It was during my very first year of blogging that I discovered an adaptation of the NaNoWriMo challenge.
Instead of writing a novel first draft in a month, it involved writing a blog post a day for 30 days. The word counts are remarkably similar (or it would be if my posts were longer. With my length posts, it equals roughly half a novel in a month’s time).
I loved the idea of it, and I have done it for four years now. I did move my challenge to the month of March to avoid the holiday craziness and add an extra day.
A couple months ago when I discussed wanting it to be April so I would have already accomplished this feat, Micah made the wonderful suggestion of talking about the process and what I learned. I always try to reflect to help things go smoother in the future, so this fit right in.
What I have found to be the best help has been to have a list of topics at the ready. I have a long list on the back of my homemade notepad that lives in my purse. Instant ideas at the ready mean fewer lost minutes thinking of a topic.
This year, like all years, I was so ramped up to start: I wrote four posts day one and then two more the next day. Half way through the challenge I started planning out my hard copy calendar of posts for the year, writing in the completed titles and the ones I intend to write.
I love that for the entire month of April I now only have one more post to write.
The best part about the challenge is that I can write whatever inspires me at the moment. I often get on a roll and write three to four posts in a row on a similar topic – like travel stories or books. When writing to deadline it’s harder because I have a mental list of topics I can’t discuss because I’ve covered them recently. During the challenge, I have the luxury of spreading out the posts I write, so playing off of the same idea is okay, and my blog doesn’t turn in to a one trick pony.
One thing that does happen every year is that my enthusiasm lags during the month. This year I was better and for the first time I never fell behind. There were a few times when nothing was inspiring, but fortunately I pushed on through. With today and tomorrow left in the month, I am at 30 completed posts and a topic that is screaming to be written. I’ve got this one in the bag.
I feel so much more me when I can plan and get ahead. This month allows me to do that and enjoy my blogging more.
Have you ever participated in a writing challenge? or What exactly is the one trick that a one trick pony can do?
2 thoughts on “31 Days”
That’s incredible that you’re already so far ahead. I wish I could get that far, but I usually only have one or two ahead of schedule. It’s an interesting experiment and I’ve always wondered what would happen. Although, the stress of putting one out every single day is just too much for me. But it will be interesting to see what you come up with to fill an entire month.
Hi Steve. I love the fact that even though I wrote a post a day, I wasn’t publishing nearly that often. That helped make it not feel like a high pressure event. Then again, last year I fell shy of my goal and it was really hard on me.