28 Days Later

No, it’s not a movie review, but lessons learned from publishing a blog post a day. There were so many things you learn – most of them utterly surprising.

Discipline

I was grateful for that moment I realised that this challenge required a structure –

  1. Melbourne Mondays
  2. Think Tuesdays
  3. Wandering Wednesdays
  4. Tasty Thursdays
  5. Fun Fridays
  6. Social Saturdays
  7. Self Improvement Sundays

Because I honestly didn’t know what to post about each day. The structure was needed to ensure that I could write something different and expand this blog outside of the food and travel idea it is known for. Whilst my views and readership have gone up, that wasn’t the goal here. My main goal was to become a better storyteller and have an impact on my readers. Which begged the question – who are my readers and what do they care about?

Become More Interesting

7 days a week? Could it be done? Yes. I faltered way more times to post daily than I was comfortable with (11), but I definitely did it. And to keep adding new content, I learned that I had to become more interesting. Heck I even started a Snapchat channel (the_domtrav) to see if I could most more content. In a way, I got to thank Gary Vaynerchuck for this push. One of his videos was just “MORE MORE MORE”. You want to do something, then do it. Then do more of it. I created 7 categories for myself and I needed to fill it out. I then niched it down – I started focusing on the Eastern side of Melbourne to give my own backyard the due notice that it deserves. And, I had to start doing more interesting things – I started reading widely and taking notes. I even started doing a few courses on the most random, off-topic thing I could think about. How has it panned out? Well, I am never at a loss for words in a conversation. I wouldn’t say that I am a ninja, but I’m never quiet – most of the time, I’m actually asking a whole bunch of questions – and to be more interesting, you have to become more interesting in other people. The stuff that I have learned is amazing! Keep your eye out for more “Think Tuesday” and “Self Improvement Sunday” posts.

Writing From The Heart Always Won

white-night-2017-126When I had to force content, I struggled. But when I wrote from the heart, I had trouble stopping the words. They just flooded out. And sometimes, it was astonishing to have all those items come tumbling out. There were moments that I was vulnerable and I couldn’t bring myself to hit “publish”. Other times, I had to re-write the entire article because I wasn’t happy with the way I conveyed my message. If anything, I realised that being authentic, sticking to my guns and writing about things that mattered most to my readers and myself, helped me to stick to this challenge.

Storytelling Is An Art

Well, who knew? Being able to tell a story is so important. It can mean the difference between getting a job, asking the girl (or guy or both) out and being comfortable. And being comfortable means stagnation. Growing for growth’s sake is bullshit. You need to have a sense of purpose and even though this life is going to end, I am confident that I need to grow and keep learning till the day I die. I will never know everything, but I do want to know all that I can and pass on my lessons to you. One of my favourite posts on this topic is covered by Sam Mullins. Yes, it’s about the spoken word, but that doesn’t change the roadmap on becoming a better storyteller. Most of the time, it comes down to one thing…

Practice, Practice, Practice

The number of times I wanted to just stop what I was doing, or question whether what I am doing will add value… are too many to list. But for every post you will notice, I have put it close to the end of the day. Why? Because when I promised that I wouldn’t sleep until I had posted the latest entry, things just magically changed and I was able to add one more item. Sure it wasn’t pretty, but it was raw. Emotional. Straight from the heart. And gawd damn I begged for sleep. Plus it reminded me that I needed to get better at planning and having an outline for all the things I want to write about. If anything, I have now discovered so many interesting things purely because I started looking for it, that my nights and weekends are blocked with things to do.

What do you think? Is there anything you have tried for 30 days (or 28)? What would you like to see me try next? Leave a comment below and I will respond. Or get in touch via email, Facebook, Instagram – heck even Snapchat (the_domtrav). I will reply to every single one.

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