Well, my writing (blogging) challenge went really well. I wrote for 30 days in a row! I’m proud of this achievement, for doing any new habit takes a lot of persistence and willpower. Looking at today’s prompt, on Learning Style, I’m tempted to continue on… but all good things must come to an end.
Not everyday was a cakewalk, as I expected it to be at the beginning. For some of the prompts, I really had to think about them for a while and be creative. It really made me focus and
A few things I’ve learned:
- the use of a trigger is important: I had WP’s Daily Prompt open up every day when I opened up Chrome, along with my WP dashboard.1 This reminded me to blog first thing in the morning, before email or anything else.
- make your environment habit-friendly: WP’s Daily Prompt ensured that no matter what, even if I was completely drained of ideas, I would have something to write about every morning. Needless to say, this helped me a ton with this habit.
- I think you can do this with a lot of other habits too – take for example, exercising: have your set of exercise clothes, water bottle, keys, etc. next to your bed. And perhaps for your alarm, you can automate your smartphone to start playing your workout playlist to get you motivated (it is possible)?
- do your new habit first thing in the morning. Although I failed in this many times, I think just having that mindset of getting my writing out of the way before I did anything else helped me be consistent with the habit, even if on some days I wrote as late as 11pm.
- just do it (yes, the guys at Nike said that, but I’m saying it too!). On some days, I really didn’t feel like writing – I just didn’t have the motivation to. But I forced myself to do it, to be consistent and keep on going with the habit. And here I am, with 30 days of consistency in writing.
- although this may seem blatantly obvious, a lot of writers say that to become a writer, you should write everyday (and of course read!) with some quantifiable goal (20 min, 500 words, etc.). Even if the writing is absolutely horrible, elementary stuff, you should still write.
- time yourself. I used the Pomodoro technique, and made myself answer the prompt within 25 min. Sometimes I would go over time, but usually I wrote well within the time limit.
And some byproducts:
- # of followers increased from 5 to 17 (thank you!)
- My best day for views was Dec. 26, 2015 – 31 views, this post.
- other stats indicated that (obviously) my blog did better in page views and other things
I’m excited to see what else I can do. I really like doing these 30-day challenges because it’s long enough to test you and start forming a habit, but short enough so that you won’t quit so easily.
Here’s to all the writers out there who challenge themselves to write everyday!
1 You can do this by going to settings and under “On startup”, on the option “open a specific page…” click “Set pages” and then set the pages you want to be opened when you open Chrome.