2020 is my writing year.
That was my overarching goal before the year even started. Yes, on the surface it’s a little vague. That’s why each month I set out to focus on a single goal that would drive me toward a writing year.
January’s goal was posting on Medium every weekday while the weekends were meant for other writing projects. As of today, I published on Medium every weekday for the entire month, including a couple times where I published more than one thing a day.
Throughout the month, I faced a few challenges in making it all happen. I had a couple migraines that held me back, I fell behind after some meetings and time away from home interfered with my writing schedule, and I started new projects that distracted me from the Medium project.
But after an entire month of writing every day, here are some things I learned that helped me change my life.
I’ve always been a fan of schedules. I like to plan out how my day is going to look, what I’m going to be doing, and how much budgeted time I’ll need for every task.
Writing every day really changed how I looked at time. I’d never really budgeted for “creative” moments, and now I was trying to find the time to write, edit, and publish an article every weekday while also balancing a commute, work, and other social activities.
I decided to switch up my schedule and write in the morning. Doing so forced me to push my workout to the evening, but I found having a constraint in the morning (driving to work by a certain time) helped me focus when I sat down to write. When the evening was open ended and on my own schedule, I didn’t get as much writing done.
Before this month, I had never worked with an editorial calendar. On almost every occasion, I would have an idea, write it, and then post it. Sometimes it happened every day, sometimes it didn’t happen more than once a week.
When you commit to writing every day, and commit to having something published every weekday, you can’t rely on getting great posts out without planning it out. In December, I created a content calendar so by the time the day rolled around, I knew what I was writing and I had at least somehow researched my references beforehand.
To make 2020 my writing year, that content calendar is going to be a crucial part of my plan moving forward. I’m also using it to learn how to balance my other writing projects as the year progresses. Having my content in one place, with easy references, helps me prepare for the day of writing so I can stay on task.
I’d like to think my projects on Medium are a basic level of self-improvement work. I aim to provide value to my readers in the form of developing habits, improving productivity, and giving advice. The more I wrote during the month, the more I felt like I could be doing more.
With this new excitement around what I was doing, I set out to find a way to expand on this project — and thus my new coaching website was born. I wanted to find a way to not only help others but find a way to help myself and continue to support what I love to do.
My new coaching venture is helping me continue my goal of providing value while also helping me create a platform for my future. I can continue to write and give helpful support to everyone following along. Without this goal of writing daily, and my research of content ahead of time, I never would have had the capacity to actually take my writing to the next level.
The more I write on here, the better my confidence has grown. Not just because I can have a consistent place to express my thoughts, but because I’ve found immense value writing for other people.
Because I am constantly improving my practice by writing daily and learning as I go, I’m also thinking about it a lot. Writing is so much fun for me, and I can also give back using it. With that increase in confidence, I’ve been able to not only start this new project, but make a ton of progress on editing my second book which I hope to publish in May.
There’s an amazing saying that you attract what you focus on. While I don’t believe in the law of attraction to achieve your goals, I do believe that the right mindset can help you be prepared when an opportunity arises. My focus on writing this last month helped me jump on an opportunity to write for a museum project. Without this increased confidence, I probably would have passed on this great opportunity.
Writing every day for a month doesn’t make me a perfect writer, but it did make me a better one. I was able to balance a lot of different projects, take on a few new ones, and continue to fulfill my other life duties. Starting strong this month has helped set me up for a great year, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.