Today marks day 30 of consecutive blogging. This month has been a journey of doubt, excitement, growth, and accomplishment.
Was it worth it? Yes. Here’s why.
These are the gems I found on this trail and how they can be of value to anyone embarking on a similar path.
1. Drafts are as valuable as finished pieces
I saved myself several times by writing two or more incomplete drafts a day. I didn’t end up using all of them. But when I was in a bind for time, or I didn’t know what to write about, I could pick up one of my incomplete drafts and see where it led.
You can fix bad writing, you can’t edit a blank page.
2. Writing is for everyone
I’m a strong believer that anyone can enjoy writing if they find what it is that they love to write about. I already knew I loved fiction and creative writing—what I didn’t know was how much I would enjoy composing posts every day.
If you’re thinking about doing this challenge, don’t let your hesitation stop you. You may find a topic or format that brings you to life.
3. It’s supposed to be hard
That’s the challenge of it! The days I put something out even when I thought it was trash awarded me a sense of accomplishment that is separate from completing the challenge. It earned me the feeling of beating resistance at its own game.
When resistance would tell me something sucked and I should scrap it, I would laugh and say, “Is that all you’ve got?”
You can do that too.
Embrace the process of growth and perseverance.
4. Grammarly is an MVP
If you have a system that will run the free version of Grammarly, go for it. I don’t want to turn this into a Grammarly promo post, but I can’t stress enough how much this application improved my writing.
It sped up my creation time, I started to catch the problems on my own, and it gave me a score to shoot for.
5. Stockpile featured photos
If you include pictures with your posts and aren’t a photographer, keep three thoughts in mind:
· Source and credit your photos
· Stockpile them
· Make sure they are free to use
The last thing you want to be stressing about while posting is which picture will be featured. I spent way too long trying to find the perfect picture when that should have been the least of my concern.
Add to your collection whenever you can.
6. Set personal goals along the way
This helped me astronomically. By giving myself a solid time to shoot for I was able to stay on track. The thing with this challenge is that you have all day—theoretically. However, it relieves much of the stress knowing when you’ll be posting.
The time can move from week to week around your work schedule if you have one, but always aiming for a specific time is a good practice to maintain.
Along with that could be a word count goal, a score goal, or any type of milestone.
7. Submission pieces don’t have to be tricky
If you’re submitting your work to any third-party publishers, remember that you don’t have to force one of your existing pieces to fit into their mold.
I found it much less stressful to write an entire post specifically for the site you’re looking to submit to.
8. Have fun and experiment while still being mindful
This is true for everything in life. In these types of challenges, it’s important to remember that the work you’re doing right now won’t define you, but it will still be attached to your name.
Experimenting is good for finding what you like to write about, and picking a topic at least once a week that you enjoy will keep you sane.
However, remember that what you put out is sending a signal whether you want it to or not. Be mindful of your experimentation.
9. You are capable of doing much more then you think
I’ve found over the last few weeks that anything I stress and stew over is not worth the worry.
Do you want to know why?
Because every time I rise to meet whatever it is, it ceases to frighten me. Every time I meet my reservations head-on, I take hold of them and do my work.
It’s never as difficult as I think it will be. Whether that’s a writing exercise I’m intimidated by, a video I don’t want to record, or a conversation I don’t want to have.
You can accomplish anything if it matters to you.
10. Be bold
Being bold can mean posting a blog you’re unsure of, it can mean taking a chance on a project format you’ve never tried before; it can mean asking for help when you need it.
Boldness does not stop at the screen. Doing this challenge has made me bolder in my life outside of written words. Learning more about myself, writing, and following through with my commitments has traveled into my character in a way that equips me with boldness and thoughtfulness which had previously been under slow construction.
I’m still working on it, and that’s exciting.
By completing this challenge, I have slain the beast of, “I’m not ready.”
The voice that tells me I have no business putting myself out there has been muzzled. Though I know resistance will continue to be a force in the background of my creative thinking and ambitions, it does not speak for me.
The thing about “being ready,” is that we never really are.
So, what are we waiting for?
Let’s go change the world.