One of my 2018 goals was to write 52 blog posts during the year. I had started writing in this blog several years ago, but only became consistent while working on my dissertation. Writing for fun, without any anticipated edits or required references was a comfort food experience compared to the rigor of completing a APA-formatted document that utilized over 200 references and had almost that many pages. It was a relief to sit down, brainstorm about some random part of life, and hit send knowing my voice was out there in the world for readers to take or leave as they wish. While writing my dissertation and these posts for fun, in February 2018 I started writing for Run Oregon; an opportunity to preview and review races and running gear. Each week I signed up for my assignments with a weekly deadline to get my work back to the editor. Then a few days later, there it was: my name listed on the screen as the writer of a brand new post. Its 10 months in and I still smile at that notification bar.
Since my academic writing was all about higher education, and my volunteer writing was all about running, I decided to use an art challenge prompt for the year to get me writing about a lot of other things along the way. So thank you Pinterest for the list that guided #52sparks for the past 52 weeks.
With 2019 a couple of days away, it’s time to look ahead and decide on new goals that still met my criteria: cannot be completed in a week or failed in a day. I spent way too many years in cycles of “I’m never drinking soda”, “I will only hit snooze once”, or “I’m going to the gym every single day.” And then when I failed about four days in, the whole resolution was tossed out on top of the holiday wrapping paper.
Writing for this blog isn’t among my top three goals this year, but I do still have a weekly reminder to help me keep in this little corner of cyberspace. Rather than another prompt list, I’ve decided to focus on my running life this year. 2018 included some freaking huge educational and running goals, so now I want to live out this next year in the afterglow of those victories. So this year’s series will be call “#RunPhD”. While nothing is scripted (because what fun would that be), I know the calendar will include running coach training with Road Runners Club of America, two marathons (Bend and Columbia Gorge), and aiming to complete 1,200 miles as part of the 1200 Club with Oregon Road Runners Club. So there are lots and lots and lots of miles coming up in 2019. And I’m sure I will learn along the way. Maybe, if I write it just right, you will too.
#52sparks is my year-long writing series based on an art prompt challenge. The title is inspired by a quote from Star Wars: The Last Jedi: “We are the spark, that will light the fire that’ll burn the First Order down” (Poe Dameron). The spark that lights a fire to toast a marshmallow or to ravage a forest begins in the space of an inch. So just imagine what hundreds of inches and words can do.