31 Things I’ve Learned in 31 Days of Writing

Just over a month ago, I challenged myself to write in this space for 31 days straight.

This is my 31st post.

I’ve learned a lot during this challenge, and I thought it would be fun to provide a list of…

31 Things I’ve Learned in 31 Days of Writing

  1. The “Why” your writing has to be crystal clear; otherwise you’ll give it up soon after you start.
  2. Know what you’re committing to before you do 31 days of anything – I had no idea how much time it would take to write every single night.
  3. A subscription to Grammarly.com is your best defense against bad grammar and spelling.
  4. Anybody can write every day, as long as you’re willing to stop watching TV every night.
  5. Be prepared for people to start using air quotes when they talk to you—especially your staff. This is an indicator that they’ve read your blog and are using a word or phrase from it.
  6. Most people won’t comment on your post, even in if you invite and/or ask them to.
  7. Thus, asking questions at the end of the post is clearly for rhetorical reasons.
  8. Flickr.com Creative Commons is your best friend for finding compelling images for your post.
  9. The perfect Facebook image is 400px x 401px. Use this as your blogs “featured image” and your social shares will turn out great.
  10. How you style your blog post matters. If it’s too crowded, people won’t read.
  11. My most popular posts are generally ones that come from the heart, not the head.
  12. People are watching you…closely.
  13. You’ll likely start to entertain the idea of writing a book.
  14. You will convince yourself that you actually are a writer.
  15. You’ll wonder why you post on the weekends because traffic plummets, then you’ll remember that you’re not writing for the traffic.
  16. Remember that building your email database is critical. It gives you permission to talk to people in their inbox.
  17. Mailchimp is the best email newsletter platform I’ve used to-date.
  18. Fellow blogging friends are 100% more likely to socialize and include you in their blogs when you’re writing.
  19. Bufferapp.com is fantastic at helping you setup your social platforms to broadcast for you throughout the day—a HUGE timesaver.
  20. Writing in the morning is almost always better than writing at night, as your mind is refreshed.
  21. People you don’t know may start to approach you for meetings.
  22. Writing is one of the best ways to process your thoughts and opinions that would otherwise go unprocessed.
  23. I assumed way too little about how much time and effort goes into writing a strong post. Much respect to my fellow bloggers.
  24. Writers block sucks, but it’s an opportunity to persevere, not give up.
  25. Visitors typically don’t read, they scan. Help them by bolding key points in your text.
  26. Therefore, try and use Headings and lists in your posts.
  27. You’ll start to constantly scan conversations for blog posts ideas.
  28. Find the perfect space to write and write in that space often. Seriously, this is a big help!
  29. Life experiences and stories make the best foundation for blog posts.
  30. I’ve finally begun to see the importance of building a personal “platform”
  31. Communicating with people is a privilege. Treat it with respect and they’ll keep coming back.

The process of writing 31 blog posts in as many days was an unexpected adventure in creativity, time management and perseverance. Writing your thoughts in ways that you hope connects with your readers is a challenge that I’ll never take for granted again. Today, my respect for authors and consistent bloggers is much higher than it was 32 days ago.

Some of you will read this and wonder if you should do a blogging challenge too, of which I would say, “Of course you should!” However, before you start, be sure that you’ve clearly identified your “why.” This was critical to my success in this project. (Thanks Lissi!)

As for what’s next, I plan to optimize my posting schedule and keep on writing.

See you soon.

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  • http://www.donaldmcallister.com/ Don McAllister

    Awesome. Great insights that took me longer than it should’ve to learn. One thing I definitely need to do because my grammar is crap is subscribe to Grammarly!

  • Adrienne

    A big shout out for going 31 days! And for helping out the rest of us!

    • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

      Thank you! And thank you for stopping by.

  • Bethany Torino

    Awesome post, Kyle. Thank you for the insight!

    • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

      Thanks for stopping by Bethany. I appreciate the encouragement.


  • http://richlangton.com/ Rich Langton

    Great post Kyle – super helpful.

    I used to write daily, when I stopped I found I missed posting so regularly.

    Like you, I respect anyone who can keep it up for the long term!!

    Thanks again for a great post.

    • http://www.kylechowning.com/ Kyle Chowning

      Thanks Rich!

  • Ja’Daiza Johnson

    Thanks for this post! I am in College so free writing is far- and few-between for me usually. This definately re-inspired me to get back into it. Thanks again so much for these great points! Keep it up.

  • Greg Hill

    Thanks for the post!

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Hey Kyle

    I had a very similar idea, but ditched it out of cowardice. hehe Kudos to you for following through with your challenge. It’s clear you had fun and it’s clear you are going to never stop writing. LOVE IT.

    Thanks for sharing your insightful lessons