20 Blogs in 20 Days 2


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Turns out, finishing school didn’t solve my problems

When I completed my MBA this past year, I was convinced the Red Sea of time would open up and I would run right through it, blowing away my wildest expectations in productivity.1)I even got 30 pages in to David Allen’s Getting Things DoneI also knew, being in the military provides a comfortable blanket shielding me from building a stout resume or portfolio that will be useful in some of the fields I’m looking in to. I also love writing and for whatever reason, the lifestyle of a journalist, author, or blogger is pretty fascinating.2)Based on an extremely small sample size of critics (my dad and wife), I’m actually pretty good at writing.So, in order to stay sharp, stay productive, build a portfolio, and explore a self-proclaimed skill…a blog seemed like a natural solution. Trouble is, it’s not going well, and I know it doesn’t have anything to do with my content because I don’t have any.

As of write now, I have nearly two dozen blog posts, either complete or near completion, sitting in my WordPress dashboard…unpublished. Many of them are over 1,000 words. In some cases it’s because I couldn’t quite figure out how to say what I wanted to say. While writing other posts, I realized I wasn’t saying something worth saying. Most often, I just couldn’t get it quite right or the timing was off. So instead of getting hung up on it, I pressed to a different topic before finishing and clicking publish. Whatever the reason, they’ll likely never be published.

That’s pretty frustrating for someone trying to start a blog. You know what else is frustrating? This blog is about doing 20 consecutive blogs in 20 days. I started this post on October 2nd, nearly a week ago. The blog that was supposed to kick off 20 days of blogging took 5 days to write. Procrastination, editing, rewriting, excuses, life…they’re all to blame and now I’m dangerously close to adding another “I’ll start tomorrow projects” to the list. It can accompany losing 20 lbs and building a six-pack.3)Which is written on the list over 700 times. Not this time.

I didn't read this useless list because if 1-10 don't say, "Build great content," then it's wrong.

I didn’t read this useless list because if 1-10 don’t say, “Build great content,” then it’s wrong.

This blog right here,the one you are reading; this one’s for accountability. I have 13 subscribers. Two of them are my mom and dad. One is my  wife and the others are a couple Facebook friends. The rest are several email accounts I created to subscribe to my own blog, which means the stakes are low and the audience is small. In fact, it’s time to not give a damn about the “audience” because I’ve been obsessive over building a perfect site with perfect content. I assure you, not writing doesn’t make for a good blog and a blog without purpose or intent is on a crash course for Who Cares. Let’s see if trying something new can help the blog find some direction and climb out of obscurity.

Here’s the plan

I’m going to hammer out 20 blogs in 20 days. I’m going to put pen to paper, publish content, and see what sticks. I’m going to cover everything and nothing. I’m just going to write. Quality is irrelevant, at least for now. The goal is momentum and clarity for future content. Let’s do 20 blogs and see what comes out the other end. Then I’ll reassess and see what sticks. With that in mind, here’s a few things I’m excited to talk about:

  • The new podcast I am starting with my very different and much younger brother
  • Sports world shenanigans
  • Starting the blog the same time as Sarah
  • What to do if your dating or married to someone with terrible handwriting
  • It’s time to offer a verdict on the case of Bill Simmons vs ESPN
  • Podcasts that are knocking our socks off
  • Why are high schoolers and college students using social media wrong
  • I get it, introverts are brilliant but have a few barriers. Stop giving extroverts such a bad wrap. They don’t always have it easy, either.
  • Freelancing on Fiverr
  • Building the perfect fantasy football trade
  • Vasectomies are as bad as you think they are. Not worse. Not better.

Alright Brent, bring this weird post home

In short, I am starting a blog for two MAIN reasons.4)There are several other reasons. For example, learning about marketing tools, website development, building something I can call my own, and many other secondary reasons First, I want to push my perceived limits and build something great. Second, I want to immerse myself into a community by building great content and adding to the conversation.

The only way to even make a dent in those two goals is to begin building consistent content…now. I don’t have the answers and don’t know when I will, but not writing and letting confusion, indecision, or distractions keep me from doing what I set out to do is a sure fire way to, once again, be left waiting for tomorrow for motivation.

Outtakes5)A thought I had, but didn’t make it in to the post: When I think about who I am writing to, I am breaking one of the cardinal rules of marketing. I am not sure who I am writing to yet, other than myself. That’s not a great business model, but I have a eliminated a few target markets. This can’t be a blog about me being the authority on a particular topic or series of topics because I’m not going to write about the Air Force. In fact, I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but it won’t be the military, although I may tap into that experience. I’ve decided I’m not going to write about my faith, although I will be guided by it. And I’m not going to write “hot takes” on trendy topics. This can’t be a hilarious blog because I’m only contextually funny. I can’t predict my own jokes. The blog is going ignite some laughter, even if its in embarrassment, but I’ve been known to beg for attention through comedy in the past. Let’s keep it going.

 

 

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. I even got 30 pages in to David Allen’s Getting Things Done
2. Based on an extremely small sample size of critics (my dad and wife), I’m actually pretty good at writing.
3. Which is written on the list over 700 times.
4. There are several other reasons. For example, learning about marketing tools, website development, building something I can call my own, and many other secondary reasons
5. A thought I had, but didn’t make it in to the post: When I think about who I am writing to, I am breaking one of the cardinal rules of marketing. I am not sure who I am writing to yet, other than myself. That’s not a great business model, but I have a eliminated a few target markets. This can’t be a blog about me being the authority on a particular topic or series of topics because I’m not going to write about the Air Force. In fact, I have no idea what I’m going to write about, but it won’t be the military, although I may tap into that experience. I’ve decided I’m not going to write about my faith, although I will be guided by it. And I’m not going to write “hot takes” on trendy topics. This can’t be a hilarious blog because I’m only contextually funny. I can’t predict my own jokes. The blog is going ignite some laughter, even if its in embarrassment, but I’ve been known to beg for attention through comedy in the past. Let’s keep it going.

About Brent Nichols

My blogging is, no doubt, all over the map, but hope you'll find something just right for you. Currently living in the D.C.-metro area in Northern Virginia. You know what? I think I kinda like it out here.


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2 thoughts on “20 Blogs in 20 Days

  • Tim Nichols

    Looking forward to your blogs. I have learned I need to READ more due to your blogging. I haven’t read much throughout life – but as I’ve moved forward in life I understand how important reading is to success. Expressing yourself through writing and entertaining/educating an audience is a very productive. It’s amazing what you juggle as a young 30’s guy with three kids.

    Keep on blogging – you got 3 engaged members, and growing!

    • Brent Post author

      Thanks, pop! Looking forward to getting and staying more active with the blog. Can definitely be rewarding when you finally build a few things. I’m going to post about the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg…I highly recommend it.