Reset and Rejuvenate | The September Challenge

Two years later, a September with no institutional education is an odd feat.  Despite no longer being instructed to scribe Dracula essays, I still view the start of the school year as a period of reset and rejuvenation.  Big picture goals and yearly aspirations can begin to form while smaller (but no less important) monthly projects are crafted with the aim of putting you on the path to achievement.  Don’t forget about the shiny new stationary!

September’s ‘Back To School’ energy is something I often prefer to organise my projects around, as opposed to the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra.  I find January to be lethargic and cold – I want to cocoon in bed with movies not work at my kitchen desk.  September however is bustling, busy, and somewhat warm, making it much more productive.  This month, therefore, is the perfect time to reset and rejuvenate my creativity levels. 

In 2019, I produced blog posts sporadically.  My attention in the first half of the year was taken up by attempting to achieve my English and Journalism degree.  There were exams to pass, magazines to make, quotes to memorise and analysis to rehearse.  Blogging and writing for publications was therefore left by the wayside.  Once I eventually received my piece of expensive paper by post (known also as a degree) I spent the second half of 2019 recovering from creative burnout.  Surprisingly, it actually took the UK lockdown of 2020 for there to be a flicker of exciting flame in my belly again. 

I found I had a lot more time and energy on my hands once forced to stay home.  I no longer had to work crazy 50+ hour weeks in a pub or spend all my money on Boots meal deals.  With the money I saved I bought books (lots of them) and with my time I split it between feasting on novels, studying free courses via The Open University and writing for the first time in months.  I wrote about vegan food and running, gushed about the stories I was reading and the exercise classes I was being taught through Instagram Live.  It felt really good to be back in the driving seat.

Lockdown brought to my attention how much I had allowed my pre-furlough job to take over my life.  Upon finishing university, I immediately began working too hard for somebody else doing something I did not want to do.  I never actually gave myself any time to recover from my burnout.  So I quit.  Now, I have a job which is much less demanding, am not required to work from home, and am so, so much happier.  The need to write is also back.

So, that’s the big September plan: I am going to write.  Everyday.  Early morning coffee shop sessions and afternoons lounging on the sofa are on the cards.  There will be posts on books I loved and equally despised, how to swim in the fast lane and my daily routines.  I am going to write up recipes, ‘What I Wore In A Week’  and restaurant reviews.  Basically, September is the month of scribing anything and everything which messily coagulates under the umbrella of ‘lifestyle blog’.  

A back-to-school challenge of some sort is exactly what I need.  No more laziness or that ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ attitude – because this demanding project requires me to chip away every day.  So, from September 1-30, expect to see something brand-new from me every day on Cigarette Sounds.  While some subjects may float your boat, others may pass you by on a daydream.  This is an experiment of sorts and I am hoping things are about to get extremely exciting, colourful and creative around here.

In the next few days, I have an abundance of belated monthly book club posts which are to go ahead.  These are backdated posts from April-August.  After that, the content will be diverse and different.  Thanks for sticking around with me – I am hoping September does us both proud. 

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