For the past 8 weeks, I’ve posted to this blog every weekday. That’s 40 posts and counting.
It started as a personal experiment (because personal experiments are my new thing):
By the time August was up, I was having too much fun to stop.
Here are a few of my original misconceptions:
“I won’t be able to think of that many topics!” Turns out, the more I write, the easier it is to think of more things to write about. My ideas list is growing faster than my published list.
“It’ll start to feel like a chore.” I’m not saying this will never happen, but it hasn’t happened yet. I still look forward to it every day.
“It will take a lot of time, and some days I’ll be too busy.” I got around this by telling myself that it’s fine if some posts are only a paragraph or two. My rule of thumb is “anything longer than a Tweet is long enough for a blog post.” Everyone should write more, shorter blog posts.
“Nobody will read it.” First of all, I was wrong. I got a lot more traffic than I expected (see the stats at the bottom). But it didn’t matter anyway, because traffic is irrelevant. Writing without an audience is better than not writing, which brings me to:
“Writing won’t benefit me much.” Oh, past Critter, you sweet little idiot. Writing daily has helped me in two major ways:
#1: I don’t know what I think about something until I start writing about it. I make connections and discover opinions I didn’t know existed in my brain. Yeah I know, “everyone knows that writing helps you think.” But experiencing it firsthand has been bizarre and fantastic.
#2: It’s helpful to have a blog post handy when I get into a discussion with someone. Instead of summarizing my thoughts over and over again to different people, I can shoot them a link. Beware, it’s tricky to do this without sounding like a know-it-all jerk. But in the right context and with the right tone, it can work and save everyone a lot of time.
Finally, some stats for those 8 weeks, if you’re curious:
- Total views: 67,198
- Total visitors: 49,560
- Most popular post: That coworker who never stops refactoring (23,370 views)
- 2nd most popular post: Wiki bankruptcy (17,852 views)
- Biggest referrer: Hacker News (responsible for 31,023 views)
The Pareto Principle (i.e., the 80/20 rule) is popping up here. Out of those 40 posts, the top 2 brought in almost 2/3 of the views. In fact, the top 8 posts (i.e., the top 20%) accounted for 85% of the views. So instead of 80/20 it’s 85/20 so far!
Another example: Hacker News gave me almost half of my traffic.
I plan to keep the streak going as long as possible. Seth Goden says the first 1000 are the most difficult, and I’d like to see if that’s true.
If you’ve made it this far, I challenge you to write every day for just one week. If you want to stop at the end of the week, then stop. But if not, keep going and see where it takes you.