Agreements are critical to any relationship. Make good clear agreements with well defined criteria for fulfillment and then know if and when to recontract. I made an agreement this week that I am having a challenge fulfilling. The agreement I made was with Denise Wakeman of the Blog Squad who “threw down the gauntlet” to do three blog posts this week each post within a twenty minute time frame – max. Part two of the agreement was to do this within the blog platform – no long hand, no word document which then gets transferred. Straight up.

I agree with the concept. My writing ought to gain an energy and an authenticity as a result of this direct approach – vital, alive, immediate, engaging. Having a blog writing practice that is efficient and effective ought to be energizing and more sustainable than a multi-step process that has the potential to be a burden (or Heaven forbid – a drag). The train of thought continues that the more a person writes the better they get at writing…the more compelling the writing …the more value their content provides and the more they increase their influence and so on…

So here I am an hour and ten minutes later. Five different threads explored and deleted. None of these threads captured for further exploration or refinement. Fortunately for me I am one of those people who believes in the importance of agreements – if I said I will do something I will do it. It is not yet time to renegotiate with Denise.

I am actually not certain what my next steps will be… what I do know I that I have a lot of ideas -after all NFP’s are all about possibilites. If immediacy is what I want to infuse in my writing then perhaps I need to write directly to this blog as the ideas arise.

I am grateful for this challenge. I trust that down the road I will recognize this as a point in time when I turned a corner. So far I kept part two of the agreement about not using a word document – now to work on part one and commit to one thread captured in twenty minutes.

How we navgate challenges is how we navigate challenges. This one is a good one to further my development. Stay tuned to find out how I do with this challenge- You can even let me know how I am getting along.

In the meantime I have two questions for you.

What strategies do you have for keeping your work energized and sustainable?

How do you respond to agreements that are challenging?

Category: Communication
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2 Responses to “A Blog Writing Challenge”

Stephen February 1, 2009

Ah – here is the immediacy thing again. Oh I see you use the term in the post.
I have been writing blogs in Word to check spelling and typos. But I like the idea of a time-frame.

I think a good posting is researched and crafted, tells a story and includes an emotional element (though not necessarily melodrama). And I like the requirement for immediacy. There must be some zip-zap.

I am also writing and following watercolour blogs and am trying to develop Alla Prima technique in painting. That is start to finish in one sitting. This takes guts. And skill!!!. And skill is often hard-won from practice and many half done, way over-worked failures. So an hour and ten minutes on a posting for a twenty minute deadline is OK – in my book. As long as I am working towards the goal. And as long as I accept that improvements may come in plateaus and steps rather than being a little better each time. Indeed, things may get worse before I see improvement.

So my strategy is to write on what excites me, putting the theory in a context of my own real life experience.

I love Self Organised Learning so challenges such as these can either freak me out or I renegotiate them with myself. I sometimes meet the challenge but sometimes this is at great personal cost. So I am learning (I hope) to pick my challenges.

Thanks for this thought provoking posting Sandy.

I have had a brief look at your next posting and intend to be back.
All the best with your challenge.

By the way I did a brief sketch of how I thought I would paint my personality profile and it was similar in nature to your INFP painting (my MBTI profile) – not exact of course.

Patsi aka The Blog Squad February 2, 2009

Bravo, Sandy. Your dilemma is shared by millions of people, none of whom have expressed it as well as you have in this post. Only today I read two good posts, one called Speed Blogging, the other Slow Blogging. There is a well-made case for both.

I applaud your efforts to step out of your preferences to try something new. Most of us are stuck because we aren’t willing to try doing something differently from what we are used to.

Growth and results will ensue. You’re on a great path.