Cliche, I know.
A wrap-up post about what I learned to cap off the #WritingFor30 challenge. It’s ok though. I’m tired – it’s been a long month, and I like to reflect on things from time to time.
I’m a little sad that I don’t have anyone that I know of to cross the finish line with. The last of the mohicans called it quits at Day 25, much of the others didn’t even get a week or two into the challenge.
Really awesome, creative, mega-smart folks. I think that alone demonstrates one of my points I made in an earlier article…how friggin’ hard it is to do something of substance every single day. Especially something like writing and publishing information that is reliant on technology that could fail or time that you really do not have in the first place.
I almost called it quits 50 times. My wife is sick with Stage 4 Endometriosis, we have a 5 year old son with no family around to help, we both work 60+ hour a week jobs, we traveled some over the month to see family, we’ve been in proactive marriage counseling to help tackle small issues before they spiral out of control, we had to put one of our dogs down…the list goes on and on. Somehow though, I trudged through.
The stars were lined up just right for me this time around, maybe.
So, here’s what I learned and re-learned. By the way, I ended up saying re-learned a lot over these last 30 days because it was an intense period of rediscovery for me. Things I had practiced or knew before and had cast aside for one reason or another.
Anyways – if you’ve been having trouble writing or, like me, actually publishing what you were already writing, maybe these things will help you. I know they’ve helped me a ton already. Within the first two weeks of this challenge, even.
You Need to Write Like No One Is Watching
Like I said in my kick-off post, this challenge wasn’t about putting out quality content. If anything, I mostly added to the water-hose of noise getting published every minute on the web.
That’s what had stopped me before. I got way too caught up in all the “You gotta be awesome” advice and the “Publish original content” advice.
Publish WHATEVER YOU WANT to publish. And you know what? “Awesome” is subjective. If YOU think it’s awesome – if it made you feel better to write about it, then that’s all that matters.
Here’s the bonus: if you think it’s awesome, chances are, someone else will think it’s awesome too. See how that works? Write for yourself, like no one is reading it, if you’re satisfied…eventually, your audience will find you.
You’d Be Surprised What You Can Do In 15 Minutes
There were days I worked over 16 hours, then after spending time with my family, eating supper, maybe skating off to the gym, eyes burning…I knew I had to write and publish something.
So, I’d put myself under the gun. 15 minutes is all I’d get.
Some of my best ones came from those sessions. It’s like all the great songwriters you hear of that write their best tunes in 5 minutes. When you give yourself permission to mess-up, to be yourself, your conscious will flow with awesome.
Ever seen Old School where Will Ferrell get up to debate James Carville? Will blacks out and has this stream of conscious answer that blew everyone’s minds?
Just like that.
What You Think Is Your Passion May Not Be At All
I built my website and blog to help market myself better as a Digital Marketing professional. I love building businesses using the web and all its channels.
Guess what though?
I don’t often like writing about it.
My original passion is people. Psychology and Sociology. Philosophy. Kind of wishy-washy and cheesy maybe, but it’s what I love. So, that’s what I wrote about and it was so fun for me.
All the times I got frustrated and didn’t write about something because it wasn’t about digital marketing…wasted times. There’s no need to force yourself into something. Let it come natural. It’s ok.
Writing is Like Meditating
For me it was, anyways. Almost like a more active version of meditation, if that makes sense. An archived version too – since I can go back and read what I was thinking or going through at the time.
Writing for 30 Days Straight Is Life Changing
I’m going to make a bold statement here, so bear with me. Nothing tremendously outrageous happened to me over these last 30 days, but here are a few cool things:
- I was more aware of my external surroundings
- I was more in tune with my feelings
- I was more daring, willing to try new things
- I was more compassionate
- I was happier (read: content) than I’ve been in years
You know why? I don’t know exactly, but I think it has to do with the fact that, in order to really take in life, you need to see it for what it is…you need to count your blessings, you need to stop pushing that boulder up the hill all Sisyphean-like, and look up to see where you are.
That’s what writing does.
The moment you sit down to put pen to paper, that’s the moment you look up from the grind. That’s the moment you’re able to see life for what it truly is…
If you started this challenge with me, thank you. It started off on a whim with a text to my buddy Zac. I didn’t put much thought into it and come to think of it, it could’ve been the #WritingFor25 challenge…the timeframe was arbitrary. A month just seemed like a solid goal, just out of reach enough to be difficult enough to feel a great sense of satisfaction upon achieving it.
If you’ve followed along reading and commenting (Demi & Zac), I appreciate that times a million because you kept me going…helped me feel like some of the posts were making an impact. Busting through the noise, as it were.
I’m not totally sure. I really want to extend the 30 Day Challenge to other areas of my life. Currently, I’m learning development…part of me wants to, instead of learning when I have time, REALLY dive in for 30 days straight.
I want to try AM fasted cardio every day for 30 days straight. I want to read every day for 30 days.
I want to try and force myself to start a business in 30 days. Or write a song a day for 30 days.
Point is, I’m not sure. But, I’ll be doing something…and documenting it here, perhaps. Or maybe elsehwere? Something more collaborative?
Hmm…maybe that’s the ticket?
*Jon Lovitz fades behind the curtain*