A little over 200 days ago, I set myself a challenge.
Like everything else up till that point, I thought that this was something I'd quickly leave behind.
However, something small and seemingly insignificant turned out to be one of the biggest things I've ever done in my life.
100 days after the challenge had commenced, I wrote an article called '100 Days 100 Blog Articles Later: Lessons I Learned.'
This article talked all about the lessons or skills I had acquired over the last few months I had been consistently blogging every day.
Today, I have managed to cross the 200 article mark.
It turns out that there's a massive change between writing 100 articles and writing 200 articles.
Both events bring about their own set of lessons and experiences, lessons that I will be discussing today.
Here are the 4 valuable lessons I learned from writing 200 articles.
Breaks are important
The first lesson I learned is that taking regular breaks is important.
Although it's commendable to write one, high-quality article every day, I sometimes notice that my writing quality starts to slip.
- How long the article is and,
- The quality of the article.
In general, I aim to achieve at least 2000 words, and a writing level of an '11th-12th grader' or as high as a 'college student'.
While these are the highest available levels of writing on the website, I'm confident that my writing ability far exceeds that of an 11th-12th grader... well, in most cases.
There have been times where I go a month, even two without taking a single day off blogging.
During these periods of time, I start to realise how my writing level slips down to that of a '9th-10th grader.'
We're all humans, at the end of the day.
It's impossible to keep going, day after day, without taking any breaks in between.
Think of exercise - you cannot go to the gym 7 days in a row and work out the same body part every single time.
Many fitness enthusiasts have a schedule in place that helps them target different areas of their bodies on different days.
While Mondays might be specifically for the chest and biceps, Wednesdays might be set aside for legs and triceps.
Instead of forcing myself to hammer out an article every single day, I have started to schedule a one day break whenever I feel that it's necessary.
This allows me to achieve the consistency I was initially striving for at the start of this challenge and get the rest, both mentally and physically, whenever I do need it.
Demotivation is normal
I'd beg to differ - blogging is, by far, one of the best things I've ever decided to do in my life.
The whole challenge stemmed from the idea that writing helped me calm my nerves and put my thoughts down on paper.
After facing hardship in the field of business, I wanted a way to wind down and relax - a lot of entrepreneurs don't have anyone to speak to and so finding a way to let their feelings out is important.
My escape was writing and so I thought that I'd be able to build a community that shared the thoughts and feelings that I did.
Not only do I enjoy blogging, but I also find it fulfilling.
Every once in a while, I get to read messages from people I motivated, and it pushes me to write more, engaging content.
Despite all the good that blogging has done for me, I still feel demotivated from time to time.
I still procrastinate writing articles because I simply don't feel like I'm in the mood to write on a given day.
Going back to the point on taking breaks, these are usually another sign that you need to either:
- Take some time off or,
- Rethink your strategy.
Whenever you get yourself into a repetitive routine, it can be boring and demotivating to constantly do the same thing, over and over.
I spent my mornings writing the majority of my articles.
While it worked for a very long time, I slowly noticed how my body is not used to getting into focus mode soon after I wake up.
I like to take my time when I wake up - have a cup of tea or two, and maybe grab some breakfast too.
Instead, I've started to write my article during the nighttime when I'm already active and awake.
Feeling demotivated doesn't mean that you're doing the wrong thing, it might just mean that you've been doing the right thing for too long, that it's become monotonous.
Try to change your daily routine around, attempting new things that you might not have tried before.
Not only can it be fun, but it's also a breath of fresh air.
Small habits compound
In the beginning, doing small things might seem like a waste of time.
Writing a daily article, uploading it onto Medium - all of this seemed as though it was leading to a dead end.
The same way that doing 50 push-ups per day might seem pointless at first.
By the time I had written 100 articles, I could still look back and see where I had started, I had not yet made much progress in terms of growth.
The reason I was able to keep pushing despite the fact that I hadn't made a lot of progress is that I had set my expectations low, to begin with.
Every time I've failed in business, it's been for one, simple reason:
My expectations have been through the roof!
Being young and ambitious, it's easy to let your wild thoughts slip through the cracks, away from reality.
However, I managed to tame them this one time when I decided to pursue the challenge of blogging every day.
While the first 4 months were slow and tedious, months 5 and 6 is where things really started to pick up.
After being featured in an article on Startup Stories, my monthly traffic jumped from around 2,000 visitors to 10,000 visitors +, peaking at 15,000 last month.
For the first 4 months, I had managed to accumulate no more than a dozen or so followers on Medium - by month 6, I managed to reach over 400 followers, and monetize my Medium account!
While the snowball starts off small and weak, don't underestimate it.
It can quickly grow larger and more powerful by the second.
Stop assessing opportunities based on short term gains.
Look at the bigger picture and see how large you can take it 12 months, 3 years, or even 5 years from now.
Learn as you share
Although Google, YouTube, and the internet, as a whole, have made it drastically easier to learn the secrets to success, many people still struggle to find the right source.
With the ease of access to the internet, there are most certainly drawbacks that come with it.
One of the biggest being the scams and frauds that occur on a day-to-day basis.
My articles act as the light in the dark to those who feel lost, like they have nowhere to go.
Although people read my articles to learn from, I feel as though there's a lot I can learn too.
Whenever I write new articles, I pick up on things I may not have known before.
Writing doesn't only help the reader on the other end - it helps me learn more about the topic at hand.
It helps me learn more about myself, more about the way I think, the way I perceive situations.
People say that 'the best way to learn is to teach.'
Those were the 4 valuable lessons I learned from writing 200 articles.
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