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Lessons learnt from writing daily for 28 days

3 min read

Today is Day 28 of the 28 Days Ness Labs blogging challenge.

I can’t believe that I did just that - publish every day for 28 days. It’s pretty surreal thinking about what I achieved. I’d like to share some of the things I experienced and learnt from doing this challenge.

Writing 28 days in a row

Do it with someone. I asked a fellow NessLabs member, Sourav, for his help to keep me accountable to this challenge, and I’d say it’s the main reason I managed to write every day. Some days I feel tired and can’t be arsed to write, but knowing that someone is doing the same thing and is expecting me to pull my weight pushed me to write even when things get tough. I think you can do the same principle for anything you’re pursuing.

Do you want to run more? Run with a friend.  Do you want to study more? Ask someone to study the same topics as you or study with them. Do you want to read more? Read with someone.

Have a note-taking system. Most of the articles I wrote are a remix of my notes. Whenever you’re reading, listening, or having conversations, capture the best ideas into a note-taking app. Use these notes to create an outline of your article, and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to write. Goodbye, writer’s block! It doesn’t matter how you take the note; what matters is that you take it. My notes have also surprised me whenever I search through them while doing research.

Block time for it. I try to schedule some writing time every day, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Pick a time where you can write, and stick to it. Inspiration doesn’t come randomly. It comes when you sit down and put your brain through the wringer.

Start with easy wins. My first essays were relatively easy to write. They were curations or things that are already 80% done because I’ve done most of the research. I started writing these essays first because I wanted easy wins as momentum to keep me going. Had I chosen something challenging for my first few essays, I would’ve been demotivated by how hard it is and stopped in a week. The feeling of success helped push me when the tough gets going.

Thoughts on writing daily

I didn’t like writing daily. It was hard. There were some days where I have no idea what to write. There were some days where I was busy with other commitments in life. However, I told myself just to show up and forget perfection.

Most of the essays I wrote were crap. I didn’t like the quality of some of them, and I could only spend 1-2 hours on each. Because I didn’t have much time, I skipped some of the steps like editing and getting feedback from others, which significantly diminished my articles’ quality. However, I told myself that quantity is the only way to get to quality. If I wrote 28 bad essays, surely 1 or 2 of them are golden.

If I were to do this challenge again in the future, I’d probably do it when I have nothing else going on so I can spend 8-10 hours writing quality articles.

Consistency is the way forward. Publishing daily might not be the cadence that works for me, but I’ll figure a schedule that optimises quality as well as quantity. I’m used to writing 1 article weekly, but I might ramp it up to 2 articles weekly in the future.

I should learn how to distribute my articles. I write every day, but it feels like writing into the void at times. I should spend more time distributing my articles instead of just writing them and not sharing them. I’ve read something that resonates with me about sharing your articles: If you’re writing it and not sharing it, you’re writing in a diary, not a blog.

My main reason for writing daily was to develop a writing habit. I’m not aiming for quality here, but aiming for quantity. Now that I’ve proven to myself that I can write every day, I’m reinforcing my identity as a writer.

Here’s the complete list of things I wrote during the challenge.

  1. Best Free Resources to Learn Roam
  2. Notes Raft: How to Build a Habit of Writing Evergreen Notes
  3. Mindful Interneting
  4. Find your atlas
  5. Cut yourself some slack
  6. My Cabinet of Curiosities
  7. Best Free Resources to Learn How To Write
  8. Focusmate: Productivity on Demand
  9. Interstitial journaling
  10. Aim for quantity, not quality
  11. My 12 Favourite Problems
  12. Reduce the scope, stick to the schedule
  13. Make your writing POP!
  14. The magic of flights
  15. What do you do?
  16. Less productivity is more
  17. The magic of accountability partners
  18. What do your mornings look like?
  19. What I’m using to build my site
  20. Supercharge your memory with mnemonics
  21. Understanding how to understand
  22. My experience being in isolation
  23. 3 Most Important Tasks
  24. The problem with schools
  25. Pause and reflect
  26. How Sylvester Stallone bet on himself to succeed
  27. Do the boring stuff first before optimising


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