Some stuff I’ve learned in a month of writing every day
At the beginning of this month, I made a decision to write at least one post on the blog every day until the end of the year. Well, it’s 31 days and 35 posts later, and so far so good.
It’s been a pretty revealing experience actually. Forcing myself to write something everyday, even if it’s a very short something, has made me think about writing much more often. Every moment of the day is a potential blog post (okay, perhaps not every moment). So in the back of my mind there’s always a simple question looming. How can I write about that to make it compelling? After all, while I enjoy doing this blog as an outlet for my crazy thoughts, I also want people to read and enjoy it.
I know that at least a few people have read it. I can see it in my (admittedly) meager traffic stats. July has been by far my most visited month on the blog – almost tripling the next busiest month, and increasing 5 times over the average of all the other months I’ve been doing this. Of course, many of those are repeat visits of regular readers brought on by the sheer volume of posts I’ve done in the last 31 days; but in the past month I’ve also had both my busiest day ever on the blog and my most viewed single post. I guess I must be doing something right.
Reflecting on this, those results shouldn’t come as a surprise. Like everything else, practicing writing can only make me a better writer. Although this was not a lesson I learned as well as I should have as a child. I never really tried that hard at anything growing up, and so I never saw the benefits that daily practice could produce. I was smart enough to get decent grades without doing a lot of homework. I went to little league practice, but only because my parents drove me. I even once faked practicing the saxophone by recording it and playing it back through a tape deck (sorry, Mom).
Being creatively lazy is a condition that’s plagued me my whole life. I’ve been very good at doing just enough to get by, while at the same time hatching plots to do even less without anyone noticing. That’s not something I can get away with if I want to consider myself a writer. Either the words are there on the paper (or screen) or they’re not. Most of the time I’ve been writing, they weren’t; but today at least, here they are. Oh, and I have every intention that they be there tomorrow and the next day too. See you then.