28 days of writing, how did it go?
First of all, I am writing this at 9am on March 1st. Most days I managed to write and publish, but I wasn't always on time. It was easy for the first 15 days, but then I spent a week in London with my girlfriend. While she was in class, I would write articles to make up for days that I missed, and some to be published later. This strategy worked pretty well, as I was on track the day I returned to Toronto.
The problem was that instead of doing any school work in London, I was writing articles. So when I returned to school and was faced with 3 assignments and 2 tests within the first 4 days after landing, I had work to do. There was no time to write, and then it became February 28th. Now here we are.
Have I learned anything this challenge? This self-imposed, self-monitored, rewardless, arguably pointless challenge. Perhaps.
It has forcefully reminded me that it's hard to do something consistently, every day. Creating a new habit takes work, apparently 21 days. Writing did not become habitual, but something I had to carve out time for daily. It was an effort. It's a challenge to force yourself to be creative. There were many days when I had nothing I wanted to write about, but write I did anyway. I defaulted to meta articles, writing about procrastination, being dissatisfied with an article, a listicle about listicles, or dealing with writer's block.
I feel like my writing has changed over the past month. I'm not claiming that it's gotten better, just that it's become a more accurate representation of myself. I've experimented with writing more humorous articles, like when I included an image of Dr. Evil four times in one piece, or made a brie-diculous amount of cheese puns.
Writing every day allowed me to flush out ideas that would only have been a passing thought in my mind. I'd find myself making an off hand comment, and then writing it down to explore later. I have a list on my phone of potential article ideas that I don't plan on deleting any time soon. Some of the ideas that didn't make it in the challenge are:
- What's the deal with movie villains that are motivated not by avarice but by social injustice
- How do you separate art from a performer's personal life, and do you even?
- Streaming algorithms
- Comparing and contrasting movies and TVs now that a lot of episodes are an hour in length
- The importance of women in the workplace, as a business advantage instead of an equality issue
- Traffic is just weird dude
- The importance of public transit
- Benefits of cycling to work
You can probably tell that I wrote all these during a period where I was watching movies or spending a lot of time on public transit.
I received some comments from the handful of people that actually read this blog that it's interesting to see what I am thinking about day to day. I've tried to avoid making this blog a journal, so I've shied away from writing about what is literally happening in my life. Honestly I don't think my life is interesting enough to deserve to be written about on the daily. My thoughts on the other hand? Well, you decide.
At the end of February, I am happy that I stuck with this challenge. I'm also happy it's over as I don't have to spend time every day writing. However, it will probably make me write more frequently, now that I've gotten used to publishing more often. I hope it does.
Some of my favourites from the past month include:
- A letter to my laptop
- Cheesy puns for my girlfriend
- The economics of tourism
- Am I biased?
- Randomized algorithms for life
- Don't follow your passion
- Realizing a childhood dream
There is a very real possibility that I will attempt to do this challenge again, perhaps even with a longer month!