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30 DAYS OF WRITING

Day 1    I’m Getting This Book Done

Welcome to my 30 day challenge. Here I’m hosting a video blog / diary to assist me in my writing process. The challenge is to do at least an hour of writing or working on my book every day for the next 30 days. The first 10 videos are viewable below and for further videos please see these links:

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 1 – 10

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

I’ve already written thousands of words towards this book however have found myself stuck often with long gaps of weeks and even months without writing. In order to get past this I did something wise.

I got a coach!

In a recent coaching call, we discussed my recent video blog series called #30LESSONSFROM30s. In that challenge I posted a new video to my website every day for a month and shared different learning lessons from my 30s. It was a very time-consuming yet rewarding challenge.

She asked what it was that kept me going on this project and I concluded that it was the performance element. I greatly enjoyed producing and starring in those short videos and after taking a look at this situation through a Creative Problem Solving process concluded that I could again use video to help get my writing done.

The book is on Unexpected Connections – how we can shape and create our lives by connecting with people.

So here I’ll post a video every day documenting what I achieve in my writing process. Wish me luck.

Day 1    I’m Getting This Book Done

Day 2 Gathering Old Writing

I’ve been using 750Words.com for a few years now to capture my thoughts and writing. I found it useful to help keep me in the routine of writing as it always lets you know if you are on any kind of a streak. Much of what I’ve written there has been just like a brain dump, but much of it is useful material for my book.

That’s why I’ve suddenly jumped to 18286 words at the end of Day 2. In fact I wrote zero new words today. Today was all about gathering these old writings and putting them into categories. Everything is very rough at this stage but the encouraging thing is that I feel myself energized that I’ve committed to this project and look forward to whatever I get up to with it tomorrow.

If you are having troubles starting your writing project, do check out 750Words.com as it helped me a LOT with just getting content out of me. At the early stages it’s totally fine if most of what you write is not book-worthy. That does not matter to start.

On an unrelated note, it was announced on the news tonight that this has been the coldest February in recorded history here in London, Ontario. The average mean temperature has been – 12.7 C. Wow!

Here is today’s video about the writing.

Day 2 Gathering Old Writing

Day 3 Trust The Process

Today was the most satisfying day yet as I came across some material that I completely forgot that I had written. I was entertained and pleased that a bunch of it I’ll be able to use for the book.

Of particular interest today is a section on what my experience was like being evacuated while living downtown Calgary shortly after my move to Alberta. The Alberta floods of 2013 were extra-ordinary and that shake-up rocked many peoples’ worlds.

While we were loading the truck just a block away from the rising muddy waters, there were people everywhere. Most looked confused and irritated and were carrying bags and luggage. It was as if we had all been invited to parties around the city but had very little notice.

A tip that I’d like to offer anyone else who is part way through the book writing process or even just getting started is to trust the process. The most important thing to begin with is to write, write, write. And you need to trust that some of that material will be useful at some point in the future. There will likely come a point in time when you will be pleasantly rewarded for your earlier efforts once you go over your material. That is some of what I experienced today.

Now I’ve got 24,719 words of useable material compiled for my book and I’m looking forward to tomorrows discoveries.

After just 3 days of this, I can sense that there is some positive momentum building. Isn’t that often the case when we take on a project? During the thinking / planning stages the implementation can seem daunting or even overwhelming, but once it begins it’s not so bad (because you HAVE to do it). Sometimes it can even become fun.

What tasks have you been avoiding that could get accomplished with a challenge like this?

Here is my accountability video from today.

Day 3 Trust The Process

Day 4 Do Your Creative Work First

Getting a creative task done can be much easier if you bring it into your routine earlier in the day. One of my mentors gets up regularly at 5am to do a bunch of his creative reading, writing and learning before he starts his day job. I have not yet reached that level of discipline however I have seen better results in my creative work when working on those tasks early in the day.

This morning I got distracted with some skiing however still managed to bring the word count up by over 2100 words.

Here is my accountability video from today.

Day 4 Do Your Creative Work First

Day 5 Continuous Learning

When I found out at my CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Speakers) meeting last Saturday evening that our chapter president, Faith Wood was going to speak at the London chapter, I knew that I could not miss it.  She has been a police officer, a triage nurse and she uses hypnosis in many of her presentations! Her energy is contagious and I knew that I could learn a thing or two from her.

I was not disappointed.

Today I not only got to enjoy her jam packed, content and entertainment rich presentation crafted specifically for our audience, but I also had a chance to enjoy lunch with her. She was extremely generous with her time and with sharing really useful information for me at this stage of my professional speaking journey.

It doesn’t take a ton of effort to learn from the highly accomplished pros if you just ask.

Before all of this, I managed to get my writing done and now have over 30,000 words of useful material for the book. Wahoo! This calls for a celebration. So tomorrow I’m off to one of the best cities in the world – Toronto – to see some of my favorite people.

Here is today’s accountability video that’s keeping me writing.

Day 5 Continuous Learning

Day 6 Even When There Is No Time Do Your Writing

There really was no time in today for me to do my writing, but somehow I got some done! I did not put in the time that I wanted to (at least an hour), but I did get some work done on it. And despite not doing as much as I had hoped, I’ve been able to feel like I’m maintaining my momentum with the project. I’m over 33,000 words now – wahoo!

I know that it may sound impossible, but even when there is no time, DO YOUR WRITING! Here is today’s short video from the excellent Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto.

Day 6 Even When There Is No Time Do Your Writing

Day 7 The Naked Truth.  Be Vulnerable

I don’t claim to be an expert author. I’m learning as I go. However some themes come up that I’ve heard from authors who I’ve spoken to along the way.

Today a good friend helped me get out of my comfort zone. That’s no small feat as I tend to like adventure and new experiences.  We visited the Bare Oaks Family Naturist Park north of Toronto and took our clothes off for the day. I think that the last (of only a few times) time that I was on a nude beach was years ago so this is not a normal occurrence for me.

But it was great!

The connection between this day and writing is that I know that you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable in order to create something fantastic. I believe that goes for quite a few more things than just writing.

Here’s the PG13 video from today.

Day 7 The Naked Truth.  Be Vulnerable

Day 8 Dare To Dream Big

Unfortunately it is not mainstream to dream big. There are far too many “real life” challenges that get in our way and it can be tough to find support to do so. But if we allow ourselves the opportunity to dream big, some pretty wonderful things can occur.

Of course not everybody in the world is going to be able to achieve their greatest wishes however I believe that we make a greater contribution when we are passionately chasing after something that we care deeply about. This can lead a person into other positive places even if they don’t end up reaching their big goal.

And sometimes, they DO reach that big goal after doing what it takes and paying the price necessary to make it happen. Here is my writing accountability video from today.

So as I surpassed 37,000 words on this writing challenge today I offer this advice:

Day 8 Dare To Dream Big

Day 9 Allow Yourself To Be Distracted Sometimes

Today I was given the opportunity to spend the day with another entrepreneur, Ryan Jeans. We brought his miniPong program to an elementary school in Toronto as part of their “Fit Fridays” program. It was a great day, but it kept me away from my writing. Fortunately some great things have developed as a result of today’s conversations. Good things can sometimes happen when you...

Day 9 Allow Yourself To Be Distracted Sometimes

Day 10 Get Comfortable

I don’t know about you, but I love coffee. I’ve tried to stop drinking it as the debate continues about weather a certain amount per day is good for you or not, but have decided to just let myself indulge. Enjoying a delicious coffee at a coffee shop is so much more than the coffee or the caffeine buzz alone.

While sitting in a cafe I get to enjoy anonymity while relaxing or working on whatever project I have at hand. Of course the project currently at hand is this book on Unexpected Connections.

Today I brought myself to my favorite coffee shop to do my writing. The White Squirrel coffee shop on Queen Street West in Toronto is the ideal space for me to relax, zone out and focus in on a task.

I believe that it is really important to be comfortable while you are doing any kind of work. This is so that you can stick to the work when those inspiring moments of flow occur and you lose track of time. Creating or finding such a comfortable setting can enable these situations.

So in today’s brief accountability video here’s the message:

Day 10 Get Comfortable

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 1 – 10

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 11 – 20

30DAYSOFWRITING Days 21 – 30

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