30 Days

Today marks the last day of my 30 day experiment. I decided to do this to set myself a challenge; could I publish content every day for 30 days that I could be proud of? The task itself – writing 500 words a day for 30 days – is something I’ve been doing for over six months now, so I’ve got the ability to write, but the challenge was to make it public so I could practice writing for an audience.

In practice, I have both succeeded and failed. I have succeeded in that I have managed to make content public for 30 days in a row, and to my knowledge it isn’t libellous or simply embarrassing, but I’ve failed in that it hasn’t produced great works of art or public posts I would be proud of.

My perceived failure is due to several reasons – I didn’t edit my content, but just wrote it, I rarely considered what I wanted to write about before I approached the keyboard, and I don’t have an audience to tailor my content for. To add insult to injury, writing 500 words a day in public posts and doing them adhoc was never going to build carefully considered and tailored content – I simply don’t have the time or ability to plan out and write this volume.

Of course, the failures that I mention above all have ways of being solved – I can always plan ahead, set aside time to write something more structured, and choose an audience – or at least a topic – that I can write about. I have several of those in mind at the moment, but I simply haven’t set aside the time to dedicate myself to them.

In looking back to my earlier posts in the 30 day cycle, I had that traditional burst of energy and put more thought into what I was writing. Over time, though, my lack of dedication to the task at hand – or at least, my lack of planning to set aside time every day – put paid to the considered work. If I’ve learnt anything from this, it’s to plan a fixed time every day to work on projects like this, and stick to the time come hell or high water. I have no reason why I couldn’t do that; there have been very few interruptions during the day, or shifting priorities, that have forced me to set aside anything that I could plan to do.

In summary, while I haven’t felt that this has been a resounding success, I have learnt from the experiment and have committed to myself that I will write publicly more often. I think that once a week will be a decent amount to write, but only if I haven’t done anything else on other projects – I do, after all, have a day job and a baby at home that require attention and don’t really give me time to do project work at the same time.

This has been a useful exercise, and one that bears repeating semi-regularly to keep me sharp. A tool that is not used often will grow blunt over time.