What I Learned From My 30 Day Writing Challenge

I failed again with another 30 day challenge. I only ended up writing twenty two post; eight short of my goal of thirty. My initial idea was just write everyday. Mostly something short and simple but in the end, I really wanted to write some longer more in depth pieces. Some of them were pretty good but others left a bit to be desired. I wrote about artificial intelligence, Amazon, happiness, expectations and so many other topics. I spent an hour on some of them and spent almost five hours on others. Some just came out of my head but others took hours of reading, research and thought. A rough estimate would be about fifty to sixty hours was devoted to writing about 18,000 words and 247 paragraphs that totaled over 71 pages of writing. It is nice to say that writing is much easier now. The process is a bit easier to understand. I am growing as a writer and a person. Here's a few things that I learned from this challenge.

Your thoughts become more clear. Your writing helps your refine your thoughts. You realize the holes in your though process. You know what you don't know. I reread what I write and realize that my mind is not very clear at times. Of course I think it is but that is seemingly just overconfidence disguised as ignorance. It forced me to demand comprehensiveness from myself and better care in seeing the cracks in my vision. In the end, you learn to catch these little holes and see the details that never existed before.

Your writing helps develop your philosophy. When you put things in writing, you can formulate all the things in your head better. You write down you ideas and thoughts then put them neatly into categories or topics. Each article becomes building blocks to a more finished philosophy. You gain insight into topics that were a bit cloudy. You find out what you stand for because writing forces you to rationalize and justify your stances.

It helps you quantify your mind. Writing is a measure of your mind. How much do you know about politics? Or sports? Or life? You can see it in the words that you write. It is measurable and quantifiable. Is it concise? Is it detailed? How much did I write? How much do I know? I can compare my thoughts and ideas with someone's writing. It becomes a measuring stick where none existed before. We can measure out blood pressure. We can measure our weight. But it is difficult to measure out philosophies and knowledge outside of taking exams. Writing is a wonderful measure of where your mind stands.

It is a mental exercise where you can build your brain. It forces you to apply abstract ideas and formulate frameworks. Certain things that you learn you can apply like learning to ride a bike. You build the physical muscles of your body. But ideas are not tangible results except when you write it down. Your writing is the visual tangible results of your mind. The stronger the article, the stronger your mind is. The longer the article, the more stamina your mind has. Writing becomes the exercise and the articles become your body.

You learn about your voice. Eventually as you become more fluid with your writing, your personality is reflected in your voice. It's becomes more natural. It's like learning how to throw a ball. At first it is very mechanical. Then it becomes more smooth. Then you can add a little bit of customization and put a little bit of you into the throw. My voice is still not there but hopefully one day it'll become as natural as speaking.

You liberate all the junk in your head. I realized that your mind is like storage garage full of all the crap that you kept for later. All those thoughts, ideas, dreams and randomness that you threw in there like things you buy and forget in your closet. Sometimes you forget that you have certain shoes or shirts but they are there in the back cluttering up your closet. Everytime that I wrote something down, it was something that I didn't need to keep in my brain anymore. It was freed up space for something else. I did not need to worry about losing it because when you write it down, it becomes forever and best of all, it became useful. I made it applicable to me and perhaps someone else who reads it. After every article, the space in my head became more organized and clear. There was still lots of things in there but at least it was neatly and pleasantly organized.