On January 5, 2011, I committed to writing a post a day for 365 days. After 29 days, I’m happy to report that I’m on track with 29 posts in 29 days. All it took was a little nudge from Scott Berkun and the other good folks at WordPress.
Just about one month into the routine, I’ve made a few observations that might be of use to anyone else considering a similar challenge.
- Writing a post a day takes discipline. In hindsight, I realized that I implied a post a day on this blog. That alone is a commitment (I already have a full-time career). And I promised “no fluff” — I want to write posts of the same quality that I like to read. Compounding the commitment are my work commitments and other websites, and you quickly see how a post a day is just the tip of the iceberg.
- Planning is essential, as I noted in post #17/365. I’m using the draft status to collect ideas and thoughts on articles I want to write, or to align publication with related events. I collect my thoughts over days and weeks, and this has greatly simplified the process of sitting down to actually write the finished article.
- Brainstorming helps, too! I tap into resources from Facebook and Twitter. I gain a lot of ideas from scanning my feeds on Flipboard or reading sites like The Daily Post which share topics and ideas for writing.
- Most of all, the support of the community helps keep you going! I have the good fortune to have a great girlfriend who inspires me (check out her blog), and a number of friends in the local WordPress and social media community here in Orange County who keep me challenged. Many thanks go out to Darin McClure, Holly Schwartz, Suki Beasla and Matthew Gallizzi. We all meet at SMMOC several times a month, and all have taking up the call to write one post a day. And we use Twitter every day, encouraging and challenging each other to keep up the cause.
The icing on the cake? I’m having fun! I have a lot to write about — much more than I have time to write. So far there is absolutely zero chance that the well will run dry. That may be either a blessing or a curse depending on your opinion of my stuff, but I’m having a good time, and more than a few people are taking the journey with me.
It’s ironic. I kicked off this year with a photo project called Project 365, where I shoot at least one photo a day for the entire year. I had heard of this before from a friend, but decided to jump in and give it a shot. There has been a synergistic relationship between the two projects. Sometimes my photo of the day will spawn an idea that I simply must write about, and sometimes the article will inspire a creative photo.
How about you? Are you taking on a post- or photo-a-day challenge? Maybe you have in the past? What has your experience been?