the challenge in hindsight.

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I’m sorry things have been quiet on the blog lately. I loved the October writing challenge, but I’ve also very glad for a break from writing every day. Now I feel rested and have some ideas for the next few weeks.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a some thoughts on my experience with 31 Days of Purposeful Simplicity.

1. I’ll never forget my writing process for the series, because in September I experienced a terrible bout of insomnia. I’ve struggled with sleep at different times of my life, but this was unlike anything I’d known. Ambien did nothing for me. I’d pop awake at 1 or 2 in the morning and be filled with dread at the long, lonely hours stretching ahead of me until everyone else woke up.

You’d think an introvert would enjoy that, but stack up a few sleepless nights up and you feel like a crazy person. But somehow, in those hours, I wrote. I wrote half the blog series during those nights. That and watched Pitch Perfect way too many times. Thankfully things are much better now, thanks to an adjustment in my anxiety medication.

2. I was surprised by how much I loved writing all month. I just kind of got swept away in my topic and lived in my head way too much, but I even enjoyed that. I thought several times, I wish I could do this every day. But I can’t, and I realized it firsthand. Things suffered around the house and I sort of lived in a perpetually distracted mode with my family. They were gracious, but it was good to come back to myself at the end of it. One day I’ll really write.

3. I tried my hardest to keep blog posts short and pithy and clever, in the style of other blogs I read. But I just couldn’t. Short blog posts aren’t really me. That’s okay though, because I learned that those who have trouble writing short blogs are probably better suited to writing a book. Writing a book! That’s a fun thought.

4. I needed the words I wrote. I can’t tell you how much junk God brought up in my heart as I shared the things I’ve learned. It’s as if He was gently reminding me, The learning never stops, Julie. You write these things as one who’s still in process. I’m so glad He did it, because it’s always, always worth it to face the hurt and sin in my heart. Repentance and healing happened, and November truly feels more peaceful as a result.

5. Finally, my very, very favorite part of the challenge was talking with you about the series all month. Thank you to those of you who brought it up in emails, texts, conversation. You all help me learn by processing what you’re learning and you encourage me to keep on going. This blog wouldn’t be what it is without you. I love this little community.

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To read this series of blog posts, click here.

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