1-Year Writing Challenge: Six Months in
And that’s it! We’re done with half of 2019 already!
Already 6 months have passed since I started this one-year challenge of posting daily. Many things in my life have changed, including the fact that I don’t post on Medium every day (although I still do on my blog) but I am still here, going strong.
I won’t lie, halfway through, I didn’t think I would be able to keep the rhythm! But I couldn’t be happier I did. I’ve learned a lot about myself, writing and this challenge has also pushed me to learn more about the world in general. It has reunited me with the pleasure of reading and got me to be much more mindful of my creative patterns and ideas.
But let’s stay as down to earth as possible. All I have lived in 2019 is only half what will happen this year and I expect this second half to be much more troubled. All the more reasons to stay calm and keep writing.
So, how about we take the same style and analyze this past month’s results when it comes to the writing experience itself.
1. Positive results
There were many things which improved this month and it would seem hard to list them all down but let’s try a quick sum up.
First of all, I reached 200 articles on my blog! Although this 1-year challenge started in January, I started writing and posting back in October 2018 and just reached my 200th articles! When I realized this, I felt like some kind of milestone had been reached: writing is a part of me.
Or is it, though? I sure hope it is now, but it hasn’t been a year yet so I can’t rely on my habits yet. Writing is fun but it sure isn’t always easy to make time for it. I’ll continue to strive for better!
Furthermore, I got curated 4 times this month among the 16 articles I wrote on Medium this month. Previously I had gotten curated only a total of 3 times since I started writing here last December. I trust this shows a clear improvement concerning my writing style and topics. 2 of those articles also got published in the publication The Startup, thus giving me more visibility.
I believe it stems from this article I read last month and which really inspired me. It allows me to be more mindful of how I write and present my “craft”. Obviously, I still need to continue improving but this is a clear start.
I was able to schedule articles related to language (for my blog) days, if not weeks, in advance. Choosing a day and writing 3 articles on the same type of topic allowed me to get in a flow state, focus and write satisfying articles.
I have also become more at ease with the idea of cutting my articles with titles and numbered parts, and tried writing in a style which fits more the way I also talk. As someone who likes to comment and talk about things around me even when on my own, I ask rhetoric questions and answer them myself. Seems pointless? I know, but gosh it’s fun!
I also read two books: Hyperfocus by Chris Baley and Make Time by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (which I just finished on Saturday). I even read 150 pages of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman in the middle of the month but stopped midway as it was rather dry and my brain needed something more “active” after reading Hyperfocus. I have just started continuing this book yesterday.
The two books I read had obviously one common topic: productivity in regards to time. While their goals and angles are somewhat different, they concentrate on understanding our habits and way of thinking to better adapt it to fit our goals.
The topic of time has always been a favorite of mine (my third blog post and second Medium article ever was about it). But I have always focused on it directly, without taking into account outside factors and nor my own perception of it. Reading more and more about what goes around it is getting me hooked.
2. Negative aspects
I won’t lie, considering the “high” I am getting with this month’s progress overall, it is hard to turn to negative aspects.
However, there are two which I have noticed and will need to get worked on.
The first one is my schedule overall. No, not scheduling articles. As mentioned above, this has gotten better. Aren’t you following?
My days themselves have become the problem. As the month passed by, I have been having more and more trouble getting up early and getting to writing before going to work. This has cost me to miss a few days here and there or to write in the evening, which is not my preferred time.
Getting up really is the problem. I do wake up but just stay in bed. That’s a habit I thought I had gotten rid of! And it seems I now have to work hard at it once more.
The second one is more related to being proactive. I put this as a goal for this month and didn’t really act to develop my readership. Yes, I bettered my writing, but I consider this an obvious task to work on. Looking for ways to get myself in front of you, the rare person who’s read until here, is a task I need to stop procrastinating! (At least I’ve been following my own advice of procrastinating with positive actions!)
Finally, I’ll just mention it quickly but, there still is room for improvement in my writing. I’m just a newbie trying to help while learning to write. And, oh how much I know I’ll stay in that stage a long time.
3. Goals for July
I got “lucky” this month because it turned out to be rather calm in terms of personal and professional evolution. This may not last for much longer though so let’s make reasonable and actionable goals for this new month:
- Get back into a routine of writing in the morning consistently — Stop entirely staying in bed in the morning
- Finish Thinking, Fast and Slow and read at least one other book.
- Finish 2 courses on Content Marketing and SEOs on LinkedIn Learning.
- Really act to get myself out there. I announced my blog on Facebook and then never did anything else on SNSs.
- Continue enjoying to write of course!
Hey, I know those are, like last month, rather vague goals in the end, but I want to do them so badly, I’m sure I’ll be able to actually reach most!
Let’s start this second half of the year with a smile and our eyes not to the future, but to the present, appreciating the journey today.