I’m writing this at 11:58 PM, Friday. I probably won’t get this reflection post out in time for my 12 midnight deadline but that is okay.
Today marks the end of my five day blogging challenge, a mini-project to find out what it take to publish a piece of writing every day and to see if I can do it for just five days, before I commit to anything more.
My initial goal was to write 500 words a day.
In truth, I wrote far more than 500 words a day. My morning pages alone would be about 300 words at least. Each blog post averages out to about 700 words each. My fiction amounts to about another 1,500 words.
All in all, I would say I wrote about 2,500 words a day this week. And that is a lot of words, considering my final essays for my liberals in school require 1,500 – 2,500 words. It was like writing an essay a day for five days straight. The process was similar to writing an essay because I had a deadline I wanted to meet, no matter what, so it was crucial for me to write whether I felt like it or not. But my writing is also different from an essay in that everything flowed from me. There were not sources to site, APA formatting to do and arguments to make. My blog posts are just me talking to you. And somehow that is a big comfort and an encouragement to me because then my writing will reach more than just my TA or my History professor.
To be honest, throughout the week I felt like the sword of a looming deadline was hanging over my head the whole time. I promised you and myself that I would publish something every day and I wanted to keep my promise to you, and most of all, myself. I squeezed a lot of writing between work, lunch and sleep. I didn’t get to watch as much TV as I would have liked and I felt like I was crawling to the proverbial finish line every night as I hit PUBLISH.
But I would totally do it all again. Why? Because the lessons I learned, the realizations I had and the level of focus I had to implement in my life were priceless.
Here are four things I learned from my blogging experience:
1. Writing is hard.
Ideas are a dime a dozen but it is the execution that makes millions. That phrase is usually used to refer to startups but I have also found it to be true for writing. It doesn’t matter how many good blog post ideas I have – what matter is that I actually wrote it, edited it and published it. Otherwise, it’ll just be another good idea that no-one knows about.
2. Writing every day is hard.
Let’s be clear: Doing anything consistently is hard. It has to be the priority or else it will fall by the wayside. There needs to be a structure set in place to create the environment that allows for good art and good work to be produced. Just as it takes a lot of planning and upfront work to produce a daily podcast like Entrepreneur on Fire, so it is with becoming a daily blogger. To feel safe, I would need to write at least 3 weeks’, preferably 4, worth of content in advance!
I appreciated my morning pages a lot this week because this practice allowed me to get started writing every day and have a crappy first draft that I could work with.
3. Writing well every day is hard.
If writing is already hard in and of itself (see point #1) the act of writing concisely is the next level. And it’s something that I realized I have to learn. I want to express ideas using precisely the right words, while getting my idea across in the least number of words possible.
4. Writing fiction is a totally different beast from writing non-fiction.
… And now I appreciate fiction writers more.
As an additional creative output, I started writing a story that’s been on my mind. This project isn’t meant to be the next Harry Potter, Percy Jackson or To Kill a Mockingbird. In fact, I’ll do everything in my power that this story will never see the light of day. Why? Because it is a passion project for me. I do not intend to monetize or sell it – I’m simply writing the story that I wish someone was telling.
And sometimes, that’s OK.
It’s OK to do something for the love of it, without having to “leverage it” into yet another income stream. (I’m looking at you my fellow millenials!)
My goal is to publish two blog posts a week, plus one subscribers-only every week, with Ask Roxine answers, links to the previous two posts and other fun stuff, like book recommendations and new music I’m listening to.
It’s not time for me to publish every day yet… But someday I might just take that on. 🙂
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