366 Posts in 366 Days (or… How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Challenge)

by D.J. Paris on December 31, 2012

I wanted to end this experiment of posting every day for a year with a few reflections…

  • I have no discipline – I can’t tell you how many projects I’ve started over the years that have not come to completion. In my mind the last time I really worked at something I consider disciplined was when I worked out six days a week for six months without missing. That was ten years ago. Ten years before that I sat in my basement and mastered a Joe Satriani piece entitled Day at the Beach on the guitar. That’s it. I have ADD which is great for creativity but not with staying on task. Somehow I was able to just make this a must every day. I missed most of my flossing, but I never missed writing. No idea how I did it. Am I a superhero? Sure. Why not?
  • I never thought I could write every day (with decent content) – Before this I only wrote if I had something I pondered for a few days and I was absolutely certain was going to be well-received. As a result of this strategy, I almost never produced. I waited for home runs which rarely came. After day seven in January I had run out of home runs. Nothing had happened that particular day and I was screwed. Within a few months I realized I was developing improv chops. Since my average day is pretty boring and I don’t have great stories from my past I focused on finding the humor and emotion in everyday life. While not easy, after 365 straight reps, the muscle is now well-developed.
  • Readers relate to honesty – Frankly, I always considered myself a humorist. I am funny. That’s my thing. But when I started this year I was into a new relationship, but still healing from my divorce. I had a lot of anger, sadness, fear and shame that was bubbling to the surface. While terrifying to me, I decided to take the plunge and write about these feelings without the need to pepper them with jokes. Comedy often did come up naturally, but it wasn’t something I manually added to make the posts more readable. What happened was that my comments increased significantly. Readers seemed to appreciate the raw honesty and I believe people felt more connected to me and the work.
  •  Engagement is the key – I have always wanted to build a community with this blog. The only way I know how to do this (since I write about myself) was to engage the readers. Even though I’m still over 400 comments behind, my goal is to reply to every single comment. I don’t do this because it will “get” me more loyalty, although it does often do that. I remember seeing Ozzy Osbourne once talking about his fans and he almost started crying saying how grateful he is to have people that want to listen to his music. I’m not half as talented as him, but I feel the same. The fact that someone wants to read my stuff still blows me away. So, thank you!
  • Put my head down and write – I have long since retired the idea of being famous from a blog. My posts won’t go viral. My readership increases by a handful every day. That’s it. No shortcuts. And I’ve learned so much of life is just hard-work. And that’s the good news. Hard work beats out talent almost every time. With hard work I can hit singles and doubles every day. I’ll leave the home runs to the book I’d like to pen. Other than that, it’s just a matter of getting up early and making the donuts.

Well, that’s it. I also learned you sickos love posts about genitals, farts, sadness, shame, anything where I end up embarrassing myself, and videos where I don’t realize I’m making a joke until after I’ve made it and then laugh hysterically at my own wit. Okay, maybe not the last one.

D.J. Meme

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