I’m no writer of novels, but I allowed myself to be influenced by national November novel writing month and thought it would be a good idea to attempt a blog a day through the month.
In the end, I wrote 17 blogs during November, the most I’ve written in a long time, perhaps ever. There are another 3 which ended up in drafts that will likely never see the light of day.
I actually enjoyed the process a lot more than I thought I would. Being my own blog and not having to adhere to someone else’s arbitrary guidelines of word-count or topic, I found it a liberating, and quite therapeutic experience. It’s quite nice to put down your thoughts and see them come to life. It definitely helped me to clarify some of my own thinking or get things off my chest.
A daily blog isn’t an easy thing. I did spend some time brainstorming some potential topics and scribbling notes on post-it notes. But what I found worked best for me was to use a seed idea in the morning and let my subconscious work on it through the day. Then by evening, once the kids were in bed, I’d find it was pretty easy to sit down and write out a piece in under an hour.
I will say that I ended up writing a lot on my iPad. First it’s portable so I can go and sit pretty much anywhere to write. But perhaps more importantly, the small screen forced me to focus. I wasn’t flipping between pages, or getting distracted by notifications. That’s the biggest challenge I have when I sit down at my desk, too many notifications going on at the same time.
In terms of performance, the top three performing blogs from the month were:
Which goes to show that the people who visit my blog prefer humorous anecdotes, bad diagrams, and life stories. Point noted.
This chart shows how traffic has spiked in November. Who would have thought, if you blog more frequently, you’ll get more visitors. I should do a TED talk around that.
Other interesting stat is that during 2021 on this site, I’ve written 26 posts, with an average of 596 words per post.
- It’s not too difficult to write frequently if you remove distractions. Small screen, no popups
- Don’t tweet that thought or post it on Linkedin or Facebook. Flesh it out a bit and create a post out of it.
- The best writing is that done in your own voice. Don’t try to write how you think people want you to sound.
- Write for yourself – use it to clarify your own thoughts – treat it as your own journal you can come back to.
- Don’t fear the “publish” button. Most people will have some form of imposter syndrome, or want to make a piece perfect, or just re not sure if what they write is of value to anyone. Those are perfectly valid emotions and ones I feel every time I hit publish, even when writing for so many years. Do it anyway, you’ll be glad you did.