This is the first of a series I’m trying to start (key word trying) called Life Inspiration. These are activities and challenges that have you focus on writing/understanding your writing through your own life. You write about yourself, your life, your goals, etc. It’ll help you become a better writer and can help you set up goals and achieve them. Sometimes you need to step back from your own writing (usually fiction) and just work on your craft and yourself. I hope this series gives you inspiration and helps you sort out the silly outside world.
As we approach a year of the pandemic (honestly it’s already been a year of pandemic for some), I’ve been getting this weird sinking feeling. Like we’re still just going through the motions.
I’d say my life has changed dramatically since March of last year. I was in a different job. I was planning for Vegas. I didn’t think the pandemic would be going for a whole year. I didn’t think my back would give out…again. I didn’t even think Biden would be president (that’s a whole other can of worms).
Life has changed a ton for so many people, but it also feels absurdly stagnant. The world is still turning. Things are still happening. But does it mean anything to us? Those of us who are already hermits, hidden away trying to write a novel? Probably not.
Which got me thinking. How many years pass without us acknowledging the changes we have, no matter how small? I’m not a journal writer. I can’t consistently write about myself without feeling myself being the boring person I am deep down. Got up, went to work, read a book, watched too much YouTube, hung out with my cat, smooched my boyfriend, sleep, and repeat. The past two months definitely have been different in some aspects but that’s usually my normal day. I don’t want to read that over and over.
But I do like writing that sappy year in review on my birthday or on New Years. For some reason, that’s always a thing I do on Facebook. My boyfriend always rolls his eyes because I tag him has my favorite person. (He’ll give a heart react tho so it’s fine.) Part of me wants to feel accomplished even if from day to day it doesn’t feel like it.
So I challenge you to do the same. Write yourself a yearly or biyearly time capsule.
Why Write a Time Capsule
Memories are fleeting. Sometimes you only focus on the good in your past, sometimes the bad. It’s good to have a note of all the good things that happened. All the challenges you overcame and even the ones you haven’t.
If you’re anything like me the idea of journaling can be overwhelming. I can barely work and write for this blog, how would I have time to write every day? But I still want to look back on my life in a more permanent way and see how far I’ve come.
It’s hard to see in the moment where you are or where you’re going. Especially in a pandemic. Right now I’m depressed, thinking about my injury and the pain I’m in. I’ll write about that and read it again next year being like “wow I’ve come so far since then.” At least that’s my goal with this. To see what you loved and hated in the past and what’s changed.
We like to read about others, but sometimes we need to read about ourselves to understand our stories.
What to Write
Ultimately it doesn’t matter what you write or how you write it. You can make yourself a bullet list of all your accomplishments. You can write it in third person and describe it like a short story. I tend to write it as an ode to the last year and kind of like the acknowledgment page at the end of a book.
You write this how you need to write this. This is a challenge for you. Do you want to make this a chance to work on a style of writing? Do you want to make this a check in to see how you’re doing and what you need to work on? Write it how you like.
When I post these silly things on Facebook I only focus on the positive, but if I wrote this for myself, I might challenge myself to do more in the next six months. Like I do with my goal check ins here. You can even read my new goals for 2021. (Which have already begun to change because life’s gotten in the way, but I’ll dive into that on another post.)
Write about the good, the bad, the ugly. Pour your heart out. Even if you never read it again, the words coming out might just feel so good.
Where to Write It
A notebook. On your Facebook wall. In a word document that you delete right afterwards. Write it where you want to and where feels right. This is your words. Your yearly or biyearly journal entry. I can’t tell you where to write it. Moving forward, I’m going to write mine in a word document and date every entry. I might do one a month if I feel like it (probably not because I hate journaling to be honest and I want to treat this more of a recap than a journal).
It Might Not Be Peachy
Your year might be shit. Looking back on a year might make you feel like shit. And in the end this might be something you hate. That’s fine. But it’ll be good to try. See how the world looked to you during that time. See how your memories change compare to what you’ve written. It’s an interesting experiment in nostalgia if you do it long enough. And if you have children…it might be an interesting way to remember your times spent with them.
So join me in this challenge. Write how you’re feeling and what’s happening. And store it away until next year just to do it all over again.
Let me know in the comments below if you’re going to take on this challenge or if you actually prefer journaling. Let me know how it’s helped you through the pandemic or even how it’s helped your writing. I’d love to know.