Writing Challenge: Day Zero

One of my favorite ways to introduce the December Writing Challenge is to say “the act of writing begets more writing,” because, for me, it’s always been the best explanation for the change I hope the challenge creates in our community and in the world at large: more people taking a little time for themselves each day, to consider a small (and sometimes even trivial) thought, and to share those reflections with others.

The challenge isn’t just about creating a single body of work over a month. It’s about strengthening a particular type of emotional muscle; of building a habit that can carry us forward into the unknown.

Recently, two of my friends, Yechiel and Ben, hit two milestones as authors of the “Torah&&Tech” newsletter: The 100th issue of the newsletter, and then (a week later) the 101st. They likened their experience to participating in the #100DaysOfCode challenge. Making time to code—whether learning, practicing, or generating code for a specific project—for 100 days wasn’t easy. But on day 101, the epiphany struck:

“On that day, without any tweets and hashtags, when I just sat at the computer coding, that’s when I realized how the challenge changed me. Coding was now a habit; it was something I did without needing any special commitments or challenges.”

Likewise, on January 1, my fervent hope is all who take part in the December Writing Challenge (whether we participate by writing, responding, or reading) find ourselves changed for the better; discover we’re possessed not only of a drive to write (regularly, if not often); but also possessed of the confidence to share our writing (if nowhere else, than with this THWACK community, which has proven itself to be so supportive); and also possessed of the willingness to push ourselves to try something new, and to do so in such a public way, so those around us can join us on our journey.

Here on the day before we begin, I hope you’ve already started to prepare your thoughts for the coming month. But if not, I want to reassure you it’s still not too late to get ready.

In reality, it’s never too late to jump in and start. I look forward to reading your thoughts throughout the coming month.

Date Title Author
Dec 1 Connecting in a Disconnected World Leon Adato
Dec 2

Show Us Your Office Space
(Whether improvised, shared, or particularly beautiful, WFH offices have been our work home (not) away from home in 2021.)

Paul Guido (MVP)
Dec 3 Pet Peeves: Home Office Edition
((my officemate never puts the dishes in the dishwasher) <Did you really just microwave salmon?>)
Jez Marsh (MVP)
Dec 4 I Was Today Years Old When I Learned Jeremy Mayfield (MVP)
Dec 5 Tonight in Pandemic Viewing... Jenne Barbour
Dec 6 Easy Home IT Upgrades Sascha Giese
Dec 7 Separation Anxiety Olivia Palmer
Dec 8 My New Hobby: Lessons Learned
(aka Intro to Woodworking: Still have all my digits and my eye is getting better.)
Kevin M. Sparenberg
Dec 9 I Didn't Think I'd Ever Need __________ Adam Timberly (MVP)
Dec 10 What Day Is It?
(Seriously, without looking at your phone...)
Mark Roberts (MVP)
Dec 11 Connecting With My Community  
Dec 12 Keeping an Active Mind Tom Iannelli (MVP)
Dec 13 Quarantine Cuisine
(What new recipes did you make or attempt?)
Destiny Bertucci
Dec 14 Am I on Mute? Being Heard While Remote Kathleen Walker
Dec 15 Sweatpants are now business attire
(Pants, or Nah?)
Jake Muszynski (MVP)
Dec 16 The Growing Pandemic Family
(From betas in a fishbowl to babies in a bassinet.)
Liz Beavers
Dec 17 Pets on Zoom Peter Di Stefano
Dec 18 Finding Friendship Faria Akram
Dec 19 Overcoming Anxiety Maisie Sackett
Dec 20 Today, I tried...
(New hobbies to get you away from your computer)
Danielle Livy
Dec 21 Not All Introverts Heart WFH Rebecca Smith
Dec 22 Confessions of a Shopaholic
(Amazon Prime is at my house at least once daily.)
Kim Cecchini
Dec 23 Taking PTO and Going...Nowhere
(Zen and the Art of the Staycation )
Lisa Sherwin-Wulf
Dec 24 All Dressed Up With Nowhere to Go Patrick Hubbard
Dec 25 How to Safely Entertain Guests During a Pandemic Thomas LaRock
Dec 26 Adventures in Home Tech Support
(TFW you're in the in-home help desk)
Holger Mundt (MVP)
Dec 27 Ending My Doomscroll Chrystal Taylor
Dec 28 "When This Is Over, …"
(Post-Lockdown Me)
Alli Rael
Dec 29 What I hated loved about 2020. Tiffany Nels
Dec 30 Monitoring Mixology - Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bourbon
(You know it's quarantine drinking when the liquor store calls to find out what YOU have in stock.)
(Share your favorite quarantin-y cocktail recipes!)
Thomas LaRock
Dec 31 What’s the Plural of Apocalypse? Grace Gilker

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