Writing Every Day :: Here’s The Jackanory So Far

Challenged myself to write every day for 365 days, here’s what’s been going down + a few stats

Challenged myself to write every day for 365 days, here’s what’s been going down + a few stats

Today I’m a paltry 12 days into a 365 Day Writing Challenge. Ideas don’t seem to be a problem I’m getting plenty of them. Drawing on things that spark my interest, adding my own anecdotes etc.

But it’s difficult. Not that I figured it would be anything less than that, I’m not that naive. Rather, in committing to writing and publishing every day I find I’ve a couple of challenges. They are nothing that cannot be overcome but they are challenges nonetheless.

Challenge #1 Making Content Interesting

It’s exam time and the last few weeks has me a little pulled apart between making time to study, work, tending to the kids and fulfilling my writing commitments.

Making stuff interesting and ensuring it flows on the page is important to me, although I do realise that hitting the bullseye won’t happen every day. Teasing out an idea is a process that takes time for me and usually involves lots of reading, rereading, editing, cutting and pasting etc.

(Same for you I guess…)

So I figure I need to get comfortable producing below par material more often than not. If I’m getting new stuff out every day I can’t make it perfect all the time. Maybe once a week is a reasonable target.

I create one substantial article per week which is either a short story or a detailed opinion piece on a hot socially relevant topic. This coming Sunday it’s a short story about a 21 year old Irish protestant fighting in WW1.

I’ll start that tomorrow and use the entire day to get down the bones of the story and dialogue. Saturday morning I’ll edit and set up to go out on Sunday morning.

I’ll republish here on Tuesday next, or if you want to get it Sunday you can subscribe for Sunday Letters

Challenge #2 Having The Courage To Hit Publish

You see like most people, I’ve got this inner critical bastard that pipes up to remind me my article is shit and I’m going to look really stupid. The inner critical bastard is not as loud as he used to be but he’s still there.

I have a standard that I like to hit you see. When I sit back having researched and written a piece, read it to myself umteen times and it finally feels good, then I hit publish.

If I don’t get the time and space to go through that process then I’m not ready. If I go to publish before I’m ready the inner critical bastard has something to say.

Last night was one of those moments — I was really agitated and uptight. I had a short piece written that I wasn’t entirely happy with and I had to contend with all the usual mentally verbalised diarrhea.

I published anyway.

It’s due to be republished here on Medium tomorrow. I’m still unsure if I’ll post it.

No Advice, At Least Not Yet

I’m not offering any advice here, I’ve none to offer because I’m still figuring things out. My goal is to leave my job by the end of the year and take up writing full time. This writing 365 challenge is a step towards that.

When I get there I’ll spill the entire can of beans on how I did it and who knows, it might help someone out there.

For now I’ll keep sharing my thoughts on the transition with you, my fuck-ups, and small or big wins as and when they land.

A Few Stats

Let me share a few stats with you.

Now, it wasn’t too hard to increase my numbers since starting this challenge, given that I hadn’t produced new material in a while and my site was in a bit of a transition while I redesigned it. Traffic numbers aren’t enormous but what you will see is that once I began working it, the numbers went up.

larrygmaguire.com stats

Bounce rate is a little high for my liking at 80%

Session duration is good at av. 02:21 per page.

Average Time On Page 04:01 (One article recorded time on page 07:00, another 05:00. That means people are sticking around)

I’d also like to increase returning visitor numbers

Bottom line here is; create more content and share the shit out of it and numbers will increase. After that I don’t know, but I’ll keep you in the loop.

All the best!

I’m writing and publishing every day for 365 days. If you are an artist or writer or even just a regular pissed off with your job member of the human race, then maybe I’ll have something reasonable to offer you beyond the regular noise. If you’d like to get these articles to your inbox just sign up below and I’ll shoot you a summary every sunday morning.

Howdy, I’m Larry, Writer & Artist. Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. I write short stories about the ordinary lives of people and the challenges they face. My stuff can be edgy, hard hitting, and sometimes controversial, but never contrived. If that’s your bag you can Sign-up To Sunday Letters Here.

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