Last weekend I read about this seven-blog-posts-
for-seven-brothers-in-seven-days challenge and decided to accept. My out-laws were in town and I'm launching two big sites next week. Great time for this challenge, right? But I like limited-term, high-commitment projects, building up good blog content has been frustratingly slow, and I had a few good ideas I was excited to write about. So I signed up.
"This energy was contagious. The idea behind the Your Turn Challenge is that if we ship in small steps — and do it together with a fierce and like-minded tribe — we prove to ourselves that we can do it." - Winnie Kao
I learned that this ridiculous level of output is, in fact, possible. I learned that the quality of my posts stayed about the same, that it gets easier as you go along, and that I have a lot of thinking to do about what this blog is for.
Let's talk about the first: It's possible to septuple your output with no preparation, even while your inlaws are visiting. Turns out that I can come up with something new everyday. I can narrow the scope of a post to fit the time I have to write it. And even better than that realization...
Second: Quality didn't drop dramatically, as I thought it might. I'm not going to whip out analytics to prove it, but I can tell some of what I wrote was good, some was derivative, and at least one was half-baked. Which is commensurate with my much slower blog output. Less time does not equal lower quality.
And...it got easier. My brain became habituated to asking: What will I blog about today? And, when I had a good idea, I actually sat down and wrote it, instead of saving it up for next week. I gained momentum. Blogging became conversational. It was less critical that a post encapsulate every last point because I could always expound on it tomorrow. It also became technically easier--I didn't have to look up the dimensions of my post images or remember what font I used for my twitter pictures. Phew.
Lastly, it gave me pause about this whole blogging endeavor. Throwing myself so whole heartedly into producing content highlighted some questions I've been asking myself quietly all along. When I stayed up late one night discussing civil rights, I found myself frustrated that my blog doesn't have space for that kind of thought. When I wrote about choosing fonts, I wondered if there was any reason for me to be writing this when there are so many good, in-depth sources for the same thing. Is it really the best use of my time to write it again? Honestly, no.
So why do I do it? Why do I keep this blog?
Well, I keep this blog because I love writing and this platform is accessible and (I hope) useful to my fellow artists. I blog in the hopes that my dreamiest dream clients will find it and read it and want to work with me. I write here to find a middle way, where I can use my love of words and written expression alongside my love of design and code alongside my love of business smarts/personal economic power, with my interest in other areas liberally sprinkled in.
The lesson, it would seem, is to keep going. To turn up the heat occasionally for no reason at all, just to see what happens when you turn the dial. To mix in more of what I love beyond the world of the internet.
What next, as this totally meaningless but pretty great challenge wraps up? Well, I'm on day 53 of a self-created 100-poems-in-100-days challenge. Once those are done I'll find a way to share them wth you all. But I think I'm hooked on these high intensity, time delimited creation challenges. I'll keep you posted.
p.s. Check out my other #yourturnchallenge posts and see if my analysis holds up!