Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

November Writing Challenge Wrap-up

My November writing challenge where I wrote for 30 minutes each day went really well. So well that I forgot that November had ended and I didn’t have to do it anymore.

Spoiler alert, I’m doing it again in December.


In the beginning I had to leave myself notes and reminders everywhere to make sure I actually sat down and wrote. And once I did, it was a struggle to actually write for the full 30 minutes. I thought it would get easier, and there were some days that were, but in reality most days were a struggle. More often than not I was distinctly aware of the time and how little I thought I had to say.

What I learned

1. Thirty minutes is a long time.

2. Despite feeling like I didn’t have anything to say. More often than not once I started writing, it just kept coming. Now that the month is over, I do find it’s easier to sit down and write and I reach for my journal more often.

3. Writing is now a routine. There were a few days I forgot (Thanksgiving and the Friday after when I was traveling were among them), but overall it has become a habit that is just another part of my day. No reminders necessary.

4. I started to look forward to writing each day, even if actually getting words out felt like pulling teeth.

5. The first five and the last 10 minutes are the hardest. Don’t know why. Those middle 15 though… that’s where it’s at.

6. Some days I didn’t feel like writing. All of my words were used up at work writing emails or blog posts or scripts begging Adam Savage to come play with us. My brain would feel like cold oatmeal. But even on those days, I could still scrape out a little something (one day I wrote about how hard it was to write, another I wrote down every thought. For 30 minutes. It was interesting).

7. I still like writing. I was worried I would start to dread or resent writing just because I was forcing myself each day. So far, not true.

8. Gratitude lists are a great way to change your perspective on the day, and they make for a good five minutes. (Pro tip right there.)

9. Other people’s journals and methods are super interesting! On days where I wasn’t feeling inspired, I would look at pictures of other people’s journal entries. Austin Kleon is a definite favorite.

10. I’m pretty sure it’s good for me.

So much so that I’m going to keep the challenge going in December. This time I’d like to experiment more with the different ways I write. I will keep writing blog posts with some of that time, but I’d like to try Austin’s logbook style journaling and maybe throw in some writing prompts. I’m also considering allowing myself to doodle during that time, as long as it’s in my notebook and it somehow ties into words of some sort. I’m not a big doodler, so this doesn’t seem too dangerous. It’s more of a way to keep my mind engaged on the task at hand and try a new way to relax my mind enough to let some words slip out.

Between writing for 30 minutes and the Minsgame, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty busy month.

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