It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later (Day #29)

At South Summit 2014

So today it’s the day! 30 days of writing done! I can’t believe it’s over. It’s gone so fast.

I started this challenge to force myself to write consistently. To be able to create a writing habit I could sustain. There were several problems in my mind, so let me dive deeper into each one.

I always tend to ramble, so I was afraid it was going to take me forever to write a post a day. My previous experience has been writing technology articles, where research is important. It takes time; you need to double check facts, etc.

I was surprised to see how fast I would write the articles for this challenge, though. Part of what I’ve discovered is that, when I write about what I’m passionate about, it’s just easier.

It takes me an average of 30 minutes to write an article and like 15 minutes to edit, correct it and post it. So not bad overall. Can you spare 45 minutes each day? It’s worth it.

I was afraid of writing long articles. It’s always hard for me to synthesise what I want to say. Especially if it’s a brain dump. The truth is, I manage to hit the 500–600 words mark pretty consistently. Sometimes it went below or above, but those were rare exceptions.

Maybe the longest articles I’ve written were those that ended up being part of the four chapter story. As it was a story, it grew to the 1200 word mark per episode. So even in those cases, I managed to keep it in check.

I’m very proud of this. I must also confess that with some of the posts, I struggled to reach the 500-word mark. I never thought I would have the reverse problem.

Yes, I think this was, by far, the hardest part of the challenge. The first two weeks came and went pretty swiftly. I had no problems with the topics. New ideas kept blossoming in my head. A conversation here, a comment there, and I got inspired.

After week 2, it started getting harder. Some days I had no clue what to write about, so I tried different approaches. I could feel the lack of inspiration on some of the articles, but then, this wasn’t an inspirational contest, but a consistency exercise.

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ― Louis L’Amour

4. Are the articles good enough?

I recently discussed this topic with a friend. He thought the challenge was a great idea but was paralyzed out of fear. He, like me, isn’t a native English speaker, so he was afraid his posts would be horribly written.

I use several tools to make sure my writing is ok, but still, any native can tell there are problems with some parts of it. In all honesty, I don’t give a crap. No disrespect, but my feeling is that the message is more important than the vessel.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve learned a lot. I get better and better, and I can see it. But as I preached before, this is about continuous improvement, not writing a master piece.

“I like them all. There’s bits and pieces of books that I think are good. I never rework a book. I’d rather use what I’ve learned on the next one, and make it a little bit better. The worst of it is that I’m no longer a kid and I’m just now getting to be a good writer. Just now.” ― Louis L’Amour (He was 80 years old)

5. Will people read what I write?

You all know I love you, but you also know I didn’t start this challenge for the audience. I started it for me. I needed to write. I needed to express how I feel. That’s why I started it.

Despite that, for the first two weeks of the challenge, I must confess I was checking the stats of the articles every day. Yes, I’m ashamed, but vanity metrics are attractive for a reason, it makes your ego purr.

But surprisingly, after the two-week mark, I started checking them less and less. Now I rarely look at them. I don’t care. I like writing, and I love the people that read my posts. I get excited with every person that highlights something, that leaves a comment or recommends the post.

But I’ve realized, it’s not because of my ego per se, but because I feel happy when something I write is useful and inspires others.

Sometimes I’m surprised with which articles strike a cord with the audience. Those that for me are special, rarely got the love. Those that were a mere thought got massive traction. It’s funny how perceptions work.

Final thoughts

I’ve really enjoyed the challenge. It’s been easier than I expected, but more important, it’s been of great help. It allowed me to express my feelings when I needed. It’s also good that the challenge ends. I made a decision in my life, and it’s ironic that it’s also the same day that I end the challenge. Speaking of karma.

Here are some of the stats on the before and after, as well as some of the top posts.

Before and after
Some of the top articles of the month

But worry not, this is not a goodbye; this is a see you later. I already have the habit of writing, and I plan on writing on a daily basis. Maybe a 60 days challenge is in order? What do you think?

I would love to read what you guys thought of the challenge. What did you like the most, what would you love me to write about next.

Thank you all for being there, and thank you to all those souls that got inspired by my writings. You are what makes me type these words every day.

THE END

This post is the last post of my 30 Days Writing Challenge. If you want to check out the rest of them, here you have an index.

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.

Chief Editor at The Aleph Report (@thealeph_report), CEO at Press42.com, Cofounder & associated editor @tech_eu, former editor @KernelMag.