On the eve of the new year of 2011, I created a wordpress account with a resolution that I would write 50 blogs in 2011 which means almost a blog a week. I thought it would be a cakewalk and I would easily put 50 blogs in few months. I was wrong, my first blog took me the entire weekend. The same topic which was so easy to have a chat with friends was so difficult to put into words. My mind wandered around, thoughts and words were never coherent. When I finished the first blog I realized that it is not going to be easy, hence started putting up my thoughts whenever they occur in a sticky or draft it in wordpress blog. The thought of writing something had been lingering in my mind from the school days, so it was fairly easy for me to find the first few topics.
Every week the time taken for me to finish my blogs reduced and I found it fairly easy to finish the blogs without much distractions. I had chosen to write only in two categories – Developer related and workplace improvement related. After around 15 blogs, I started running out of topics which hinted me that I had to catch up on reading and technical experiments. It pushed me in a position to optimize my workday such a way that I can make time for reading and work on stuff not related to projects. The optimizations in turn forced me to have healthy eating habits and set into a routine which became habitual.
Old habits die hard and new habits are hard to sustain, at least when they good habits and the returns are not immediate and visible. I had second thoughts to discontinue my writing as I grew tired of the new cycle I got into. At this point I thought the best way to keep me going was to advertise out to the world that I am writing and expect me to write once in a week and publicized my blogs through twitter, facebook, linkedin, thoughtworks etc. This part worked wonders by introducing me to many new people from all over the world and people started pointing out to more reading material, provided feedback and sometimes critical feedback. The amount of exposure received provided an enjoyable tension to keep on writing. My writing improved to point that I was able to write the first draft in 30 minutes and it occupied less and less of my time every week.
You can’t change just one part of the system without affecting others.
My lifestyle has changed in the last year such that I read more than I have ever been doing, I spend quality time at home and office, I also had good amount of time to pursue my hobbies and keep myself fit. All these without a hint of burn out. I am very surprised how a seemingly simple resolution like 50 blogs in a year and doing whatever it takes to accomplish that, had a huge positive impact on my lifestyle.
Go ahead and make a resolution and stick to it to see the magic it does.
Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I knew you would pull it off somehow, when I saw the 49th today, I was looking forward to this one. :), Congrats buddy!. Happy New Year!
Inspiring Novi to say the least….been a regular follower of your blog. I have developed an admiration for it. keep blogging! Happy new year buddy 🙂
Good post man. I am also looking forward to a lot of writing in 2012.
I guess you can hit 50 within 6 or 7 months given the nature of your day to day work.
Congratulations on achieving the goal.I admit not having read more than few articles you have written. But it’s really great and eye opener on how you have managed time overall. Best wishes.
I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs on the Thoughtworks aggregator. I’m curious to know what prompted you to make the resolution to write 50 blogs? Were you expecting the benefits that you eventually found or did they come as a surprise? What benefits did you originally hope for when you made the resolution, and did they materialize? How did you manage the risk that making the resolution “and doing whatever it takes to accomplish that” could have led to burn out?
One of my friends after reading few of my blogs some years back suggested that I should get into regular writing; and one day it could turn out to be writing a book. I also enjoyed writing but was not regular, so just made it a point to check that after writing very regularly for a year. I chose 50 because of a more simpler target of 1 a week, the only outcome I expected was to be a better writer (at one metric I felt it improved because I am able to put my thoughts into words much faster than a year before) but I was delighted to discover the change and the side effects it has brought. It was easy for me to cut on some extra activities like playing/watching sports/games if I need to bring in some more time to get that week’s blog, also started to keep a conscious watch on where the time was getting wasted and got it corrected. (Even optimized the time of travel to office and lots of time savings later came as a subconscious effort).