The Your Turn Challenge: Days 1 and 2

This is a big week for my psyche.

I accepted a challenge to blog every day for a week. Marketing guru Seth Godin (whose daily blog I subscribe to) issued the challenge in conjunction with his book What To Do When It’s Your Turn. (I’ll write a review of the book, but not during this week’s challenge. That would be too easy.)

Seth put a special-projects coordinator in charge of rounding up folks for the blogging challenge:

“She’s running a mutual support sprint to help people get on track (or back on track) with their habit of shipping [producing]. Here’s how it works: Participants commit to posting 1 blog post every day for 7 days. The goal is to practice shipping with a like-minded community and to push yourself to simply start.”

My intention with this wasn’t so much to push myself to start, as this is an extremely busy month for me and I already blog fairly regularly (although not as often as I’d like). My true motive was to get my writing “out there” – in front of people who don’t know me. Folks who might not like me.

I want to improve my writing by risking critique.

My first topic? Nothing much controversial – just racism.

Read my Day 1 post here:

On Day 2, one full of meetings and work and fatigue and a near-copout, I was desperate for a topic. It was already past my bedtime (and I should have submitted a post that morning or the night before), but I had committed to this thing, and how could I wimp out on the second day?

Throughout the day, I had pondered a dozen ideas, including poetry. (The only real “rule” of the challenge is that you have to “share a perspective.” In other words, no “What I Had for Lunch Today” drivel. Unless you can make your lunch mean something.)

This writing challenge, this likemindedness with other bloggers, if only for 7 days, has so engaged my mind and my heart that I wrote – partly out of Day 2 desperation and partly out of a need to risk looking stupid – my first poem since 1980 (senior year of high school). I won’t even make you click for it:

taking the leap

By Suzy Taylor Oakley @oakleysuzyt

so many world changers in this space
are they trying to change everyone’s world,
or just their own?

we are of all stripes
all colors, all tongues.

we want to know and be known

there’s security in being a tribe member,
safety in numbers.

but many shun the illusion of safety –
after all, this exercise, this challenge
was meant to jolt us, shake us loose,
force us to take our turn.

for some, this may be the last turn they take –
too scary, this shaking loose
from our cocoons of obscurity.

for others, the last hope,
a lifeline beyond their imagining
until they opened their eyes,
their hearts, their minds

to what’s possible

when you jump.

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