The Tuesday after Labor Day, my boyfriend left for Barcelona for a week with his mom on their annual vacation. After getting over the initial funk of being left behind, I decided to take advantage of this new found free time.
It had been over a year since I wrote with real substance. I was on my way to finishing two books when it all came crashing down. A personal story I shared with a family member was passed along to other family members and blew up in my face. In retrospect, I was sharing my diary and that wasn't meant for anyone else's consumption. I always loved to write - even term papers in school. I would love to feel the slight resistance of the keys under my finger tips and got giddy watching the screen fill with words. I missed my old friend.
With a relatively open calendar, I decided to embark on a long-term challenge - write every day. What started as a 30-Day Blog Challenge quickly evolved into 100 days. People thought I was crazy or that I would quit. Like most people I lost interest pretty quickly in challenges, but this was different. This was an opportunity to spark my creativity, increase my accountability and share my thoughts and opinions.
I wrote about relationships, business, life hacks, time management and my dog. Whatever I was passionate about at the moment, I wrote it down. My workouts and walks soon became opportunities to brainstorm new topics. My friends and clients inspired advice-based posts. I saw the world and myself in a new way. I became a writer.
I can now say that my writer's block is resolved and I've created two e-books as a result of the blog with more on the way. I am comfortable in front of a keyboard and love writing again!
Here are the Blog Stats By the Numbers:
Total Word Count Over 100 days: 37,999 words (damn it, I just needed one more word for 38,000!)
Average Word Count Per Post: 379 words
Longest Blog: 977 words (http://laurenlemunyan.com/30dayblog/=/10-things-you-should-and-shouldnt-do-when-starting-a-business?rq=should%20and%20shouldn%27t)
Shortest Blog: 169 words (http://laurenlemunyan.com/30dayblog/=/6wzyipmv9tpwbp1ms05hqsq5mt71m3)
My Favorite Blog: http://laurenlemunyan.com/30dayblog/=/6wzyipmv9tpwbp1ms05hqsq5mt71m3
This wasn't all fun and self-realization. I learned some hard lessons along the way.
1) Proofread Before Posting. My mind works faster than my fingers and at times I skip over words and “ings” or “ed.” I'm pretty sure each post had at least two errors in it, which my mom was happy to point out. I've since tried to go back through and fix the glaring errors. When posting every day, time is of the essence and in my opinion it doesn't need to be perfect to be done.
2) I’m human. I make mistakes and if you judge me based on my spelling or grammatical errors, I challenge you to a 100-Day Blog Duel! Do you accept?? In all seriousness, human error is a real thing. I've learned to be more patient and less judgmental when I see errors in other people's work.
3) Doing Something Every Day Can Be A Challenge, But Anything is Possible. Even with workouts and diet, I was never on every day. I actually thought I may have to skip a day or two, but fortunately I could plan out my week to schedule a post or two if I knew I was going to be busy. I love a good contingency plan! This was no exception.
4) Not Everyone Cares That You’re Writing a Blog. Blogs are like opinions and podcasts (I have one of those too!), everyone has them and some are more in your face than others. It’s up to you what you decide to spend your time on. I hope I provided value, if not, then entertainment. On the same note, don't get wrapped up into the visits or reads of your post. I got more excited hearing from the one person who read a post and learned from it than the 200 people who read and said nothing.
5) I Say I Won’t Do This Again, But We All Know It’s a Lie. This was a huge undertaking and I’m pretty tapped out from writing. I’ll take a break and reassess where I want to use my time and energy in the future. (2 Months Later.... I'm back at writing, but not as a daily practice or challenge.)
6) Not Every Post is My Favorite, But They’re Mine. I guess blogging is like having a lot of kids. Some are cuter than others. Some help you. Some are jerks. Some you wish never happened, but they all come from you and for that you love them! (Can you tell I’m not a parent?)
7) I’m Capable of More Than I Think. Yes, I pushed myself and maxed out my energy. This was a challenge to break out of my judgment and restraint around writing. That has certainly been busted into a million pieces. I am a writer. I am a blogger. I am a coach. I am awesome.
I can’t believe this challenge is over. It’s bittersweet, which sounds so cliché. It’s been my weekend writing ritual and my morning posting routine. It’s been my outlet of expression and door to connect with others. It allowed me to take risks and say what was on my mind. It also left me wide open to judgment and criticism. It was a constant reminder to stay on my path, but also served as a distraction to other important aspects like self-care and focusing on core business practices.
It’s been a journey and I’m happy I took the first step. So here’s a giant high-five to me!