Wrapping Up (30/30)
Call me ESPN, 'cause that's 30 for 30
The experiment of writing thirty essays in thirty days has reached its conclusion. Below are some reflections on the past month:
First and foremost, this exercise accomplished its primary goal. It obliterated my perfectionism. Full stop. By around Day 8, any fear or reluctance around publication was completely gone and replaced with a bias for action.
It helped me develop the ability to write in any situation. I wrote in the morning, at night, on planes, after concerts, on my phone in a parking lot, even after a few adult beverages. It may take staring at a blank screen for an indeterminate amount of time, but I’m now confident in my ability to spit out something relatively coherent.
It helped tremendously with idea generation and creativity. The forced constraint did its job; I came up with ideas that I probably would not have without having a daily deadline. Like writing a limerick.
It helped me identify and develop my style/voice. I don't think this was evident in all of the essays because of the minimal editing, but I felt it. I also now feel when it's missing.
Friends got involved with the project, which made it more fun.
It was hard. Doing hard things is good. I felt a prideful satisfaction every time I published a post, especially when I did not feel like writing on that particular day. I feel similarly proud right now after having completed the challenge.
Publishing daily was not a reliable way to produce consistently good writing because the editing process was by nature cut short or eliminated altogether. As a result, I wrote some pretty bad essays.
There were times where it felt like a journal, which is to say that I wasn’t sure how valuable some of the pieces were. While there is always value in understanding someone else’s experience of the world, I didn’t want the writing to become self-indulgent. At times it felt like it crossed into that territory.
On a similar note, a lot of the posts felt somewhat self-helpy. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing given that it seemed to happen naturally and is therefore what I was most inclined to write. But I don’t want that to become the default. I enjoyed writing some of the more observational pieces.
It was hard. Around Day 21 I was about ready for the thirty days to be over.
THE OTHERWISE INTERESTING:
The nature of each post was largely dictated by how I felt that day. There was no way around this, at least as long as I wanted to maintain authenticity. I remember quite a few days where I would’ve loved to write something funny or happy, but it just wasn’t there. I guess it could be argued that this is a good thing.
All typos made themselves abundantly clear as soon as I hit ‘Publish’.
All in all, I’m very glad I did this and very glad that it’s over. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to read these ramblings. I’m looking forward to taking a break and then finding the optimal writing cadence that produces the most fun and interesting work.