The last week of my 30 Day Challenge (30DC) was quite busy, so I didn’t manage to get out and explore as much as I had in previous weeks.
I had a walk round the other part of Braywick Park – the sports area – as I wanted to see whether it would be a good place to run.
I met up with some of the other 30DC participants in London, which was a really nice evening. It was great to catch up with some friends from previous 30DCs, some of whom I’ve now met a few times. And to meet some new people, all of who provided inspiration and ideas.
One of the things on my ideas list for June was to explore a local island from the book Tiny Islands. I parked in Cookham and set off on a mini adventure towards Cookham Lock. The walk took me across one island to another island, quietly nestled on the River Thames at the foot of the hill that leads down from the Cliveden estate. It was quite a pleasant walk, and led to other footpaths if I’d had time and wanted to explore even further.
Since then I have been busy out and about, doing a training walk for our Thames Path challenge, but not had much time to work on my 30DC project.
So how have I found this 30DC? Have I achieved what I set out to do?
My original idea was to explore the area where I live. And I have definitely done that. Only in small ways, but I have managed to find a few new places to visit, and I have a list of other ones to try as well. There always seem to be new suggestions of places to go, so I don’t think I will run out for a while. Although I didn’t do it in the way I planned originally, I still got the same benefit.
My idea changed to creating an e-book, which I have drafted. However, I do now have some reservations on what to do with it! I don’t think it contains enough of interest to people visiting Maidenhead, certainly not information they couldn’t find elsewhere. It’s less of an e-book and more of a leaflet I think.
The last page of my e-book includes some ideas for exploring your local area, and I might make this into a downloadable pdf that I can give away from my website for free. I think that would be of more value than the e-book I’ve drafted. I’ll amend this blog post with a link if I decide to do that.
But I did also learn that in 20 minutes a day I can create a fair bit of content, if I start first thing before the rest of my day distracts me. So I’m going to use that learning to write something that I know will be of value to others. And if 20 minutes a day is all it takes, it should be ready to launch in a few weeks….
The difference for me with this 30DC was the contrast in my working situation. The first time I did it back in 2012, I was miserable and working 9 to 5(ish) doing something where I wasn’t appreciated and I didn’t enjoy my days. So the 30DC was a wonderful escape into a new world. This time round I’m self-employed, planning my days how I wish and already fitting in that creativity and things I enjoy. And currently managing a busy project that I like working on. So there was nothing to escape from!
That meant I didn’t really spend time interacting with the others in the 30DC website forum, as I already have other online support networks, and people I can e-mail or Skype for a bit of inspiration or motivation if I need it.
But overall another great experience. A chance to try something different for a month, to meet some new people and reconnect with those I already knew. And learn yet more about my working style and preferences – and hopefully to have created something tangible I can share.