For the last twenty-one days or so, I’ve been working at writing a half-hour per day about my personal-professional development. (Full disclosure: I traveled last week and didn’t write at all since I was with colleagues during the day and evening).
I’ve been struggling to work in writing and reflection time as a routine practice into my daily workflow. From past work-related experiences, I have estimated that one blog post usually takes about 4 or more hours of time. During most weeks, finding one solid four-hour time block to write is pretty rare for me.
That is why I recently decided to try giving writing a half hour per day a try. A “half-hour” is an approximate amount of time for me, as some days I have been writing as much as an hour, whereas other days it may be twenty minutes. As of now, I am not forcing myself to have a published product (or blog posts) in that same half-hour, for now it’s about writing (here in WordPress, Evernote, or on paper) so I develop a habit of working out loud or narrating my work.
At two weeks into this process, I’ve mostly worked on one blog post, which remains unpublished, but I’ve also had the following reflections:
1)Even though I haven’t published the original blog posts I’ve been working, I have done more thinking and research on the topic then I intended (that is a good thing). I also ended up sharing these ideas with co-workers more easily since they were already put together in a (unpublished) blog post.
2)It’s been very helpful for clearing my mind. Writing a half-hour per day has helped me feel like I can become aware of other new ideas, either by tabling them, incorporating them into what I am writing at the time, or helping me to deflect new ideas that may be interesting, but less relevant to things I’m working on at the moment.
3)Other people find this act of writing for a half an hour, helpful or interesting too. After tweeting about my 4th day of writing for a half-hour, a former #xplrpln cMooc member Tanya Lau mentioned she’d like to join me, and several other people retweeted or favorited my tweet. This is great, because I could always use social accountability to continue the momentum.
4)There are some days I need to take a break. I think I’m going to allow taking two – three days most weeks for this kind of non-committal activity. Why? I also need my early morning time to write the grocery list, set health goals and stay on top of the family calendar.
5)Other days I need to write with the intention not to share with others. The reason for this is there are some ideas that I’m working on but not ready to share yet. When I find myself working on these ideas, I plan to journal in Evernote or in a paper notebook.
So far, I’m pretty satisfied with taking the time to write for a half-hour per day. I think taking the time to write a half-hour a day is working from the stand point that I look forward to sitting down to write a half-hour every morning, and I’m putting this into my daily routine consistently. However, I am interested in getting to the point of publishing more frequently. As Tanya Lau mentioned, I think it may be helpful to start to develop an outline and plan of things I’d like to write to publish here once I get the ideas flowing from a couple a weeks of just writing a half-hour per day.