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Posts Tagged ‘30 minutes a day’

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.

History….

I had, on rare occasions, dabbled in writing – the only creative art that I wasn’t pathetic at.

First Blog

Second Blog

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?

Slacking

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.

Distractions

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.

Large posts

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.

Success factors

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
Posts 5 48
Avg Posts/Month 0.3 16 +5333%
Views 436 1952
Avg Views/month 27 650 +2407%

In just 3 months = 15% (of total)

I created 38 posts = 90% (of total)

to get 1952 views = 80% (of total)

Public interest just zoomed

Great stuff

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.

What Next?

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.

The Dailys 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! All

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.

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Blog Views per week. Week 2010-06 shoots up.

Week1 of the 30 minutes plan ends today. The plan came out of my frustration – for ignoring my writing,  weeks and weeks of procrastination, over planning, perfectionism, and plain laziness. The plan was too simple – write! Well it didn’t work.

I then modified (a little bit) the simple plan – write 30 minutes a day (at least). The results were great!

The first week ends today and already the progress is excellent. I’m very happy with myself for having the discipline to churn out words everyday. Meanwhile my writing has entertained a few people.

Here are a few interesting numbers for comparison

Category This week Overall Percentage
Time spent 30 min/day 1440 min/day 2%
Posts published 6 18 33%
Views by people 162 675 24%

Words written : 1900+

This is just 1 week out of the 76 weeks since this blog started. That is just 1.3%

Spending just 2% of the time in a day, I’ve created 33% of value (posts) to add a quarter of the blog’s total visits. This happened in only 1 week of the 17 weeks since this blog started.

The power of a simple plan

1) Take it in small steps. Decide on a minimum time period and stick to it. I chose 30 minutes/Day. Remember that it will all add up.

2) Have discipline. Need not be writing at the same time everyday. Just put in your daily 30 minutes. Make a promise to yourself.

3) Do this for short bursts – 2 weeks. Then review the results. Pat yourself on the back and get motivated.

4) Break down a large project into chunks. I’ve done a long post in 2 days – 40 minutes everyday.

5) Track your numbers to celebrate progress. It’s fun to see the numbers. WordPress gave me all the stats I required for this post.

6) Have Fun 🙂

So if you enjoy writing, just start it. Please don’t waste time like I did (Only 5 posts in first 16 months). Maybe start with a 15 minute plan. Starting a blog is a 10 minute job. This plan applies to anything you want to do, but can’t find the time to do it.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep you “posted”.

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Update..

Week1 Review

How do you achieve your dreams? How can you possibly get rid of your old habit of procrastination? Where do you find the patience, determination and perseverance? What is the plan? Where is the hope? Can we believe the books or the great minds who tell us that it is possible?

Answer) 30 minutes? Think!

Questions, Questions and more Questions

Ideas, Ideas and more Ideas

Thoughts, Thoughts and more Thoughts

Plans, Plans and bigger Plans

Blah, Blah and more Blah!

The answer is simple, think Nike

Do it, Do it and Do it more…

Actions, Actions and more Actions

30 minutes a day. Just write something. You are always thinking about writing the best article, or learning the entire language or finishing the entire course or getting a 6-pack ASAP. We never get it done and realization hits us, a little too late. Aha! There’s the trick – It’s never too late. Start again! Try another way to finish, keep on trying..

If you think it, do it. Otherwise don’t do it. Because if you think about it without doing, guilt starts nagging at you and you miss the other pleasures of life.

Wise men say that a little bit of work a day will take you to your dream. So here’s what I’ll try – 30 minutes of writing everyday, at least. Roll out the plan for a week – Iteration 1 , Iteration 2 etc. Heck, companies are trying out this way. Learnt a bit from the walls of Thoughtworks India.

Time to  make a story wall

Make story cards

Build it bit by bit or word by word

Today’s post is the first task of this week’s iteration


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