Last April, after being inspired by a conference I’d gone to earlier that year, I decided that I’d try posting every day for a month. I called it the Month of No Hiding project.
It was the most fun I’d had with blogging in quite a while, and I published more great ideas that month than I had the year prior. As I rolled into May, it wasn’t something that I could do without displacing other projects that I had already committed to or that were planned up until September. Taking the helm of Live Your Legend, until we got the team transitioned after Scott passed, and simultaneously scaling up TeamPF kept the daily publishing from being a live possibility until now.
There are only so many ends of a candle you can burn at once without burning yourself out, after all.
Throughout all of that, though, I’ve been yearning to get back to the daily publishing. I learned last year that publishing daily has three major benefits:
- It made me notice at a different level what was going on throughout the day. It’s like the difference between skimming a book and reading it slowly with a pencil and notebook in hand. Being ready to capture the day leads to your noticing all the things to capture.
- It made every day a catalytic moment. It’s stupidly easy to pile up a whole bunch of experiences and ideas to write about but never get around to doing it. Having that daily deadline, though, created a lot of opportunities to surprise myself. As with giving a speech or delivering a workshop, some gems came out that I would never have planned to say. There’s a sense of creative adventure that comes with publishing daily that way.
- It helped mitigate my endless challenge with trapped content. On the podcast, in email, on coaching calls, and in conversations with friends, I end up saying so much that never gets published and it bothers me. I’ll never be able to share all of the gems, but sharing the best of them every day goes a long way.
I learned a few other lessons along the way, like the fact that publishing at night not only made keeping up with the project more doable but actually led to my writing better posts. And that there’s a natural length, form, and voice that posts almost want to be when I’m writing daily. And that my best work continues to be and always has been developed in the kneading of others’ experiences with my own.
To learn new things about yourself and creative process, you usually have to do new things. (Or, another lesson from last year: changing how you create changes what you create.)
This year, I’ve decided that I’ll do one hundred days of publishing rather than just one month. I’m keeping most of the same rules I did last year, with the following changes:
- Posts from the idea garden do count. Since I may keep going, I need to figure out how I’m going to weave in some of those unfinished posts, too.
- Not publishing on unplugged days, sick days, or heavy travel days doesn’t break my streak. This rule makes the project more sustainable for me, at the same time that it means it may not be one hundred consecutive days.
For the last week or so, I’ve been mulling over whether I was going to kick this project off now, and I didn’t finally decide until yesterday, but even before making the decision, I was already noticing all of the gems worth reflecting on and sharing (#1 benefit from above). There’s never an absence of things worth sharing and talking about; there’s only an absence of the willingness and commitment to curate and share your experiences.
Be warned, though, that posting every day may be a really dumb strategy and I’m not recommending that you do it. I’m doing it for creative satisfaction and adventure more than for strategy.
Let’s see what we learn this year after doing it for one hundred days. See you tomorrow.
(In the coming days, I’ll figure out how to give you a way to follow along with this project and get new posts via email if that’s your jam.)