Tuesday, November 12, 2019

500 Days

I'm half way toward my goal of 1,000 days of writing.

Since I last posted a 100-day update, I realized I do have a single way to see stats on my last 100 days of posting. My two most popular posts in that time were:

• What makes students thrive or flounder

When I first undertook this commitment, I had a lot of writing ideas I wanted to force myself to develop. Once I started, I found many of them I had saved were not as useful as originally thought, mostly due to their now-stale nature. They would have been more useful the time.

Another thing I've noticed in this first half is a daily commitment is a commitment to a very specific length of writing. Some of my posts are more drawn out, and with the nature of blogging it's acceptable to have some be quite short, too. If a point can be made very succinctly, why draw it out further?

What is not as conducive to a daily commitment is longer-form writing. I've had some ideas for longer writing projects, and they've had to take a back seat to the daily writing. I can think of two ways to free myself up for the longer writing.

1. Wait until the second half of this daily commitment is complete.

2. Schedule ahead enough daily posts that I have a series of larger chunks of time to focus on a larger project.

On the latter, one of the ways I've done that—and filled the posting calendar in general—is to schedule ahead the posting of book excerpts. If those aren't your thing or worth your time, my apologies. Some other posts get scheduled ahead of time, too, especially if there's something timely scheduled to happen, or related to a useful blog post topic.

Early on I had thought I'd post things the day-of at one time of day, and have other things scheduled for a different time of day. That wasn't helpful or consistent, so I just settled on 6 PM for most things, whether it was written that day or earlier. On a few occasions if I've written it ahead of time, and the related calendar event would make it relevant earlier in the day, I've adjusted accordingly. If nothing is posted for a day by 6 PM, and something appears later in the evening, I've written or finished writing those things within the hour of when they post. I like to set a posting time, even if it's later in case I think of further edits later.

The most useful time for writing has been doing laundry. I try to do that once or twice a week, and during that time I can usually prepare one or two posts. That happens before the 6 PM time on those days early in the workweek.

I've also found the 5 PM hour to be useful for catching up on activity at the top of the federal government in Washington, namely the White House, State Department, and Congress. Posting these things on Twitter can end up coming around the same time as a blog post which would likely be completely unrelated.

I don't plan to make similar commitments in the future. A long-term daily commitment can be tyrannical. It does not take into account the many other things that can come up in a day, especially over an extended period of time. I've noticed a similar effect previously.

15,500 days

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