My Thirty-Day Writing Challenge That Will Inevitably Lead to Fame, Fortune, and Free Doughnuts

I’m going to publish an article every day for a month, and you can hold me to that.

If you’ve been writing on Medium for any length of time, you’ve probably heard this advice at least once. If you’re like me and just can’t resist clicking on those articles that tell you how you can succeed at writing for the Internet without really trying, you’ve probably heard it about a million times, give or take.

I’ve been writing on this platform for nearly a year now. My first article went live on April 15, 2020. Since that time, I’ve learned a lot and earned… not a lot.

But it’s been one year. And it feels like time to step up my game. So I am challenging myself to write and publish something every day for one whole month, starting April 1, 2021.

(Want to know how I got started on Medium, by the way? Here you go. Gotta maximize those clicks in an article that has no hope of being distributed, after all.)

(Am I picking up the question-and-answer writing style from Roz Warren? Maybe.)

These are my three goals for the month of April:

(1) Focus despite distractions

I’m in a very different place from where I was last April. These days, I am a stay-at-home mom with a baby boy who demands lots of attention. Last year, I was working from home in a clerical healthcare position, and worrying about catching COVID-19 while pregnant. (I don’t recommend having your first baby in the middle of a pandemic. It’s not really very fun.)

My baby takes up a lot of my time — as he should! — but he’s still very small, and at not-quite-six-months-old he still takes two or three naps every day. I plan to write during his naptimes and refuse to allow myself to get sucked into TV or social media. I will need to do a better job of planning and managing my “free time” so that I get household chores done with enough time left to write, too, but somehow ignoring dishes in the sink is a lot easier than not scrolling Instagram. Funny how that works.

But, like Charlie Brown, I work best under pressure, and there’ll be lots of pressure if I have to turn out something new every day for a month.

(2) Quantity and quality, hand-in-hand

The biggest argument in my mind against writing every day for 30 days is that I run the risk of writing a tremendous amount of drivel solely for the purpose of saying I wrote something.

I am determined to not let that happen.

That is why I’ve spent most of this month gathering ideas, brainstorming topics, and starting drafts. Though I intend to spend time writing every single day, and intend to publish something every single day, I will not be writing a brand-new article, start to finish, thought-up-that-morning-while-brushing-my-teeth, every single day. Because that, in my mind, is a recipe for mindless listicles.

Not that I haven’t written a few mindless listicles in my time, of course. But I like to think those are, at the very least, funny.

(3) Spend time writing, not promoting

Finally, I’m planning to spend this time that I have set aside from other pursuits to actually write, not waste precious minutes asking others to read my writing. “If you write well, they will come,” isn’t that so? I will share links on my writing page on Facebook, and will probably tweet links to my pieces as well, but I’m not going to share my articles in Medium Facebook groups or attempt to promote them on any other platform. That time would be better spent crafting good sentences.

Besides which, the clap-for-clap and follow-for-follow methods are not my favorites. In fact, that topic of scratch-my-back-and-I’ll-scratch-yours is one of the article ideas sitting in my drafts right now. More on that in April!

If all goes well, my enthusiastic contributions to the writerly web will result in an increased interest in my work. If those how-to pieces that promise fame and fortune are telling the truth, putting my byline in front of as many readers as possible will lead to billions upon billions of new followers and hours upon hours of reading time.

Okay, maybe that’s a tad hyperbolic.

But it’s worth a try, right?

All right! I think that’s everything.

What’s that?

Oh, you’re still wondering about the doughnuts in my clickbait-y headline.

Let’s clear one thing up — the doughnuts are a reward for me. And will probably be shared with my husband. They will not be handed out to the deserving public from my profile page like Krispy Kreme rewards for the vaccinated. Sorry to disappoint.

No, the doughnuts are a reward for me. If I write consistently for thirty days, publishing thirty pieces that inevitably fascinate my readers and garner a wide swath of adoring public, surely I’ll earn enough to buy a tasty treat by the end of the month.

My meticulous Google research informs me that a dozen doughnuts costs $9.99 at Dunkin Donuts. My monthly Medium membership costs $5.00. I was no math whiz in high school, but I believe that means I need to earn at least $14.99 over the next month in order to buy doughnuts without tapping into the household budget. And I am determined to succeed. You can hold me to it. (Please do! The more you check in on my progress, the more reading time I’ll accumulate.)

So, in short, if I earn enough in April by writing consistently, I’ll reward myself with doughnuts. For “free.” Earned with my pen — well, keyboard.

Does that headline count as clickbait, then? I hope not. You tell me.

Historical costumer, fifty-cent-word purveyor, aspiring humorist, and Oxford comma fan. Books, women's history, & musings of a new mom. Twitter: @sewistwrites

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