My 30-Day Writing Challenge

writing challenge
About to try this DIY writing challenge!

It’s been a while since I’ve been on my own blog.

It feels, quite honestly, weird to be back here. I had abandoned this little virtual real estate I’ve parked here years ago and turned my sights to writing on Medium and Substack. And other writing projects I’ve been working on forever, like my novel, and a memoir-ish book on how I accidentally discovered that a low-carb ketogenic diet, which we used for my husband’s cancer back in 2014, could help with my own mental health. But for some reason, I have a tendency to get scared too easily when I start something, especially a writing project, and often lack the stamina to continue, to finish. It’s easier to dabble, to quit before I have to face too much rejection.

So to battle that urge to quit at the first sign of distress, I’m trying something different for the next 30 days.

Inspired by Austin Kleon’s book, Show Your Work! and his free 30-Day Challenge PDFs on his website, I’ve decided to show up every day and self-publish a blog post here. At first, I had wanted to go all out and publish a new post on Medium, but I realize that I want to be more intentional there, especially after attending Medium Day this past weekend and learning of their pivot to quality writing versus pumping out high-volume posts just to earn money on their Medium Partner Program. I want to intentionally decide what to publish, to apply for Medium publications–all of this I am still learning. This will be my canvas, my sketchbook, to work out what I’ll put out in all the different spaces.

I realize it is never too late to learn. That’s the beauty of this life we all have. Until the clock runs out, you can rewire your brain, you can teach your nervous system that the stakes don’t need to be that friggin’ high to write, edit, finish, submit and publish. The art of neuroplasticity.

Lisa Nichols has an amazing quote that I wrote by hand on a blue post-it:

Action is the antidote to despair.

That’s why, beginning today, I’ll be tracking this on a wall near my desk. Every time I write here and hit “publish”, I’ll cross it off with a giant ‘X.’ What a lovely hit of dopamine!

And also, as of today, I’ll begin to track all words related to requisite writing (that is, writing that I plan to publish, or eventually publish; not writing from my journal or notes taken while learning), pairing it with Jia Jiang’s Sisphyi Accountability camps (I chose “Flowy Writer” and “Habit Builder”), where I’m excited to start a new round, as of today. This is a place where Jia and his incredible team track your progress for you, whatever habit you want to build in your life (“Habit Builder”). And the “Flowy Writer” camp is where you report via SMS text each day how many words you’ve written. I’ve been doing it the past few months, watching my words add up in a beautiful Excel spreadsheet. But I was tracking every word coming out of my mouth, spilling onto the page or screen, including my Morning Pages and notes I take. So this month, I’m planning to track words typed for all the various writing projects I’m working on: blog, novel, Medium, short story, etc.

I’ve gotta say, I’m a sucker for accountability and challenges. And I’m grateful to begin again. That’s the thing about life I want to remind myself when I feel down:

You can always begin again!


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