Day 60: Blogging Muscle

I’ve written a blog post every day for the last 60 Days. 
It feels great to be able to say that and to have a body of work you can stamp your name on!(Geeez Josh you’re such a bragger)

Now, I’m not saying they are the best posts in the world — in fact, most them are probably first draft ideas — but I can say each one was the best I could give in that moment. Blogging captures your thoughts and ideas in a moment in time. And the act itself exercises my blogging and writing muscles. 

Each day I leave myself open to ideas — from conversations, books, articles, observations — and after coming home from work around 9 or 10 I sit down and write.

At the beginning, the idea of doing something daily sounded great (on paper) but impossible to do. How can I do this with a fulltime job? And the second job after that one?

But then I wrote and shipped a post one day. Then the next day I did another. And the same the next day. I kept going and going. There are moments I want to quit. Moments I think, ‘I just want to go to bed’. I stumbled upon the answer to the questions above by writing every day:

It’s not about how can I do this, it’s about will I do this.

Will I make the time to do what’s important to me, or not? Yes or No.

The chore of writing every day has now become my fuel and momentum to try new things and push my limits on what is possible.

I highly recommend starting your own daily habit. It will push your capabilities and drive you to the life of your dreams.

This wouldn’t be a blog post if it didn’t have a listicle somewhere.. so here are 9 Things I’ve learned from Blogging for 60 Days.

 

3 Lessons I’ve Learned 

1. Daily Habits are essential: If you want to be something, you’ve got to do it. Consistency is one of the hardest parts of change. It’s easy to fall off the bandwagon without realizing it. One day you’re riding along, and the next you’re in on the ground wondering what happened. If you want to create change in your life, daily habits will get you there.

2. Double Down: Writing is my anchor. When things in my life are not good, writing is what keeps me calm and enables me to see clearly. The same is true for what’s important to you. Don’t drop what’s important to you when you are in troubling times. Double Down. Increase the time you spend on your passions — even when it feels like you don’t have any time for them. The more you do, the more clarity about your life.

3. Finding your voice comes through process. Rarely do you see someone starting out knowing their voice. Discovering who you are and what you value is a life long process. In the habit of working on your craft, you will find your voice.

3 Things I’ve noticed 

1. Creativity is Progress: Creating is a process in which to self-reflect on who you want to be and the life you want to live. Never forget: No matter how hard they try, your creativity is yours. It’s not something that is taken from you.

2. Repetition is good: It’s okay to rehash ideas on different posts. It’s a sign that you are thinking about a question/problem from different angles. If you binge read some of my recent posts, they might sound the same, but really I’m thinking and feeling my way through alternative solutions I can test for problems I’m facing.

3. Masters are beginners who have been at it for a continuous amount of time. We can’t all be savants, but we can become masters at what we do. A master is someone who has doubled down and put in the daily practice of their craft. Their skills and instincts are hard-won traits of intentionally doing something for a long time. Mastery is something anyone with the right amount of perseverance and deliberate practice can achieve. 

3 Things I need to work on

1. Batching: I want to continue writing every day, but not necessarily on the post I’m shipping that day. I want to create a large gap between an idea on a page and publishing. That way I have more time to stew on the idea and cross-reference other peoples ideas with my own. Batching will also give me the time and energy to be able to write for other areas of the Renaissance Life, such as newsletters and books.

2. Connecting: So far I’ve only been writing and publishing. I wanted to get down the craft of daily blogging first. Now I want to focus on how I can be better about connecting my ideas to a community who might enjoy them.

3. Storytelling: My posts have been good, but I want to make them better and better. I need to find ways I can incorporate more story and personal experience within as touching points and ways to reflect on ideas. I also want to incorporate different forms of sharing my ideas. I’m going to explore different formats like art, and audio as companions to make the posts more fun and insightful.

Pour one out for the last 60 days, 
Here’s to 60 more!

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner
 

Own the Crap 💩

This is day 47 of me writing one post a day on the Renaissance Life. I’ve had many days (like today) where I not able to sit down to write until 10:30 PM. (😴) Yet I sit down and ship the best post I have in me. I’m sure when I look back at them they won’t all be great. (Ugh what was I thinking?!) Perhaps I’m even rehashing the same ideas in different ways. It doesn’t matter,

It’s all a part of the process of stretching your capacity. 

Being exceptionally doesn’t come on the first round.

You never want to run a marathon on your first day of trying out running. (Let me see what this running thing is all about)A bestselling book doesn’t happen from cramming a writing session in the night before. It takes the accumulation of experience, thinking, observing researching, writing, editing, building a platform and marketing. You don’t become a hip hop artist by rap-a-longing with Drake or Logic.

But you do become a runner when you get off the couch and put on your shoes and run. You become a writer when you start writing your book. You become hip hop artists by practicing your own rhymes and getting up on stage.

Along the way you’re  going to have some failures and misses.

Own them — Own the crap. Because the crap will is just obstacles on your way to creating something great.

Babe Ruth was the king of home runs, but he was also the king of strikeouts.

People won’t remember your strikeouts if you crowd them out with home runs. 

But you can’t hit a home run without going up to the plate. Sure, you might strikeout instead, but not trying and giving it your all is the worst form of strikeout you can do.

(So many baseball analogies…)

 

Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner

Daily Challenges

Pushing your capabilities through practice and ritual.

“When you do something every day, you’re only going to get better at what you are doing.”

Joshua C. Green , Ep. 10 of The Renaissance Life Podcast

Do you want to be an extraordinary writer?
How about an insanely good artist or musician?
A super-connector? An exceptional conversationalist?
Health Shaman? Master Yogi?
All the above? (Me! over here!)

Then it’s time to take on a daily challenge.

Inspired by a couple friends (Josh Green and Travis Knight) who I’ve interviewed recently on The Renaissance Life, I’ve decided to take on a daily writing and blogging challenge. I am going to write and blog every single day for an entire year. This is day 20.

We all have these dreams of greatness and desires to live an extraordinary life, but getting from where we are to where we want to be can be hazy. It’s like we can see the peak of the mountain but the journey up is covered in a cloudy malaise of discomfort. (Like a kid who needs glasses and can’t see the whiteboard in class) Most people have dreams but not everyone has the belief system and is bold enough to step into their discomfort zones and challenge their capabilities.

Your mountain is your own, I can’t tell you precisely how you can get up to the top — 
But I can show you what you what has worked well for others and what I am going to do to climb my own mountains: 

Deliberate practice and daily ritual. 

Deliberate practice meaning we aren’t phoning it in. We’re pushing ourselves to our limit every day, and practicing and trying out new strategies that will make us smarter and more creative at what we do.

And Daily being the key word here.
My daily challenge is writing and blogging, so the amount of time I will spend will depend on the types of blogs I want to put out and how long it takes me to make them happen.

Imagine yourself one year from now after you decided to take on a daily challenge. You put in the time, energy and effort to practice every day. After practicing every day for an ENTIRE year, where do you think you will be?

Much better than you would have been if you didn’t decide to challenge yourself.
This is how time can be our ally. Time — like money — has a compound interest effect. By investing in small daily practices that add over time to something great. Small actions lead to big change.

This isn’t going to be easy — and that’s the point.  Our goal here is to push ourselves to be something more than we thought possible, and to grow our abilities faster by putting in more time than we would normally give if we were practicing ‘whenever’. I’m writing this at 9:50 PM after finishing one job and about to start another job. (I’m crazy) But I’m taking on a daily challenge because I believe it can change my life, because I’ve seen it change the lives of others.

I’ll be talking more in-depth strategies and examples about daily challenges soon.

Action Question (AQ): What daily challenge do you want to do?

Keep Pursuing,

— Josh Waggoner

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Related Wisdom:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” — Chinese Proverb

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”Zig Ziglar

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.”Richard Branson