Day 31: Reflections on Write and Run 31

I have one last confession for this thirty-one day challenge.

I didn’t run every day.

I didn’t run even close to every day. I did some type of physical activity when my training plan had me to do it, but most of it wasn’t running and it was definitely not every day. I played the run-almost-every-day game and it has its benefits as well as its shortcomings. In that regard, I don’t have anything to say about the running every day part.

I did, however, write every day. I cared much more about this part of the challenge so naturally I succeeded more with it.

Quantity written varied from a surprising 1200 words the first day to 14 words on January 19th. Those words were:
“4:50am I’ve outdone myself on wakeup
7:06pm Arrived home, rather uneventful day traveling home.”
Most other days sat in the 500-700 range.

I mentioned this on day 15, but posting nearly every day proved to be a very large challenge. When I started the challenge, I expected my writing to be more like journaling, and then maybe once or twice a week I would have an idea worth sharing and post it. The plan was very casual and allowed me to write for myself.

What actually happened is that I felt seriously pressured to come up with content worth sharing every day. This either meant that I couldn’t write for myself, or that I would share those writings with the internet. I did a little bit of both. Of course, this resulted in a few really bad posts where I felt forced to publish something, when everyone would have been better off waiting until the next day when I likely would have crafted a better post.

Although it was simply a method of writing while I was at band and didn’t have the time to write a longer-form post, I really like how the band logs turned out. Part of why I like them is because they don’t require that much effort. All I have to do is sit back and listen. Did I provoke the multiple yelling of “fuckboy” while driving home from the Bluecoats camp? Nope. Well, I don’t think I provoked anything–although it’s not out of the question.

The band longs bring up a larger observation of mine: more interesting posts come when I’m traveling or doing things out of my normal routine.

The higher quality posts come when I have time to sit around, read, and think all day. As I’m not back in school yet, it would make sense that every post should be high quality. Unfortunately I find it difficult to sit around and think all day.

Last, and least, the posts that are uninteresting and are of questionable quality come when I write about those self-indulgent topics that are interesting in my head, but don’t translate well into the written word. These kinds of posts got me to write the possible topic change post. I really want to avoid these.

While I have a theory as to what inspires the good posts, I also have learned what leads to the bad ones. While I can’t think of a good way to put the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) into words for this scenario, I think the same thinking still applies. In addition, I won’t be posting every day in the future (probably twice a week?). This will most likely filter out a majority of the bad content.

In effect, I’ve learned about how I write and what makes me write poorly. Although I don’t believe that you can define something by what it’s not, I have information that will help me create better content.

This challenge was a success.

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