When I was at BlogWorld LA last fall I kept hearing about the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I was posting every few days.
If you’ve read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers you’ll remember that he keeps coming back to the magic number of ten thousand hours for mastery at any skill.
This is not great news for me as I have never written anything before this blog. A few small satire pieces over the years, and two awful self-published poetry books. No courses in college or creative writing workshops. I read this thing by Steven King once where he said that adverbs were poor form. I’m still trying to figure out why.
The Two Michel(l)es, as I call them, have an event twice a year called the Ultimate Blog Challenge where you commit to writing each day for a month. The idea of completing this task was terrifying to me. I am one of those freaks that will not hit “publish” until every word, comma, and joke sits perfectly in the narrative. It is exhausting.
I knew I’d have to give up some of that control to complete this challenge. Maybe not everything would be polished. Plus, I knew I didn’t have enough material banked to write every day. I used to keep a list of stories I could write in case I couldn’t come up with anything for a few days. I plowed through that list before January 10th.
I’d wake up every day, take the subway to work, and rack my brain to come up with a topic. It would marinate during the day, and then on the ride home I’d start writing on my phone. That was my process for January. It forced me to continuously look for things to discuss and to make them worthy of reading. Basically, I starting developing improv skills.
After January, I just decided to keep going. Here we are now, halfway through the year. I just realized a few minutes ago that I was at the halfway point, which is a blessing, because I had nothing else to write about tonight.
I’m very grateful for your readership. While I’m not sure I’ll make it 10k hours blogging, or turn this into a full-time career, just knowing that some people receive enjoyment from it is plenty.
Thanks for sticking with me.