Training Your Brain for Inspiration: 30-Day Writing Challenge in Review

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 30 days already! I’ve had this blog for years, but like so many things in our lives, it got pushed to the side when things got busy. I wanted to make writing a priority, but always made excuses for myself. My philosophy used to be “only write when you’re inspired.” That was a pretty good copout! But what would happen is I would either not write because I was lazy uninspired, or if I had an idea, I put so much pressure on myself to make it perfect that nothing ever got written. Since I posted so rarely, I psyched myself out of doing what I love for fear that it wouldn’t be good enough.

As I was doodling in my journal one day, I was thinking about why I was uncomfortable with people identifying me as a writer. This is the next thing I put on the paper:

Writers write.

Boom. There was my answer. It’s such an obvious statement that it feels dumb. Like, no kidding, I can’t call myself a writer if I’m not writing.

Duh

After this, I began searching online for information on how others have maintained their blogs and creativity. I read about people who found success in writing 2,000 words every single day. That seemed to be a little much. Then I found a blogger who committed to only writing 200-300 words for 30 days. This seemed a little more doable, although I was still concerned about whether I’d be able to come up with topics every day.

My first attempt was admittedly a little half-assed. Sure, I wrote pieces I enjoyed, but then wasn’t totally consistent. So I started over in September and decided the stuff I had already written didn’t count.

Once I included my friends in what I was doing, they made sure I didn’t stop. They sent me texts, cards, emails, and comments all rooting for me to continue. These were super helpful when I started to hit a wall at day 17. It’s amazing how much more you get done when you’re held accountable by multiple people. One of my friends even gave up shopping for art supplies for 30 days in solidarity. She’s a designer and September back-to-school sales are bigger to her than Black Friday. There was one evening I was going to skip writing because I was so tired, but I remember getting a text earlier that day from her saying she had left Target with only cleaning supplies. “Okaaaaaay, fine. I’ll write something,” I thought to myself.

Overall, this was a great exercise to build my writing muscle back up. I aimed for 200-300 words, but many times wrote 500-700 words. By constantly looking for inspiration for topics, it also changed how I view each day. When I ran out of ideas, I knew it was time to get out and find interesting things that would spark my imagination. This included things like driving two hours out of town to go hiking in the middle of the week and attending a town hall meeting for Ladies Get Paid at the Swift Agency.

Most importantly, by broadcasting my opinions, stories, and struggles, I was able to find my voice. I’m a conversational writer who likes to lift people up through humor and empowerment! By forcing myself to publish every day, I took the fear out of making something absolutely perfect. Writing can be incredibly exhausting and you’re not always going to love what you produce. But, sometimes the posts you like the least are the ones that get way more views. So, take a chance and publish it anyway.

Going forward, I’m going to create a schedule for posting Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I’d also like to build my blogger community! I’ve gotten some really kind comments from people and I’d like to be better about doing the same for others.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to creating more content very soon!

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