Its 12 weeks after I announced my plan to the world – Write for (at least) 30 minutes a day.
My blog has changed drastically during this time and I along with it.
I had, on rare occasions, dabbled in writing – the only creative art that I wasn’t pathetic at.
The interest was there . The commitment wasn’t.
But every time I wrote, it generated a little interest for people. My writing was actually better that my own low expectations (Based on my past records, I never actually give credit to myself for starting something worthwhile).
Anyway, after the first few attempts, I realized that I didn’t suck!
What really sucked was my ability for a decent effort. So after a few over enthusiastic posts across 3 different blogs, things fizzled out. I stopped writing.
What happened now?
My creative life was rotting, my spirit was growing restless by the hour. I HAD to do something about it.
This time I tried to anticipate my excuses or problems with sustaining a momentum. Then I had an idea – take small steps everyday.
What an Idea Sirji!
The plan had to be simple and easy to take in. After all, I didn’t want to be overwhelmed trying to do too much too soon.
Plan – Write 30 minutes everyday
My goal was to make writing a habit.
On the board it looked great
- It was very simple.
- Took up just 30 minutes in a day.
- Doing it consistently will generate results over time.
But implementing this plan was not as easy
What Went Wrong?
After the initial enthusiasm, writing every single day was very hard. Things kept coming in the way – work, friends, distractions, travel
I tried not let my life go out of control, but over time I was writing at 2AM on a weekday. The plan suddenly became too complicated and too hard. I was taking a day off and soon that became several days.
My life was pretty much occupied with this plan. I was trying to balance both work and my writing. Soon I missed my fun activities – gaming, movies, reading, going out.
Sometimes, I indulged in these distractions at the cost of the day’s writing.
A big problem was my failed attempts to break up large posts into 30 minute sessions. For example, my recent post took 3 hours to complete and I did that on Monday night.
For a practical plan, I should break the large post into 30 minute slots. But that is easier said. It is very hard to stop when you build up a rhythm.
I also felt that stopping in the middle will reduce the overall quality of the subject.
Discipline and Self-motivation
Developing any craft takes discipline and lot of self-motivation. I was writing at all kinds of times in a day and I would slack when there weren’t many views.
I would start writing again when there was a good comment or someone asks me why I wasn’t writing.
To make this work I must motivate myself.
Right from the start of the plan, there was a tremendous improvement. The plan was actually very useful. Although the actual execution should become better, my efforts have shown results.
The numbers will tell you the story
|Before the Plan||After the Plan||Change|
|Time Period||16+ months||3+ months|
In just 3 months = 15% (of total)
I created 38 posts = 90% (of total)
to get 1952 views = 80% (of total)
The last three months have shown some pleasant moments and wonderful feedback from readers.
– Venturing into poems just because of lack of time. Surprisingly, I received a lot of appreciation – gives me confidence to continue.
A poem which made someone weep.
Few of the readers asking for my writing almost everyday.
Aaron following up on 30 minute project. Thanks Aaron.
Abhi appreciating my efforts to put quality images in my blog posts.
Writing about topics requested by readers.
I love what has happened until now and seeing other’s enthusiasm, I’m even more sure of writing about random stuff.
Coming Soon page.
I created a new page for the blog. This will show the posts I plan to write about or already in progress. It is a like an administration page which is now transparent to readers.
Readers can also post a quick post idea, or any thing they want. If I do plan to carry out those ideas, it goes under the Reader’s column in this page.
- I should follow-up on tasks from the Coming Soon page.
- I should break large posts into manageable chunks, writing across days.
- Be consistent and not extravagant. Writing is a marathon not a 100m dash.
- Make this a top priority task of the day. After all it is just for 30 minutes.
- Never miss a day’s writing!
- Don’t use excuses. It is just plain stupid. Instead analyze and come up with solutions.
The other better Project
After a few days when this project started, I came across another project in the blogosphere. That plan was also simple – create art everyday.
In many ways, this has been a better project and well updated till date. The artist is an inspiration to my project.
– Created by a brilliant artist, Aaron Knapp.
– Every piece of art is donated to the world. You just have to ask.
– His ideas and writing behind these arts is equally brilliant.
– Unlike me, he’s not missed a single day in the Dailys Project.
I’m glad I stumbled on to his works.
Thanks to all of you for tolerating my creative experiments. Your visits and comments have been the single most important aspect of my life in the last 3 months.