Well, that was a lot of words!


Whew! I made it! Thirty-one days and thirty-one posts composed of over 14,000 words. They account for 27% of all the entries on JenFul so far. It was a lot of work. I stared at many blank Word documents. I spent a lot of time going through my big list of blog ideas thinking, No. Nope. Not that either. That one will take too long. I don’t want to spend time thinking that one through. I have no idea what that one even means. When I did pick a topic I would type and then hammer the backspace key into oblivion. Writing is hard, even when you know what you want to say, even harder when you don’t. I often wanted to abandon an entry, but would finish it off because I had to meet that damn daily deadline.

Despite all that, or maybe because of it, the experience left me feeling really fulfilled. After I’ve been writing for a few hours, I get a happy, feel-good buzz in my brain. It’s a feeling of happiness and satisfaction that I don’t get with alcohol or candy, a feeling of a job well done. I also discovered that once I got into writer mode my brain found it difficult to switch out of that mode. I might write three entries on a Saturday afternoon, but still be scribbling down notes for new entries all through the evening when I really just wanted to watch TV. Suddenly everything I thought about seemed blog worthy. Everything needed to be written down! I remember feeling this way when writing my books, and it’s a way I don’t feel when I’m not writing regularly.

However, a post a day is not a pace I can keep up. If you’re thinking of attempting the same project I’d recommend that you stockpile 2-3 entries before the month begins to give you breathing room. You can check the timestamps on my posts to see that I started to fall behind on the 5th of the month, and then I frantically started posting later and later in the day until the 15th, when I’d finally managed to stockpile some entries over the previous weekend. After that I was able to stay at least a day ahead.

One problem with posting every day is that I shied away from writing entries that might require a lot of thinking, revision, some more thinking, and few days to percolate before more revision. Instead I found myself searching my list of ideas for something I could pound out in fifteen or twenty minutes. Ironically, I sometimes spent fifteen to twenty minutes deciding on a topic, which I could have spent tackling a bigger idea. And sometimes the little posts ballooned into bigger entries anyway.

On the other hand, the perfect is the enemy of the good, so having a daily deadline forced me to finally write some posts I’d been putting off just so I could get something out there. It helped that I’ve been keeping a big list of blog ideas for years. If you don’t have a big list like that, you can Google “writing prompts” and get plenty of suggestions. If you’re thinking of doing this, you also might want to choose a month that has 30 days.

It is intensely satisfying to click over to my Archives index and see a post listed for every day in October. This projected reminded me that I do enjoy writing and I should do it more often. I got some really nice feedback from my readers as well, so thank you! It felt rather odd not posting anything yesterday. I had an urge around 11pm to post a picture just so I wouldn’t break my streak, but I pulled myself back and thought, Let it go, Jennette. I am in control of my blog. My blog does not control me. So, I will post when I want to, hopefully more frequently than I have for most of the year. I’m going to aim for a no-more-than-three rule, meaning I won’t let more than three days go by without posting. We’ll see how it goes.

Thanks again for all your comments last month! I don’t think I would have done it without you.

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  1. Rachel R. says

    I really, really enjoyed reading your daily posts. I certainly wouldn’t expect you to keep that up – it would be superhuman! However often you wish to write, though, I will happily keep reading!

  2. Elaine says

    It was fun to read all your posts. I hope you’ll be posting more regularly, although I wouldn’t expect a repeat of a month of daily posts any time soon!

  3. Maggie says

    What Kim & Leigh said! (See what a lazy blogger I’d be?)

    This regular reader very much appreciated your efforts — hope to see you around more often in future, too.

  4. says

    Loved this month, Jennette! Great writing on some very interesting topics! Less than daily will be much easier to maintain though. 😉

    And now I must say that I owe you an email …

  5. Maureen says

    I was really looking forward to Halloween, but when it got here, I realised it meant the end of you daily posts! You really are a talented writer and the blogs that I read to fill the gaps in your posts are terrible :-) They use words like “bamn” and phrases like “ya, so that happened”. Anyhow, thank you for saving me from that!

  6. Ellen says

    Thank you for the time and effort invested last month! It was so great to come read every day :) I’d been checking in now and then since the switch from PQ and it was always a surprise treat to see a post from you. Having so many recently gave me some nostalgia for the old PQ days! I will continue to read irrespective of what frequency you find is best for you, of course.

  7. says

    I enjoyed your daily posts. Sometimes, when you /have/ to write, like when you have-to-exercise-but-really-don’t-want-to, the end result is not only extremely satisfying, it’s also beneficial. I don’t think I’m the only reader who appreciated your extra effort this month.
    P.S. Next time, try doing a challenge like this in February. Just a thought 😉

  8. says

    I missed reading your blog posts for so long! It’s been fun hearing from you again.

    It must be hard to go from a focused topic like weight loss to a more open format; sometimes having more choices makes it harder to find a topic than being restricted to a niche. It’s kinda like getting Netflix and then being overwhelmed by choice, so we spend more time adding stuff to our queues than we do watching stuff.

    Hope you keep going, even if it’s not daily :)

  9. says

    I loved reading the daily blogs. With two non-fiction memoir books under your belt, are you entertaining any thoughts of writing a novel? You are such a good writer, and I know how much satisfaction I get out of writing, when I don’t have nearly as much talent as you, so I was thinking that maybe you were missing it. If all your own stories are told, perhaps it’s time to delve into the world of make-believe???? If you wrote it–I’d buy it!!

  10. says

    Oh boy! A month’s worth of your posts to catch up on? I’d gotten out of the habit of checking regularly.

    I did that challenge of a post a day for a month (but in November), and went for shorter posts, often mostly photos.

  11. Jen in MN says

    I also enjoyed your daily posts in October. It was fun to check every day and know there would be a new post up!

    I’ve read both your books and really enjoy your writing.

    Keep up the great work, as often as you (reasonably) can!

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