30 Days, 30 Articles: What I Learned After Publishing Daily for a Month Straight
And the 8 takeaways that might change how you think about writing forever
"What are you doing?"
"Every day for a month?"
"Yup. 30 days, 30 posts."
That's the mini conversation I had with myself when I started this 30-day writing challenge.
"What the heck did I think I was signing up for? You cra-cra or something?!"
Yeah, still talking to myself.
But I digress…
Here's the thing. It turns out that it wasn't as daunting as it sounded, and my life is so much better because of it. In fact, I've learned some pretty interesting things about writing, publishing, and especially about myself after having written every single day for a month straight.
First, I learned that you can't do it alone
I know we often think of writing as a solitary endeavor, and that's not a bad thing, just the way it is.
Turns out it takes support from others to keep going when things get tough. For me, those were my new writing friends letting me know they were interested in reading what I wrote and being there for feedback about how well or poorly I did with this challenge; and of course, people following along on social media coming over to read some of these posts at least once every day (thanks!).
Some more often than that.
My fellow writers who are also participating in this writing challenge, which was lead by some respected authors, means we're kind of all doing this together - something that was super cool because we've formed bonds that will carry into the near and far-term.
Secondly, I learned that the crucial thing is to be authentic
That means writing from my perspective, not worrying about what anyone else thinks or says - including the negative stuff.
It also means being true to myself and recognizing that I can't do everything I might want because there just isn't time in a day for it all, so instead of feeling guilty about not doing something today because I didn't have time - -I say maybe tomorrow. And I'm ok with it.
You see, authenticity isn't just a buzzword that shines through in one's words, it's also a large part of how we live our lives as writers.
And how we treat ourselves.
Thirdly, this experience has reminded me how much I love sharing things with others
Whether it's through article creation, blogging, or social media updates (or you name it), if it's worth writing about, then why stop when we write "The End"?
That's just the beginning of our creation process.
You see, something I didn't mention, but will now, is that part of this challenge wasn't just writing; it was also posting our work on social media. In public, for everyone to see.
Scary, and at the same time, so free-ing to hit "publish" and let it rip.
Fourth, and just as important as these others, is something I learned a lot about myself in the process of doing it
I learned that there are plenty of people out there who want to read my writing and help me grow as a writer, even if they don't know me personally.
It's nice to know that my writing can help others. I didn't realize how much of an impact I could have on people until now.
Heck, for the longest time, I just thought it was my mom and me reading my writing; now I know that we're not the only one in the world who wants to read my essays.
The fifth thing I learned is how much I like to write
I see you out there, shaking your heads and thinking, 'WTH'…you JUST learned that??
There used to be days where I'd write because I had to. Or days I'd write because of a client's work that was due. Those days would grate on me and make writing feel like a J-O-B.
Not any longer.
Writing not only became a habit, almost a reflex…but it also became a part of my life. The same way I can't go a day without hugging my wife super tight, I cannot go without putting some words on paper.
The sixth thing I learned is that this sh*t takes a lot of time
Whether we call it work, passion, a calling, writing, blogging, etc… .it's the same thing, and it all takes time.
At least if you want to produce and share work, that matters.
Early on, I would write and ship content without much attention to editing, grammar, syntax, words, and proper word use, etc…and I'd chalk it all up to "well, that's just how I write".
That was then; this is now.
The truth is that the fundamentals matter. A lot. It's not until one masters the fundamentals of writing that we can then add our own flair. Imagine trying to spell without knowing the alphabet.
Fundamentals matter, and it takes time to learn and master them.
The seventh item has to do with getting paid to write and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with it
The more experience I have as a writer, the more folks will want to hire me for their projects and compensate me fairly.
Did I share with you how I wrote for 30 days straight and published every piece?
It matters - a lot.
Flexing that writer's muscle each day was one of the best things I could ever do for my writing career.
The eighth and final thing is about approaching writing like you're on vacation every single day
Writing can be hard work - but there are ways of making it fun.
My go-to is to imagine I'm on vacation. I get to grab my Mac, sit under a palm tree, crack an ice-cold Corona, and type.
I imagine that each letter, each word, each finished piece, is simply one step closer to literally living that life. Nomadic. Peaceful. I'm in control.
And it all starts and ends with what I feed my mind.
So I approach my writing as if I'm on vacation. It has never felt more fulfilling to produce and ship content than ever before.
Remember how lucky we are that someone gave us our "job". It's not easy being creative all the time, so treating it this way can be just what a writer needs to keep those fires burning.
The final word
I've written a lot of pieces these past years. Mainly since the pandemic emerged. Even more so in the time I took the 30-day challenge.
It has been an intense, rewarding, and sometimes grueling process to tackle 30 pieces in just one month. In that time, I learned a ton about myself as a person and writer - both good things and not-so-great things.
The whole experience was eye-opening for me because it allowed me to reflect on my strengths and where my weaknesses lie when it comes to writing for clients, my website, or any other project I'm working on.
This is by no means meant to be bragging; instead, these insights have helped me better understand who I am as a writer, as a creator, which can only help me be better and, frankly, to embrace this art in a manner I never knew possible.
And that challenge I took?
Life-changing. Check it out here.