The title really should be “What I’ve Learned so Far from Failing at Daily Blogging,” but that’s much too long for Google. So instead, I’m sticking with the current title.
I’ve learned a lot, even if I haven’t posted for the past few days. I debated about trying to make up all the words I hadn’t written, writing four posts today and then publishing them all. But that seems silly.
After all, the point of the challenge isn’t to have a specific output. It’s to write and post every day. Anything less than that and I’m not living up to the spirit of the challenge.
But even so, I’ve learned some things.
Here are a few of them.
Lesson #1: Daily Is Difficult
Doing anything every day is hard. Even simple things like flossing or reading. So adding blogging into the mix makes it a whole lot more complicated. Blogging is an endeavor with lots of steps. Even for these short, simple posts, I have to write, edit, add images, and then post. At least an hour’s work there, although I think that’s in part because I’ve been writing these
Lesson #2: I’ll Never Run Out of Topics
Just looking at the history of writing up to this point, this seems obvious. How could anyone run out of topics? Yet, it’s something that I worry about both in my personal and professional writing. Especially professional, since my livelihood depends on that.
Daily blogging has shown me that this is an unfounded fear. There’s always something to talk about, even if it’s the same idea shaped differently.
Lesson #3: Little Things Matter
With a daily habit challenge like this, the smallest things can derail you. But conversely, the smallest things can make everything fall into place.
For instance, there were several days where I didn’t start working on the day’s post until the evening. Terrible idea. I have way less motivation by that time of day. By seven o’clock, all I want to do is go climbing or have a beer. I sure don’t want to muster the will to write yet another post.
So I try to get these written in the morning. In fact, I’m finding that the morning is my best time for writing most of my work. Turns out I’m not some special night owl after all.
Lesson #4: Structure Saves You
For several of the posts, I’ve struggled with getting down a decent number of words. Looking back, it’s clear that the posts with most words are the ones that also have clear structures. It can be intimidating to just write 500 words, but when you have a nice structure like a list format or even a few headings, it’s much easier.
There’s a perfect analogy to music here: even the most discordant compositions almost always have some sort of form. It’s fine to break the rules…but it’s probably not a good idea to break all of them at once.
Lesson #5: Blog Design Is a Waste of Time
I know, I know, what does this have to do with writing a daily blog? Absolutely nothing. Yet it’s something I’ve wasted several cumulative hours fooling with during this challenge. Mainly as a way to procrastinate on doing things like writing, You know, the things I actually get paid for.
Seriously, there is no point in fooling with blog design during the work day. If you’re doing it to legitimately learn about the subject, great. But if you’re just tinkering for the hell of it, stop it! You’re only wasting time.
I’m going to keep this challenge up for a few more days. If nothing else, this has gotten me back into the practice of writing regularly on this blog, which is a much-needed addition.
I think I could just turn this into a general personal blog again…or I could take it in a completely different direction. Either way, I’ll at least be posting once a week even after the challenge is over.
Have any of you ever tried a daily challenge, writing or otherwise? What were the key things you learned? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below.