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I wrote over 30k words in 30 days. No, that is not a clickbait title. I actually wrote 30224 words to be exact. That is a personal challenge I set forth for myself. Today is the last day of my challenge. I wanted to write 1,000 words per day for 30 days before leaving on vacation. I knew I needed to get ahead on my content and I couldn’t figure out a way to do it. I needed to stretch myself and be productive.
Halfway through the challenge, I did write a blog post called “My Best Secrets to Stay Productive While Blogging”. In that post, I shared exactly what I did to stay productive. I found two accountability partners, I logged out of social media, made a date with myself to write, and took regular breaks. I will admit the past week has been a stretch to get this challenge completed. I honestly didn’t think I was going to make it to 30k words in 30 days. It was difficult. However, I did learn a few important lessons.
Lessons Learned When Writing 30k words in 30 days
Make It a Stretch Goal
This goal was definitely a stretch for me. I was writing two blog posts per week and barely staying on top of that. It was difficult to write daily. When I started to make it a regular habit it became much easier. If I had made the goal only 15,000 words I am not sure I would have taken it as seriously. There is something about that magical 1,000 word number that kept me coming back.
1,000 words is almost a full blog post for me. You’ll see in my graph that my average was about 1,200 words per day. I am not the type of blogger that can start a post and come back to it. I need to write it from start to finish. I also like doing the editing, images, and scheduling all at the same time. Batching these tasks is just not for me. I like to know the post it does and I don’t need to come back to it (unless I need to add some links down the road).
Don’t Force Yourself to Write
I know in my productivity post that I wrote to schedule time to write every day (or whatever you want your schedule to be). My goal was to write daily. I missed 6 days out of 30 days (and some of those days were back to back!). Give yourself grace when it comes to writing. While I truly do believe we need to be time blocking to write we also need to give ourselves a break. If you are not feeling inspired to write, then don’t. If your kids are cranky and you just need to put everything on the back burner, then do it. I will say, if you have an actual deadline to make for a guest post or a sponsorship don’t miss those opportunities. You need to show for other people. However, if you need a day for yourself, your blog will still be there tomorrow.
Write About Whatever Sparks your Interest
I have tried having a content calendar. I even have about 100 blog post ideas in my Trello boards. These two tools do not necessarily work for me. If something is not sparking my interest on that particular day I can not force myself to write about it. I really enjoy writing about what is on my mind or what is bringing me joy. It is much easier to get the words out and make the blog post flow properly when I am not forcing it. If you read some of my first blog posts you’ll see what I mean. My writing style was much different and it just doesn’t sound or feel as natural as my more recent posts.
There Is Peace in Knowing I am Ahead
I have mentioned before that I wrote a crazy schedule. I work from 4am to 1pm and most afternoons I am exhausted. There are days that I just don’t want to blog. I was able to get myself almost one month ahead on my content with this 30k words in 30 days challenge. I wrote 25 blog posts in total. I have 12 posts scheduled in October and 1 post still sitting in drafts (I just need to finish up the images for a recipe roundup post). Being ahead on my content will allow me to go back and work on my social media (it’s nonexistent), my Pinterest strategy, and my email strategy. It will give me time for those other blogging tasks that tend to be put on the back burner when content needs to be published.
Have a Supportive Community
Blogging is hard. Challenging yourself is even harder. Knowing I have a supportive community made it much easier to complete this task. I am in a Facebook group that is supportive of my challenge and allows me to check in just to stay accountable.
My husband also checks in to see how I am doing. While I don’t have him read my blog posts he is supportive and asks if I am writing or what I am working on. He is vested in the overall growth of my blog and knows how important it is for me to write daily and create content.
Then I have my accountability partners who check in with me. We are all in different niches but we have the same overlying goal of creating content. My accountabilities partners weren’t pushing for 30,000 words like I was, but they each made it a point to show up and blog daily and share their progress with me. These ladies kept me on task. When they posted about their progress I knew I needed to get my work done in the afternoons and evenings. I didn’t want to fall behind and let them down. I know my progress doesn’t hinder their blog, but if we are all posting progress it keeps us motivated.
I Can Picture Myself Writing a Book
I never thought of myself as an author before. I never even had an idea to write a book. Now, I know I can write well thought out content and make it all flow together. I don’t have a book idea on the horizon but I know I can put the pressure on myself to actually complete one if I wish. The average nonfiction book is 50k to 75k words. I could finish the first draft in just a few months if I really pushed myself. I never thought writing a book would be possible. I can now see it as a possibility down the road.
We can do hard things, if we put our mind to it.
When I challenged myself at the end of August to write 30k words in 30 days I didn’t think I would make it. I thought I would give up after the first week because it would just be too hard. I pushed through and kept myself accountable. It was not an easy task but I am so glad I did it.
Now, I just need to figure out something to challenge myself with for October. Quarter 4 is upon us and I need a plan moving forward. I am excited to see where the next few months of blogging takes me!