It's done, it's finally done! When I started this challenge, the first post took me a couple hours to write, and I thought "Hey, not bad, I'll get faster!". Well, I didn't get faster, but I did make it to the finish.
In the end, (not counting today), I wrote 26,285 words across 29 posts. I think I averaged about 2-3 hours a day, so let's just call that 80 hours.
I'm happy with some of the posts I wrote, but others... let just say less so haha. Here's a meta-analysis of my posts:
- My favorite posts are "teaching" posts, where I push myself to do something and share the result. Examples: Day 10 reflections, 168 Hours (on time tracking), Typeracer 4000 (on typing faster), Meditation Day 11 (on meditating more), Day 20 reflections, and of course, this post itself
- Another solid category are "notes" posts, where I read or watch something and take notes on it. Examples: Notes on Waitzkin at Sohn, Neil Postman on Technology in 1998, Feynman and Dumb Questions
- I also enjoyed writing a "synthesis" piece, where I pulled multiple different articles and tried to put my own spin on it: Legibility and Software
- I finally started writing about Asian American issues (Where are you from and In my minor feelings), something I'd been meaning to write about, but never pulled the trigger. When you're writing every day though, whatever is on your mind that day though is highly likely to turn into a post.
- Some of the posts I published were based off work I had stated in the past, but hesitated to publish. Even though they're not perfect, publishing them is valuable. It pushes you to a level of introspection that improves your writing. Even if something isn't quite up to your vision, publish it anyways, you'll cringe but you'll learn. Much better than sitting on your ass and not improving. Some examples of this: Latent Value, Two Energies
So, in summary, here are the primary benefits of writing online every day for 30 days:
- I wrote about this before, but writing every day gives you an abundance mindset. You stop caring if a single post is good, because you know there will be more to come, and you know posting gives you something to build upon for next time
- If you always wanted to create a home for yourself on the internet, this is an excellent way to do it. It's enough content that's diverse to represent a true multidimensional version of yourself. Someone who stumbles upon your website can click around and immerse themselves in your brain for a bit.
- At this pace, you must choose either authenticity or garbage. You can't be perfect, so you've got to choose. I've produced a bit of both these last 30 days
- Writing at this pace also forces you to consider your inputs. That means you need to read more, learn more, try more things and share. For me, this has resulted in an experimentation mindset, where I find myself wanting to try different things to share the results.
Moving forward, here's how I plan to continue:
- Try to write on a cadence of about once or twice a week. Writing every day became a struggle towards the end, and it was very clearly unsustainable. If anyone is considering this challenge, I would reduce the duration to 21 days, and factor in a few cheat days to catch your breath. That said, the
- Optimize for more experiments. I think my favorite articles are those which read like "how-to" guides. I'm going to continue trying different things and writing about them. My reflections on Typeracer and Meditation are sort of life this, but they can be optimized further to read like guides.
- Also optimize for personal narratives, "research" posts, and other forms of higher quality content
In short, I'm very happy with this "starter set" of content that I've created for myself. I feel like I compacted half a year worth of blogging into one month. However, moving forward, I intend to slow the pace down, improve quality, while keeping my voice authentic.
Right now - a huge exhale. This sprintathon is finally done!