Thirty Day Challenge: The Stats
Over the course of the month of January, I:
published 24 blog articles. Less than thirty, but not a crushing failure.
had 13 days when I didn’t write anything, compensated by two days when I wrote 3 articles and 3 days when I wrote two.
wrote about 17 articles that I would consider “proper” articles, i.e. involving some actual writing. The others were just links or photos.
was ill for a few days, which could be a viable excuse for around 5.5 missing articles, which means that I (morally) only missed my target by half an article. Compared to people who liveblog their gall bladder surgery, I feel kind of small. Maybe it’s not so much of a moral victory after all...
So, was it a useful thing to do? Did I learn anything? I certainly did:
It’s quite hard to come up with substantial and substantive articles every day. I could wiffle on about random subjects without too much difficulty, but things that involve thinking take a bit more time.
The writing, in terms of putting words down one after another, isn’t something I find too hard. (I think I knew that before, but it’s nice to have it confirmed.)
Writing reviews of other peoples’ work (books, papers, etc.) is an order of magnitude easier than generating original ideas yourself. There’s an in-between stage that’s quite good for blogging, I think, where you get some interesting ideas from reading or thinking about something, not substantial enough to turn into a longer piece of writing, but perhaps enough to blog about. That provides quite a nice incentive for working through my enormous literature backlog...
Ultimately, the most satisfying things for me to write are more meaty. I didn’t manage anything I would consider in this category this month, mostly because of the perceived pressure of at least thinking about producing something every day, but I have a few ideas I’m going to work on.
Given the other things that I want to do with my (limited) time, I think a more reasonable goal is 2-3 articles per week, and that’s what I’m going to try to stick with for the next couple of months. We’ll see how that goes.
What about other 30-day challenges? Well, I have one lined up already. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to try to do 20-30 minutes of German study per day. We’re going to be moving to Austria in a few months, and I’d like to be able to do a bit more than order beer and pretzels once we’re there!