30 days. It seemed like forever.
On June 9th, I decided that I wanted to try to blog every day for 30 days. I just had so many ideas in my head that I wanted to share…I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to have discussions. I wanted to talk about things I’d learned through hard lessons and quiet introspection and wholly intentional perseverance. I think a part of me also wanted to write and see if anybody cared.
When I first considered the idea, my immediate reaction was that it was a good idea…in theory. In practice, it seemed impractical. I would be participating in a show every weekend during the month of June, and would be undertaking a 7-day road trip to Urban Craft Uprising at the end of the month. Maybe the timing just wasn’t right. Maybe it would be better to put it off until later.
…and then my husband said, “Don’t worry. I’ll get up with you at 4am every morning and we’ll write for an hour together.”
I had no excuse. And, to be honest…part of me really liked the idea of conquering something for 30 days straight that felt so impossible.
But like any good challenge, I wanted to go in prepared. So I sat for 45 minutes and wrote out a list of 53 possible topics…and then I set my alarm for 4am.
On the morning of June 10th, I woke up to my husband shaking my leg. “Time to wake up, honey,” he said softly. “It’s time to blog!!!” I’m not going to lie–I got out of bed and felt cranky. I hadn’t mentioned this blog challenge to anyone. Who would know if I didn’t do it? I put on the coffee. Fine, I thought. I’ll do it for one day and see how I feel. One day. Tomorrow I might change my mind.
I knew my first blog needed to tell some very fundamental information about where I was coming from–why the topics I was planning on writing about would be so important to me, and about how my life’s story had been molded at an early age by some pretty formative experiences. So I sat and wrote this post with my heart beating fast–and then pressed “publish” with shaking fingers before I could chicken out.
The next day, I did it again. And the following day. Every day, waking up at 4am. Every day, looking at my list and deciding what I would write about–and then letting my fingers fly. Waking up got easier. I got less nervous with each post.
About 5 days into my own challenge, some fellow members from the Indie Business Network (a business network in which I am a member) decided to undertake the challenge as well. Soon, we had over 25 people committing to blogging daily for 30 days. I had public accountability. I couldn’t back out now.
After a week, I found it was much easier. Rob and I would talk about the topics–he was even contributing once a week to the daily writing challenge. He was my alarm clock, official proofreader, featured image consultant, and cheerleader on those days when I felt my heart race as I published my post. There were days when it felt really hard–whether it was hard to wake up early, hard to think of a topic, or hard to write about content that was so closely linked to the movement of my heart. But Robert encouraged me every step of the way…because hard things are always easier to do together.
Over the course of the last 30+ days, incredible things happened–both within my heart and with my relationships with my customers.
- I realized that I could see a task through that felt impossible at first…but that deep down, I knew I could accomplish.
- A few things inside of me woke up that had been sleeping for awhile. Like my love for writing about really important things. And my love for storytelling.
- I found that having a set time frame was very helpful in recognizing what would be sustainable for me long term. This was an intense burst in a short period of time, but it helped me to realize that in the future blogging once or twice a week is totally doable–a feat that in itself would have felt impossible 6 months ago.
- I realized things about myself that had nothing to do with writing. Like with the right motivation, I can get up at 4am every morning.
- Public accountability can be very powerful.
- Customers began to write to tell me their stories. I talked a little bit about that in this blog post, but it was amazing to be on the receiving end of such moving, beautiful stories. It’s quite an incredible group of people we have following this blog.
And with this blog post, my challenge to myself draws to an end. You won’t see daily posts from me–at least not in the immediate future, but I’ll still post at least once a week. Because there is still plenty to say and share and teach and learn. Together.
When all is said and done, I think 30-day challenges like this are really, really valuable. They take you beyond where you think you can go…and prove that you can.
Thanks for coming along for the ride…I have a feeling we’re only at the beginning of the incredible things in store.