A Wednesday list...

Sometimes, I decide to form a habit or routine, or to do things a certain way. Sometimes, I look up one day and realize I've stumbled onto a habit or routine or way of doing things because in the process of trying to achieve a specific outcome, a consistent pattern emerges because it works. Does this happen to anyone else? Here's an example: Wednesday lists on my blog. For a long time, most of what I wrote on the blog were book thoughts/reviews, with the occasional random other post thrown in for fun. After I had my youngest baby, I wanted to keep writing regularly on the blog, but my post-partum brain couldn't think in paragraphs -- it could barely think in sentences! I had things to say, but not in what I'd call a "long form" kind of way. Thus, the list. Then all of a sudden, I realized I was mostly (not always, but mostly) writing them on Wednesdays. Why mess with a good thing? Especially when one of the most common bits of writing advice is: be consistent.

And I like the Wednesday list. I like being able to write something without the pressure to make it long or deep or extra thoughtful. I like the accountability of consistency. And now I think it's time to take Wednesday lists to the next level, to give them a little bit of focus, and to shake things up just a little bit on this little square inch of the internet. So here's the plan: every other week, I'll post A Wednesday list, which will include:

1. Something I've read
2. Something I've seen or heard
3. Something I'm grateful for
4. Something that's challenging
5. A little bit of inspiration

On the alternate weeks, I'm going to post something creative -- a writing exercise, a short story or scene, one of my not-good-but-fun-to-write poems.

So. that's the plan for now. I'm going to take it out for a test drive for a few months and see how it goes. As the weeks go on, let me know what you think! I write for myself, but if I didn't want anyone to read it, I probably wouldn't be posting it on the Internet, right? So I'm always happy for feedback!

And since the title of this post IS A Wednesday list, here's the first go at the new scaffolding:

1. Something I've read
Because I started two books at once last week and have been bingeing a Netflix show, I haven't finished a book since Leviathan Wakes (see last week's list), but this morning I really appreciated reading NPR's transcript/fact checking and commentary on the President's State of the Union speech. I really dislike listening to political speeches (especially when the person's delivery style grates on my nerves), so this was the perfect way to get a little bit of current event knowledge, but in a way that suits me better. I thought the fact checking and editorial comments were brief, relevant, and appropriate.

2. Something I've seen or heard
I finished the third (and final) season of Broadchurch this week, and it was SO good. I was nervous going into the third season because the crime they are solving is a rape. However, I think the show and the actors handled it really well, without getting sensational or graphic. I appreciated that we got to see how the loss in the first season continued to affect the family -- which is completely realistic -- and I appreciated that the B storylines echoed the main storyline in a really subtle way. Miller and Hardy's characters continued to shine and Olivia Coleman and David Tennant have now become two of my favorite actors (I know a lot of people are already familiar with them, but I wasn't before Broadchurch).

3. Something I'm grateful for
I'm really grateful today for our local public library, in particular the librarian who usually leads the preschool storytime at the branch we go to. Ms. Cathy is warm and kind and tries to remember the names of the children who come regularly. She also does a good job of mixing active songs and rhymes with the books she reads. My kids love going to storytime, and I like that they're developing positive associations with the books and reading.

4. Something that's challenging
A super energetic, physical, strong-willed three year old. Whew! That'll tired a person out. I know I'm not alone in this, which is a comfort. But it's still hard.

5. A little bit of inspiration
(this will probably end up being a quote or a Bible verse, possibly a thought someone shared with me that I found especially encouraging)
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet." -- Jesus, Matthew 5:13

Happy Wednesday!