The End Is The Beginning: Three Months of Blogging Every Single Day

Three months ago, I made a commitment. 

In an effort to build good writing habits, I said I would post a blog entry every single day for 90 days. I told myself the substance didn’t matter–building the habit mattered. Some posts were brief, some were poignant, some were self-indulgent. For those willing to take moments of their day to pop in and follow along, I am eternally grateful for your time.

So on to the burning questions:

Did it work?

Am I now in the habit of writing not just for myself, but for others, every single day?

A resounding: Yes. You bet. Hell yeah.

I also can’t help but believe this process spawned my #52shortstories experiment which is greatly building on this habit and furthering my long-term goal of writing fiction for a living.

Let me share some things I’ve learned:

Time is there.

You just have to take it. It doesn’t have legs, so it won’t come to you (unless it’s asking for money). It’s also great at hiding itself: In the extra hour of sleep. In those moments you find yourself near the bottom of the social media gravity well. Maybe even booked for Very Important Things. But I promise you, the time is always there and you have veto power.

Time is precious.

Once you decide to take that time for your most important thing, make the most of it.

Whenever I was squeezed for time and forced to post something brief on the blog, I felt bad. Not to say there weren’t legitimate reasons for when that happened, but the lesson stands. If I’m not delivering 100% of myself to the task at hand, I’m doing myself and those around me a disservice. I’m wasting my time when I present myself the illusion of progress. I’m wasting my wife’s time when I tell her that I’m kinda, sorta writing, so I can’t give her my full attention. I’m wasting my boss’ time when I don’t dedicate an extra hour to solving a day job problem because I’m kinda, sorta working on that novel which will end up in the recycle bin.

Find your fire. 

I don’t mean your passion. What the hell does that even mean? I don’t know about you, but my passions change by the hour. No, when I say “find your fire,” I mean the thing that’s going to burn your buns so bad that you have to get up to find relief. For me, when I reach the end of the day and realize that I have done nothing to move towards my long-term goal, I get pissed, depressed, and develop what my family would probably call whatsyourproblem-itis.

That’s my fire.

I came to the conclusion sometime in June that if I wasn’t committed to writing every day, I wasn’t going to get anywhere. At the time, I was dealing with other fear-related issues concerning my fiction, but I had less trepidation when it came to posting on the blog. So the answer seemed obvious and to segue off this whole idea of fear, I bring you my final lesson…

Fear Less.

To lift an idea from Tim Ferriss, one of my sub-goals was not to become fearless but fear less. I could have committed to posting every day in my journal, but that would have taken away the public accountability. Knowing that I had told you guys I would do this was a prime motivator to stick with it. It’s funny how we’d rather disappoint ourselves than strangers!

In the end, many of the posts I thought were trite turned out to have some level of impact and vice-versa. The key is that I shouldn’t fear so much of what I’m going to write for others because I have little possibility of anticipating what will resonate.

So…with those thoughts firm in mind, the next big question arises.

Where do I go from here?

The habit seems to have taken. I write every single day just like I wake up every single day. It’s just something that happens (and for both of those habits, I hope continue to happen for a long time!)

To be honest, at this moment, the time I set aside for daily blogging can be better spent in other areas. It takes me at least an hour to put the average post together, sometimes longer. I’m sitting for an IT certification exam before the end of the year and I could really use that time to study. I have more time I can set aside for writing fiction. There always extra time to spend with the family. Or reading those books my blogging friends are cranking out. Or maybe just relaxing (imagine that!)

Still, I want to keep in some sort of regular touch with the online world I’ve encountered. I don’t want this blog to wither away like it has in the past, only to have to come by and clear out the cobwebs twice a year. And it’s not only for others, but I’ve found many of the posts useful for weeding through my own thoughts and engaging others.

Without a doubt, you guys will still get the weekly short story and process posts, but I’m thinking that for now, I will commit to a weekly entry with some meat to it. When that will happen depends on the schedule that week, but it’s something that I know I can do.

Until the next post, I bid thee a farewell and with a hope that you’ve been inspired to take on your own little experiment.


[Image courtesy of Andrew Hurley on Flickr]

12 thoughts on “The End Is The Beginning: Three Months of Blogging Every Single Day

  1. Congrats on meeting your goal! That’s wonderful, especially since it got you into a routine that now seems the norm. Like you, I found my time writing blog posts better spent working on my fiction, so I’m very sparse with the posts now. As you said so perfectly: “In those moments you find yourself near the bottom of the social media gravity well.” Ah yes, I’ve been down there many times.

    1. Thank you, Carrie! I think it’s good to recognize when something has served its purpose and you’re better off finding a new way to improve. I’m really looking forward to what the future holds with the fiction side of things!

  2. Three months since you made your commitment? I remember reading that post … I could swear it was only a couple of weeks ago! Congratulations, Phillip, and thanks for taking the time to write this summary blog. You’re an inspiration, and I for one will miss reading your work every day … but I predict we’ll be reading some exciting things from you in the near future!

    1. In many respects, it feels like it’s only been a couple of weeks. I thank you for your kind words, readership, and general faith in me, Candace!

  3. Congrats! It was great to follow.

    1. Thank you, writefirster! I greatly appreciate the follow and hope I continue to earn your reading time.

  4. I think you’ve earned the right to leverage the knowledge you’ve gained over the last few weeks. And if it gets me an actual novel by you into my hands sooner, then I’m all for it.

    Great soundbites and insight matey. Without sounding too suck-uppy (but hey, you’ve earned some of that too), I wouldn’t have carried on with my own ‘experiments’ were it not for this blog and the support you always throw back my way. Looking forward to Sunday.

    1. “I wouldn’t have carried on with my own ‘experiments’ were it not for this blog and the support you always throw back my way.”

      I couldn’t ask for anything more than that, Col! It makes me immensely happy to hear all my bitching and moaning is doing some good in the world. I, too, look forward to getting a Colin Mobey book in my hands someday soon.

  5. What a wonderful challenge. Congratulations on meeting your goals! I try to write every day, but a good portion of that writing is related to my work (so it isn’t necessarily the most “fun”). It prevents me from procrastinating on big projects.

    1. Thank you, Amal. Yeah, I hear you on the writing work…nothing like dry legalese and corporate reports to get the blood pumping! 🙂

  6. As I’ve often said, you are an inspiration, Phillip! You are also down-to-earth. You wrote every day for 90 days to prove you could do it, and you’ve done it. But as you note, the focus was, in effect, on quantity (writing every day regardless of what you wrote). Yes, you definitely provided some meaty posts (and I do need to catch up with your short stories), and you were generous with sharing your process of writing (also considered meaty posts). But with all the other demands and pleasures in your life, can you (should you) try to deliver a meaty post every day? No. Emphatically no. I like the idea of a weekly blog where you deliver your meaty post. That’s what I strive for and that’s enough of a challenge. It’s does take time and thought to write a solid blog post, whether it be a short story or a book review or musings on a theme. And lately I’ve been cheating by adding lots of photos so I can write less but still post 😉 I know where I can steal time to write more and to write better. I just need the will 😉

    1. Marie, you’ve always been such a wonderful source of support. I thank you so much for sticking around as I try to figure things out. All of our mutual blogging friends are lucky to have someone like you along for our shared journey.

      I like your idea of using more photos. 🙂 Honestly, they go a long way. That’s one of the beautiful things about these blogs and their multimedia capabilities. I’ve thought about doing some brief video or audio segments, but I haven’t decided on anything yet. Still not sure what I’d exactly do with that, but it might be a nice change every once in awhile.

      Regarding the will…yeah, that’s the thing I’ve been working on myself for a long time. I have a post coming up for my local writer’s group blog in October that will delve more into how I finally started gaining traction with the writing. I can’t say anything more about it now, but will link to it when it’s posted!

      As always, I know you’re beyond busy and enjoying life (as we all should be), so I appreciate any time you decide to spend here.

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