MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! I have successfully completed the MAPLE challenge. Thirty-one posts, with something different daily. I took away several messages from MAPLE:
* People seem to really like human interest stories. My most-read post was Drawn Together which is certainly of human interest.
* Writing each morning, and sometimes setting the timer to post for later, was a good routine for me to get into. It also encouraged me, at the same time, not to fall behind on my pen-and-paper journaling. It is much like what I did after returning from Israel.
* Several of the posts were responses to articles that I had read in the Chicago Tribune or other papers, and you never know when an article will strike you and strongly encourage a response.
* At the same time, a blog post need not always be planned. The freewrites are sometimes a lot of fun to do, even though they are generally very disorganized, by almost definition. Spontaneity is an underrated aspect of creativity and virtue.
* My methods of analyzing articles and situations are significantly different from others’. That is fine–for every to there is a fro, and that’s what makes the world go ’round!
* It gave me an appreciation for journalists who have to come up with stories every day. Clearly, I am not a journalist by trade, but being a blogger allows me some perspective on what they are like.
So, what is the title talking about? Whenever I write a full journal, the end of each day has the phrase “>> TO BE CONTINUED…” after the final paragraph of the day, along the RIGHT margin of the page. Although this is usually just seen on TV for multi-part episodes, I figure that when I do a full journal, it is often over multiple days, and if I were to post the journal directly to my blog, for example, it would drive the point home.
Plus, since my journal is an ongoing thing, and the full journals compose a story with time jumps, I feel justified in using the cliffhanger phrase. Additionally, when I close the writing in one of my notebooks, I use the phrase as well.
Therefore, just as in my full journals, I bring MAPLE to a close with the infamous phrase as my Nugget of the Day.
Today is the 31st day of MAPLE. This brings a successful close to the challenge!
>> TO BE CONTINUED…