Now that we are wrapping up the vDM30in30 challenge, I wanted to take a few minutes to pause and simply reflect on what I learned in the last 30 days. Setting out to form a new habit has provided me the practice in refining my written communication skills, but more then that it has taught and reiterated for me a number of lessons along the way.
PREPARATION IS KEY
I honestly accepted this challenge on a whim and like others, just started writing. Although I have done some blogging in the past, my writing muscles were definitely not in shape. Not only not in shape you could characterize them as out of shape. To come up with a meaningful blog post each day (and there is no way I am insinuating that mine were meaningful) requires a lot of preparation outside of just writing of the blog post. Writing technical content requires lab preparation, configuration, gathering and organizing screenshots. It was all of these preparation steps that I under estimated. Not because they were hard to do, but it required a significant amount of focus to gather the right content to pair with the writing of the post.
While writing 30 posts in 30 days, may be helpful for developing a writing habit, I have come to realize that I don't think it is valuable for the reading audience to post that frequently. Great content can be overlooked by too much content. Looking at a number of the blogs that I highly respect it is the quality of the content, paired with the right frequency of posts which is key. Keep things relevant and digestible. Focusing your energy on 3-5 quality posts over the course of 30 days is much more sustainable then trying to write 30 posts in the same amount of time. I love Matt's quote, and Jonathan's blog post on this matter.
ACCOUNTABILITY & SUPPORT
It is crucial when forming any new habit or embarking upon a new initiative to be sure to have support and accountability. It is often very easy to get moving in the initial phases, but what happens when things start to get hard. In this case after a week or two of writing posts. Having a great support system in place is critical. My support and accountability group for this were people all over the world. None of them checked up on me in a micro-manager type of way, but I knew they were there through every comment, retweet, favorite or mention on their own blog. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have gained support from both the community and from my co-workers during these last 30 days of posts.
LEARN FROM OTHERS
There are a tremendous amount of smart people out there, with a lot to contribute. I have been working on a small, mini-project along the way that I will be sharing more about in the next couple of days, and as part of that exercise, I have come to appreciate first hand just how smart all of you are. Such a great range of topics have been touched upon and shared with others. It is an honor to be a part of vDM30in30 crew. I look forward to taking a little bit more time over the next couple of days/weeks to read even more of the content rather then focused on producing it.
HABIT IS FORMED
Going through the experience overall was very worthwhile, and I am better because of it. I am thankful for accepting the challenge. Some of my favorite things about the experience have been - getting to meet some great new friends in the community, having the opportunity to share more about the DataGravity product and the value it provides, as well as forming a healthy habit. Thanks to everyone who helped along the way and I look forward to continuing our conversations and sharing going forward.
I have a couple of posts left to complete my 30 posts since I got a bit of a late start. Stay tuned.