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n {task} in n {time unit, plural}


I've been contemplating my next n {tasks} in n {time unit, plural} goal. Something like "7 themes in 7 days" or "30 web applications in 30 days" or "10 tutorials in 10 days," or similar. I've mentioned this contemplation to a few people, all of whom have been confused by the idea. First question asked every time has been, "Why?"



Because it's a challenge. Because it's hard. Because it's outside of my comfort zone. Because it forces me to be organized and intense with my time.

I could likely come up with another 10 reasons (oooooooo! 10 reasons in 10 minutes, why this is a good idea), but it all boils down to because I want to do it.

Challenges like these that I give myself are often short duration, and I'm pretty sure I've failed at nearly half of them. They are sometimes ill-conceived (ooooo, that sounds good, let's do it! oh my god what am I doing?), or ill-planned (I have to do what again today? oh god), or ill-timed (sure, I can commit to this the entire month while I have these two deadlines at work and playing ultimate three times a week and helping two friends with their projects and there's communal dinner, no problem fitting in this two-hour a day project). They are always good-intentioned, though, and I'd like to think that the inspiration becomes enthusiasm and even in my failure, I've accomplished something. That's often true.

[Sidenote: huh, this may have been stewing in my head because of the #100days project on Instagram.]

The second question I've heard is, "Well, what's your goal?"

And this one takes a little more thinking.

If I want to do "7 themes in 7 days," clearly I'm building my toolbox on theme-building for whatever platform I'm working with, and honing my skills with some framework, so that learning would be my goal. If I'm writing "100 Scalzi stories in 100 days," then my goal would be to become a better writer. Learning and becoming better at something is a nice goal, but what if there isn't a goal.

What if I just want to make things?

What if I just want these things to exist in the world?

What if I just want?

And so what if there is no goal in these challenges? They are fun. They are interesting. They increase the quality of my life by increasing my delight. No end goal of "being the best" or "making money" or "getting a new job."

They just make me happy.

And that can be enough.

That is enough.

Now to figure how what I'm going to create n of in n time units.

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