This is the final day of my 14-days blogging challenge. I wanted to take a look back at how it went and share with you some lessons and general observations that I learned from it.
1) I'm glad I was able to actually do it.
Putting quality and rules aside for a minute, I'm really glad I was able to actually publish 1 blog post every single day for the past two weeks, even with everything else that was going on with my life. After yesterday's post, I'm trying to focus on the optimistic outlook as well.
2) "I don't have time for X" is just a poor excuse
This might make some people angry, but I strongly believe in it. And I'm myself sometimes guilty of having this attitude as well. I didn't have enough time for building apps for years, because I kept wasting time by dealing with the BS schooling system. It wasn't until I finally dropped out in 2014 that this changed. And for the past year, I've been able to work on my apps (mainly Timelines) full-time.
I guess my point is:
If you truly want something, it's your responsibility to make the time for it in your life, and to actually do it.
I myself thought that I just don't have the time (or energy) to blog every day. But I found out that when skipping it is not an option, I can find a way to make it work. It mostly meant reducing my evening 'downtime' and going to sleep later than usual. Suddenly, that 1-hour a day that I thought isn't there became available.
3) I'm not interested in finding excuses for myself
This is actually a point that Gary Vaynerchuk mentions in a lot of his videos, and I absolutely agree with him. Again, I'm sometimes guilty of not following this rule. But at the end of the day, I know it's now in my hands whether I'll make it as an indie app developer or not. Sure, I could continue dwelling on some unfortunate events and episodes of my past, but that's not productive. Instead, I'd much rather focus my energy on what lies ahead of me. On finding ways to move forward. To increase my productivity. Change my mindset. I'm grateful for the situation that I'm in now - I can invest 100% of my work time towards my apps, and I absolutely want to make the most out of it.
4) It was harder than I thought
Coming up with a theme for the post each day and actually writing the article was hard. I'm fortunate that my life was quite eventful during that time. If it was the usual "mostly work" time sample, it would've been more difficult. I also failed to follow the rules that I set out for myself. Each post took me around an hour (as opposed to those 20-30 minutes), and most of the posts were much longer than I intended.
5) Forcing myself to it can work
Several days, especially towards the day, I really didn't know what to write about until I sat down and started. I have no doubts that if I wasn't trying to complete the challenge, I would've just skipped those days. Knowing this, I know that for me it takes real commitment to writing to actually do it more often.
6) Quality vs. Quantity
I'm fully aware that mosts of the posts weren't really that high-quality (quite the opposite). I think that's ok, though. The challenge was mostly for me, to get used to 'being out there' with my writing. I'm sure that if I invested 3 hours a day into the articles instead of one, they would've been much better. But would more people read them? That's hard to say. I wouldn't be so sure. Plus, I couldn't justify investing so much time into it. Even the hour a day was at my limits. Ideally, I'd like to publish one solid and well thought-out post each week, ideally on a topic related to the iOS community. But I found out that I'm really bad at doing things weekly. I've tried it several times but it never worked out. It never got from the "I wish I did this every week" phase to actually making it a reality. That's something I'd like to explore in the upcoming months.
7) Where are my Likes and Favorites?!
I'm just kidding! :D. It's interesting to think about it, though. How it affects one's satisfaction with the content. Of course, I'd like more people to show some kind of 'engagement' with it. But what I realized today: I might be asking for way too much. With all the top-notch content that's out there, why should people care about what I have to say? And when it comes to Facebook friends - most of them probably aren't into things that I'm talking about in these posts. And again, that's ok. I think part of the problem was a mismatch between the audience and what I put out. I decided to write about what's interesting to me, instead of catering to the audience. Looking back at it now, I'm glad I did it that way.
8) Ultimately, this isn't sustainable
The way I went around doing it isn't sustainable long-term. If I were to truly blog each day for months, the posts would have to be way shorter, and it would have to require much less effort than it did now. I'm not sure that if I were to only give myself those 20 minutes a day whether I'd be able to put together something that I can be satisfied with. Maybe, maybe not. Maybe if each post was laser-focused on just one thing, and this one thing was explained clearly in as little words/sentences as possible, it could possibly work.
I have three more days in Bangkok, and then I'm flying back to Prague. And then I will be getting used to the freezing cold weather that's waiting for me there.
This means that I won't continue with daily blogging for a while. At least a week. I need to take some time to process these 14 days. To come up with a new plan. That being said, I still absolutely want to write more often. That's actually also what I learned: I really do enjoy writing. And even though I'm very average at it at best, I want to keep doing it. And get better at it.
After the pause, I might do another challenge, just phrase it differently. And set different metrics for measuring how it's going. I'm not sure about the specifics yet, but I know that I want to do something.
So, this is it. If you enjoyed this series, please drop a comment either here or on Facebook/Twitter - it would mean a lot to me :). Thank you, and see you hopefully soon!