A year ago, I stopped writing. I went from writing every day with the goal of finishing my book to nothing. What I wrote felt flat and uninspired. My daily practice turned into forced bi-monthly homework. Judgment, criticism and fear took over and I decided to hide my words.
Last month I wanted to change. I wanted to be heard. I wanted to get my voice out there. So, the day after Labor Day I pledged to write every day for 30 days. As an added accountability, I had to post it to my blog. I believe this post will be #24 of 30. This has been an amazing experience. Some posts have been cathartic, some have been snarky, some have been inspirational. All of them have been real and honest.
I’ve decided to continue writing beyond the 30 days and go for 100, so feel free to hide my posts now on Facebook if it’s too much for you.
Why have I decided to give myself more work?
I keep hearing daily practice creates behavior change. I feel more organized and clear about my expectations. In a profession that changes daily, writing is my constant. Writing allows me to process and reflect and capture it for later use. Who knows I may have a book or 10 after 100 days. 750 words/day x 100 days = 75,000 words (that’s like two novels!)
How much time does it take?
I write when I’m inspired and sometimes can crank out a post in twenty minutes. Sometimes I block out two hours and write three or four. The constant is the daily post.
How do I start writing?
As I’m walking, listening to podcasts or having conversations with my dog, I capture the ideas that pop in my head and add the ideas to a note section on my phone. When I’m ready to write I go back to my list and dive in. I make sure I’m comfortable (usually in bed or curled up on the couch and have light background music on). I start with the title and use it as my objective for the post. Then I use writing to reverse engineer my idea. Others need to vent and refine. I write in the voice I speak and find my style to sometimes turn into tangents.
When do I know I’m done?
The 750-word target works nicely with getting blog posts expressed. Beyond 30-60 minutes, I find that my ideas get a bit repetitive and bland. By creating a specific number of tips in the title (i.e. Six Pick-Me-Ups When You’re Feeling in the Dumps About Your Business), I know that I need to be done by number six. If I have more I adjust the title or condense other themes together. If the blog goes beyond 750 words, it signals to me I may need to create more than one post or develop a series.
Don’t have an expectation to writing or posting.
If all you care about are likes and reads, your creativity will be restricted.
Write about what you love and are passionate about.
Write for you and you alone.
You will never make everyone happy.
Take risks, but be prepared for the backlash.
Have fun with it!