If you’ve been following our online income reports, you know that I’ve been wanting to focus more on the blog this year. And if you’ve been following said online income reports, you know that I have not been very good at prioritizing writing blog posts. I’ve also hinted at a potential fix for this: a month-long challenge where I aim to write a blog post every single day.
Well, let me officially welcome you to Blogust!
The goal is to write 31 posts in the 31 days of August. The name is a play off of a similar concept over on YouTube. Last year December we participated in Vlogmas, where you publish 31 videos all 31 days of December. There’s also Vlogtober, which happens in October. You get the idea.
Creators do these types of challenges to help push themselves to make content faster, to burst through creative plateaus, and to just stop road blocking themselves. I am the worse when it comes to analysis paralysis. I’ll come up with so many ideas for blog posts but rarely get around to writing them. Here are some of the things that hold me back.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist.
I like to write. In fact, I love writing. And because I love it, I want anything that I create to be really really good. But writing rarely ever comes out just right the first time. Though I rationally know that good writing is actually a function of many revisions, it’s hard to silence my inner critic enough to even get the words out there for me to then revise them later.
Writing is often slow and painful for me because I have a really bad habit of constantly revising while I am writing. The perfectionist in me hates leaving behind ugly sentences It gets no consolation from the idea that I can come back to it later, polish it up, and make it shine.
I recognize that this is something that I need to get over, and I’m working on it. The great thing about a blogging challenge is that there really isn’t time to obsess over every little sentence. It’s not about writing perfect content. It’s about writing good content and being prolific. Challenges like these take the pressure off a bit so that I can comfortably silence my inner critic and just do the work.
I spend way too much time on busy work.
When writing is a struggle, it’s hard to bring myself to put my butt in the chair and do it anyway. So I end up finding other things to fill my time so that I end up avoiding writing altogether. Of course, all that does is make me wish that I was writing and it makes me feel like I am wasting lots of time spinning my wheels. Neither of which are good.
It used to be that I had plenty of time to fit in all of the things that were important to me without ever really having to create schedules and checklists. But that was before I had a second child, took a job with a long commute, and started a business. As an entrepreneur there are so many things that need to be done that it is just incredibly easy to feel like I’m working hard when really I’m avoiding the real hard work–writing for the blog.
I worry that no one will like it.
This one is probably the biggest reason why I find it so difficult to write more blog posts. I want everything that we put out there to be great. I want it to be helpful to the people who read it–whether it’s providing actionable life tips, entertainment, or talking about real life struggles (like this post) or triumphs. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a single blog post. Which of course just contributes to the inertia and makes it that much harder to write new posts.
Why a daily writing challenge is a solution .
When Joseph and I took on Vlogmas last year, we were still relatively new to YouTube. Our channel was only a year old at that point and we’d just gotten into the swing of producing three videos per week. Vlogmas was a way for us to push ourselves, have some fun with our content, and take some of the pressure off of having to make every video as perfect as possible.
Over that month, we adopted a just ship it attitude. A done is better than perfect attitude.
It was a grueling month. More than one video went out just before midnight and some even after that. Towards the end of the month it got so hard that we even missed a few days. Still, we considered it a resounding success. Why?
It pushed us out of our comfort zoned. It challenged us. And it made us realize that if we could make damned near a video a day for an entire month, three videos a week would be a breeze. And that has definitely held true for us this year. Not a single week has gone by where we haven’t published at least three videos. Most weeks we publish way more than that.
Vlogmas taught us how to make good videos fast. I’m betting Blogust will do the same for us for blog posts.
If tomorrow never comes.
I also must take a moment to reflect on personal and emotional reason for why I’ve decided to do this 30 day challenge now after tossing around the idea for months.
A few days ago someone we loved passed unexpectedly. It’s shaken us. And changed us. And we still haven’t figured out how to live in this new world. But one of the many things that have become so painfully clear to us after losing her is just how precious time is. It has reinforced for us the importance of living intentionally and taking steps towards creating a life that we love every single day.
Which is why, although I feel wildly unprepared and quite nervous, I’ve decided to commit to doing this challenge right now.
Plus Blogust flows so much better than Blogtember.