7 Realizations in 7 Days of Writing
Last week I read about Seth Godin’s Your Turn Challenge in one of his blog posts and was intrigued. The guidelines were simple: Write and post once a day for 7 days. I had been very good in the past about writing on a regular basis, but had been more sporadic as things started to get busier. I figured this was a perfect way to get back into it. I’m writing this post now on Sunday the final day of the challenge, and I have completed one post each day this week. In looking back at each of the days I came to a realization on each day that I’m going to share with you now. If you’ve ever been concerned about your writing or how it will be received, hopefully these thoughts will help.
- Starting is only as hard as you choose to make it – On day one I got up, went through my morning routine and as I sat down at the computer took some time to think about things I wanted to write about. As soon as the first idea came to me, I just sat down and started writing. I gave myself permission to suck. If the writing wasn’t great, that was okay as long as I kept going. When I finished writing the post, I looked it over and made a few edits here and there and then I just went on and posted it. Truth be told, I could have agonized over what people would think of it and how people would react to it, but I accepted that as something out of my control. You can never know what your audience will do with your content; you just have to put it out there.
- The second day gives you traction – When I got up on day two; I instantly felt the desire to write again. This came from the fact that I had made it through the day before and it seemed natural to keep going. Day one was a win and day two felt like I was just continuing along a path. It even felt easier to come up with an idea. I again, went back to the idea of not worrying how it would be received and decided to just write. I also had two posts under my belt now and felt better. I felt like I was moving in a good direction and was really excited about being able to write the following day.
- Breaking routine doesn’t have to break you – On the third day I slept in which meant that I did not follow my traditional morning routine. This also meant that there wasn’t time to write before I went out to my first meeting. In the past, I would probably have just said that I would write tomorrow, but because I was doing this challenge and didn’t want to break my promise, I sat down post meeting in the afternoon and wrote my third post in a coffee shop while I was waiting for my next meeting. I realized that not getting to write at the optimal time didn’t mean not getting to write at all. I could choose to keep going or get caught up in the break of the routine. I chose to keep going.
- If you want to do something bad enough, you’ll make the time - On the 4th day I had an early morning breakfast which had the potential to throw off my morning routine and also my writing. I made the choice the night before to go to bed a little earlier and get up at 5 instead of 6 which gave me enough time to do my morning routine, write and publish my post, and make it to my breakfast. I knew that the rest of my day was a full one and that the odds of me having enough time to write were slim, so I took it upon myself to carve out the time and managed to get it done.
- Your past provides great material for writing - No matter how mundane you think your previous jobs or previous experiences may be there are lessons and things worth writing about. On my fifth day I wrote about lessons I learned from being a dishwasher and had a number of people resonate with it. You never know what part of your story people will find interesting, so don’t be afraid to tell stories about your own experiences and what you’ve learned. People will read it.
- It’s ok to write on the weekend - This was a tough one for me. Even when I wrote my other blog on producing, I almost never posted on Saturday or Sunday because the weekend is deemed a time when we are not supposed to be doing any work. It can be really freeing to write on a weekend though and I found it to be a great experience. It made me think about a lot of the things we normally say about posting things. We hear that we shouldn’t post something on a weekend because nobody will read it, but some people do. Write when you want to write. Who knows? Your best stuff may come out on a Saturday or a Sunday.
- The last day of a challenge will challenge you - Now that the accountability is over, the question remains how often I’ll choose to write. Will I keep writing every day seven days a week? Will I only write once or twice a week? It all depends on how bad I want to keep writing and posting. How excited am I about sharing my thoughts. You have the same question in front of you if you are reading this and thinking about writing. Ultimately, it will be up to you whether or not you get to the computer and start tapping those keys. I’m going to be here tomorrow. Will you?
And there you have it. This experience made me aware of how much I enjoy writing and has motivated me to keep going.
So I’ll see you here tomorrow.
How about you?