In 2014, when season 2 of Virtual Design Master had finished, we wanted to build on that momentum. Eric Wright had seen Greg Ferro’s post on 30 blogs in 30 days and was curious to see if the community was up for it. Melissa jumped in right away and well myself – how could I say no.
It was challenging to say the least, but a very rewarding experience. Many folks from the community participated, and it was great to see everyone giving it their best effort. It was also exciting to meet followers of the Virtual Design Master competition, who felt this was a way for them to connect with the larger community.
30 in 30 is not a competition
Three themes emerged for me during the 30 in 30 challenge in 2014;
- Writing helps Clarify your thoughts
- Encouraging People to Write
- Building a community
I think these three resonate with most people. It’s partly the reason they participated in the challenge – and notice how I am not using the word competition. 30 in 30 is not a contest, no one wins a prize and you don’t get a first-place certificate. You will find us each encouraging one another. Writing helps.
Clarify your thoughts
Writing is a way to explain your ideas and at times it’s hard to get them on paper. You need to think about what you are trying to say and the best way to say it. It’s a real mental exercise and a good one at that. Don’t worry about the number of revisions because it’s only getting you closer to your goal.
You may find as you write; you may change your opinion or find another thread that you want to pursue. I use mind maps to visually organize information then begin the writing process. I believe the more you write, the better your thinking becomes.
Encouraging People to Write
Many of us have blogs and at times, find it hard to be consistent with publishing. We feel like we are the only one out there writing about a topic and no one is reading. The great content that folks are producing during the 30 in 30 challenge, gives me fuel and the energy I need to start writing.
I am delighted by the number of people this year that want to give the 30 in 30 challenge a go. These people range from regular community members to new people – I encourage you, to check out many of the new names on the list of people participating and share their material. I believe the 30 in 30 challenge last year inspired several new bloggers and those folks have been awesome contributors to the community.
Big shout out to Eric and Melissa who have always pushed me to write and also to Jonathan who does a great job with his blog – last year he did the 60 in 30 challenge and was unstoppable. I am grateful for your friendship!
Building a community
The glue that keeps it all together, the magic – community. The only reason we do this, to share with others, things we are thinking, doing and considering. What a great way to meet new people, help encourage them and share in their victories.
It’s great to see when people are considering taking part in the 30 in 30 challenge – some of the first things you hear is, “Well I’m not sure if I have that much content”, or “I’m not sure I can do the full 30 days”. Then you see the community reply with “Write about anything” – just write, write about things you enjoy and it’s ok to miss days, no one is going to hold you to it.
We are all in this together and are standing on each other’s shoulders. I will leave you with this – Do your best, Do what you can and always look to your left and your right for help, we are all right there with you.
Let me know on Twitter what you think about writing online for 30 days straight.