For the next three months, I will be taking on the 90,000 Words in 90 Days Challenge.
The premise of this challenge is fairly simple: write a quality article on any area within the discipline of personal development, and do so every single day for 90 days.
I plan for each article to be no less than a 1000 words. So by the end of the challenge, I will have 90,000 words of content, or 90 articles, on this blog. I’ve already written articles that are 2000+ words for those who are interested in in-depth articles about:
- Overcoming Negative Thinking
- Strategies to Rise Early
- Forming New Habits in 21 days
- How to Beat Procrastination
To my knowledge, no blogger or writer has publicly taken on such a challenge. So I might just be the first person to be doing something like this.
As you may have already guessed, this is a tremendous challenge. In fact, if you were to ask most writers or bloggers about writing and publishing, they’d tell you it’s nearly impossible to consistently produce quality articles every single day, let alone lead a balanced life while doing so. But I beg to differ.
How on earth am I going to do this?
The short answer is this:
I’ve discovered systems and routines that automate productive behavior; and I plan to rely on a combination of these tactics to keep me on track. One of the tactics that I use regularly is what I call “The Principle of No Thinking.” If you click on the link, it will take you to my article on rising early. That’s where I discuss this principle in some depth.
I will also discuss the strategies and techniques I use that help me overcome various writing obstacles and psychological traps, and I am going to make most of them available on this blog for free 🙂
So why 90 days?
Here are my 6 reasons for taking up this challenge.
- Results. I initially wanted to do 30 articles in 30 days, and although taking action every day for 30 days can do great things to your goals, I nevertheless want people to realize that to see concrete lasting results in their health, finances, business, or writing, they need to practice their craft consistently, so 90 days seemed more appropriate.
- Length of a season. 90 days is the length of a season. It’s a whole summer. And it’s a reasonable length of time for anyone to make substantial and measurable progress on any goal. In fact, in his famous book; On Writing, Stephen King writes, “The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months.”
- It’s hard. Is it possible to work on a goal consistently for 90 days? Statistics show that 25% or a quarter of people who chose to work on a target goal this year (2015) quit within the first week. More astonishingly 92% quit before achieving their goal, and only 8% of people who started on a goal achieved that goal within the year. So it’s really hard for the largest majority of people to stick to their goals and achieve them. This is what drove me to create systems that automate behavior, and I am going to test them in the next 90 days.
- Quality Test. Speaking of tests! 90 days is an amount of time during which an awful lot of distractions can happen. If I don’t handle them intelligently and rely on the system I devised to work around those distractions, then I will get off track and miss my deadline and in which case I would fail at the challenge. So if you really want to test a system, give it 90 days, and you’ll know FOR SURE what it’s made of.
- SEO. After reading a lot of SEO material and realizing that high traffic is correlated with publishing a lot of high quality content frequently (5 times a week), I thought that his challenge would help this site rank on google and become easily available to those that search for self-empowerment and personal-development related questions. Keep in mind that this is a new blog; about a month old, and so far has on average 7 or 8 unique visitors a day. So this challenge makes sense from an SEO perspective too.
- Inspire. Finally, I hope this challenge will inspire those who have abandoned their writing goals whether college undergrads, graduate students, novelists, poets or any writer or author for that matter, and I want to encourage them to pick up their writing goals and give themselves a second chance.
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas A. Edison
This is roughly how I plan to do this without becoming a hermit:
- The night before: do the necessary keyword research so that my articles are optimized for both my readers and the search engine. I plan to do this manually without the use of a software and it usually takes me less than 30 minutes.
A word on topic suggestions: I welcome topic suggestions, but I will choose the ones that will offer the highest value to my readers. So if you have something you’d like me to offer an opinion on, please phrase it in the form of questions and post it on my twitter @BelieveEmpower; for example: “How do I beat procrastination?” or “How do I stop worrying?” etc.
- Daily routine: I am going to use a time-block format – I work best with 3 time-blocks that correspond to my energy and creativity level as follows:
The first time block is going to be roughly 2 and a half hours starting at 5:30 am and will last till about 8:00 am. This is going to be followed by a 2 hour time block sometime around 10:30 am, and one last time block of an hour and a half sometime in the afternoon.
My total work time will total 6 hours a day and will amount to about 40 hours a week. I find this approach to be better than the 8 hours a day/5 days a week approach. That’s because I get more free time out of each work day to exercise, socialize, and do other things I am passionate about. For my needs, I believe this schedule is more flexible than the traditional work week schedule.
I should disclose to you that I have gone through extreme phases of writing in the past. See my personal story. But this is a unique challenge for me because I never had back to back deadlines. So even when I didn’t finish working on a writing assignment, I always had the next day (and a couple more days if I really needed the extra time). In this way, this is a completely new challenge for me and I am going to take it day by day. I don’t have all the answers but what I do have is a system I believe in and tested productivity hacks that I strongly believe will get me through.
In addition to writing an article a day, I also plan to do social media marketing on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook, so stay tuned.
I will post updates on my traffic, writing challenges and various mental or emotional hardships that come up during the process on my blog. Updates will be posted once every two weeks or so.
I should note to you that I don’t have any pre-written articles. I also don’t have a second writer or an editor that’s going to help in any way. I am going to do all the work myself.
At the end of this experiment, I will share the lessons I learned, new tools and strategies I discovered, and what it was like to go through this experience.
The 90,000 Words in 90 Days Challenge starts; August 1st, 2015 and will last until October 29th, 2015.
I hope my journey will empower you to pick up your goals and go after them, not to impress anyone, but to impress yourself.
Wish me luck.
Love and Respect,