30 day challenge wrap-up: writing

So how did I do on my 30 day writing challenge? Well, the picture tells the story:

Completed calendar

Not too bad! I did miss one day, but here’s a secret about 30 day challenges: if you miss a day or two, you can just keep doing the challenge for another day or so at the end. Or don’t worry about it: you’re trying out something new, and you only have to answer to yourself.

What went well this time? Well, I finally wrote down a few things that I’ve been meaning to publish for years, from Scott Adams’ financial advice to my own hard-won financial tips, and from a piece about a level playing field to how to buy viagra online. Some posts were like hairballs that I just needed to get out of my system.

I also liked my running tips post, my post about dial tone moments, and my tips to protect your account security. I even got to pick on active.com for their Active Advantage membership program. I also enjoyed loosening up a little bit (“fuck Columbus Day”). It’s so much more fun to write when you don’t put as much pressure on yourself.

What didn’t go well? Well, I meant to do some journaling, short stories, and private writing, but somehow this challenge morphed into a public blogging exercise. That’s okay. I like that I wrote a bunch of new things. I still put too much emphasis on polish (or at least correct spelling/grammar) in my writing. Part of my goal was to lower my bar a little bit so that I could knock out a quick blog post whenever the mood strikes. I partly met that goal. Overall, I’m glad that I did this challenge.

30 day challenge: writing every day

For October 2014, my 30 day challenge was to write a compliment a day for my wife. I liked that challenge because it was a good chance to be thankful for my wife after 15 years of marriage. It’s all too easy to settle into a routine and take things (or people) for granted.

For November 2014, my 30 day challenge is going to be to write something every day. It’s been really cool to see Gina Trapani and Andy Baio and others blogging more often.

My goals are:
– it needs to be longer than a tweet.

– but putting out something short or rough is fine–even encouraged. Trying to polish essays until they’re shining gems is often what causes problems. I’d like to push a few thoughts out of the nest, even if some of them clumsily hop around on the ground because they’re not ready to fly yet.

– it doesn’t have to be on my blog or for public consumption. This isn’t a “do a blog post each day” challenge. Maybe I’ll do some journalling. Maybe I’ll play around with writing posts in Google Docs (it can be a hassle for me to upload pictures to my WordPress install in the way that I want).

– I’m not planning on writing about SEO, by the way. Plenty of other people do that. 🙂

I think that’s it. Oh, just so I can reconstruct things later: I didn’t do a 30 day challenge in September 2014. Sometimes it’s good just to take some time off.