Hello, I’m Joni

an excitable creative director

Breakfast Letters Take Two

01 February 2024

Months ago, at Wiggle Work, we were inspired by Sarah Gebauer’s months-long daily blog publishing. So impressed and energized by this work that we decided in a whiteboard session it might be fun to attempt this ourselves. We planned in January and aimed for a February kickoff. And so, happy February, and welcome to the Wiggle Work Winter Writing Workshop.

May 2024 update: I enjoyed this project a lot and hope to do it again soon. My posts were very personal and candid. While it was an important exercise that I gained some genuine connections through, I've decided to take the custom site down after some months have passed. I appreciate you reading along while it was up!

Emotions leading up to this beautiful leap year month have been all over the place. Once the initial group excitement wore off, it all became quite a terrifying prospect. What a wild commitment to sign up for amid work and adulting. Just figuring out a theme for this felt like a larger-than-life task. I was all over the place with theme ideas, and some of them got super weird–dried sourdough starter and a letter to a different person a day; anyone? Some ideas were great but not within this context, so I’ve taken those treasures to my Notion boards.

Wiggle Work Writing Challenge text plus breakfast letter graphic with alphabet cereal

Once I freed myself from the restriction of having a super cohesive theme and let go of it being a serious work-related endeavor, I was able to get genuinely energized about the task at hand and think through my personal goals away from what would be the most professional or marketing-focused. I don’t always love writing about design. I don’t always love writing about processes or community building or always being obsessed with providing value with the reader in mind. If I strip all this away and truly consider what would bring the most fulfillment to me personally and what I enjoy writing about the most, it’s just giving myself permission to explore random thoughts a bit further.

Years ago, I did this briefly with a micro project called Breakfast Letters. When I scanned my brain for my favorite writing moments, it was this format and those topics–no overarching theme or metrics to hit, just writing about “dull” observations, concerns, happy moments, sad moments, plans, philosophies, and snacks. In remembering how much joy this project brought me, it seemed obvious that I should bring it back to life for this challenge and maybe even beyond.

Breakfast time, and mornings in general, are my best hours physically and mentally. Publishing these posts in the mornings seems like one of the safest “themes” to commit to. While I’ll always aim to publish these before lunch, I won’t be too hard on myself if I miss this little deadline a day or two.

Another challenge I’ve invited here is writing these each day and not banking a few ahead of time. I think the sporadic nature of writing this way speaks to what I love about writing the most–allowing yourself to further explore where your head is at. There are no calculations here, nothing optimized for eyeballs–just raw musings that I entertain for a brief time and then let pass.

I’m using Blot.im for the first time here and already impressed–doesn’t get more straightforward than this. It’s already helped remove so many barriers that would otherwise stand in my way of just writing–I estimate that 1003 rabbit holes have been avoided. I’m writing daily markdown files with MarkEdit using the Dracula dark color theme and it’s beautifully simple.

This has already brought so much attention to how much noise there is out there around writing. Countless tools are pitched as essential and promise to make writing easier, yet they end up weighing so heavily on our shoulders that we can’t function–we can’t fully access and articulate our thoughts. Or we implement expensive grammar correcting tools that strip personality, and let’s be honest, don’t function properly. Which reminds me: none of these posts will use AI.

I’m excited and just the right amount of scared for this project. One lingering concern I have for this and everything else I get into is oversharing–what is OK to share, and what exact amount of it is acceptable? Since that’s where my mind went, that’s what I decided to lean into writing about for the first post.

It’s not too late to join us and jump into this writing adventure. We are hanging out in the writing-workshop channel of Discord to help each other through mental blockers and logistics and to just be an ear or cheerleader throughout the month.

See you tomorrow over breakfast.