produce anything) unless it was perfect. I can’t put out shoddy work! This must be edited several hundred times!
But that meant I never put out anything. Because I couldn’t get it just right.
That’s why I love #reverb. I don’t have time for that. If I want to participate, I’ve got to go with the first idea that comes into my head when I read the prompt and then go.
And then a surprising thing happens. When I stopped holding back and self editing, I produced my best work.
It’s like when I teach group fitness. A new person will come to by BodyStep class, a person who hasn’t ever taken a BodyStep class. She won’t understand all the cues and jargon or the pace of the class. Maybe she’s deconditioned and, right now, she can’t do a burpee.
So her first class is kind of a mess. But she comes back again and now knows that I mean when I say “over the top” or “three knee repeater.” She comes back again and this time keeps up with all the cues. She comes back again and again and now she can do burpees more than half the time.
All this to say, you have to start somewhere. And it’s often kind of ugly. Okay. It can be really ugly. It’s like when each of my kids were learning to walk. They didn’t just walk one day. They crawled and scooted and fell over and tried again. And same thing when they learned to eat with a fork and put sentences together.
I see it everyday with Kate. She’s learning to read and write. And she gets SO MAD when she doesn’t know how to spell a word. Sound it out, I tell her. But it won’t be right, she screams.
Oh my little perfectionist.
That’s when I tell her, I didn’t always know how to write. I had to sound it out. And I didn’t know how to drive a car. I had to learn. And the first BodyStep class I taught was…well…let’s just say, not my best.
So rather than not do anything, let’s embrace that blank slate. Try again. And again. And once more.
On that note, I’m excited to share a couple projects I’m taking on this year. One is a collaboration with my friend, Elizabeth Chapman, from the blog Teaching Sam and Scout. (Here is a the podcast we recorded to learn more about her.) We’re collaborating on a project called B+ Goals: Because Done is Better Than Perfect.
On the 1st of each month, Elizabeth and I will share a couple of goals we have for the month. Some small, some bigger. And we will put in our best B+ effort. We’d love for you to join in and share your goals!
Secondly, since I love collaborating so much, Kim and I will continue with #reverb. We will write on one #reverb prompt a month until December (when we will do a prompt a month again). She and I also have another fun collaboration in progress that I can’t wait to share. Something different from #reverb and something that will stretch us and be totally fun. Look for that in February.
Personally, I’ve got some other projects up my sleeve. And they pair nicely with the word I picked for the year. More on that later.
So, let’s do it! Let’s not be afraid to be brand new.