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A Writer’s Activity Log

You do some of this, a bit of that. But what, really, did you do? Let’s keep track.

It's a list. I'm not sure what's going to be on it, but it's going to be a list. [odd menu, Istanbul, Turkey]

It’s a list. I’m not sure what’s going to be on it, but it’s going to be a list. [odd menu, Istanbul, Turkey]

Accountability, while not everything, is a big fat something. If you don’t measure it, how do you know you’re improving? Below I’m going to keep track of my activity for the month of August while I am a card-carrying member of the August 2015 Monthly Experiment.

August 1

  1. Published: A Writer’s Business Plan.
  2. Joined: John Muldoon’s August 2015 Monthly Experiment.
  3. Commented: I’m rarely on Facebook, so this world is a bit new to me, but I know I need to Get Out There. Commented on Tara’s self-induced challenge to Write Every Day in August.
  4. Commented: Lee Foster has a new book out about self publishing. Commented on his Facebook post.
  5. Joined: Tara Austen Weaver started a Facebook group to Write Every Day in August. Yeah, no brainer. Joined that.

I don’t know if I’m going to keep up this level of detail …

August 2

  1. Updated: on just Day 2 I thought of new ideas for the Writer’s Business Plan. Added: (a) Partnerships / Collaboration and (b) Other Media / Social Media.
  2. Started: started Progress Log in Fizzle. first time back in Fizzle in months (years?). Started a Progress Log there (which might just be a copy and paste from here).

August 3

  1. Connected: Tweeted to friend and fellow writer David Henry Sterry (author of 15 books and also part of a team of Book Doctors who promote writers) asking him how he might improve on my Writer’s Business Plan.
  2. Connected: Emailed friend and founder of Book Launch, Laurie King, about how she might improve on my Writer’s Business Plan.
  3. Posted: What’s In It For Me? and some action steps to change content you already have into content that’s more appealing to others. Trying to build in some action steps to help writers make their article titles more “WIIFM” (What’s In It For Me?).

August 4

  • Posted: Can you write about your 8-year old boy’s adventures and earn passive income, build a massive email list and ramp up your Twitter followers to 10,000+ in a weekend?
  • Scanned: some random tweet (from a favorited Tweet from David Henry Sterry) about Paid Writing Gigs. Most are for companies writing their newsletters etc. Hmm, not really what I’m looking for. One gig was for a start-up lifestyle magazine looking for freelance articles.
  • Submitted: wow, I can’t believe I did this: I just sent that start-up magazine an email! Dorky, whatever, who cares, we’ll see, hey, I’ve had a beer, I can do pretty much anything. They wanted two links, I sent them (1) How We Stayed in an $8,400 Villa in the South of France for Free (http://goo.gl/ZC9OZ6) and (2) An iPad for Oma (http://goo.gl/xZ1t29).
  • To Do: in responding to that lifestyle magazine, I realized that I have so much content that even I don’t know what it all is. Maybe I need some decluttering and organizing with my existing content.
  • Invited & Edited: I was invited to read for a travel writing group and I submitted a few stories that I had written … but I kinda knew they weren’t “adventurous enough.” Sure enough, the editor wrote back and said that they weren’t … “adventurous enough.” So I said I’d whip out a new adventure story for her. Fun to write for someone asking me to write something. Imagine …

August 5

I'm not the only one who thinks that Writing Every Day is important.

I’m not the only one who thinks that Writing Every Day is important.

Listened: to Kevin John’s podcast about how he followed John Muldoon’s monthly experiment and wrote a novel in a month. But while that’s great, it’s also what he did beyond that: he wrote an ebook about the blueprint to novel writing after he did the month.

  • Commented: on Kevin’s podcast site.
  • Realized: that I’m pretty busy with clients at the moment and spent quite a bit of time on that this morning, then was gone much of the day with the family, so need to try to make some time in the mornings to get to writing promotion instead of last thing of the day.
  • Convinced: that my idea of finding people to interview the “not yet a star” writer is interesting.
  • Posted: Are iPad rules strict or is it like horseshoes where “almost” counts?
  • (Wife) commented: on friend’s Facebook post about Writing Every Day. Moral of the story? Let everyone, including your spouse, know what you’re doing.
  • They'll be happy we wrote it together ... someday.

    They’ll be happy we wrote it together … someday.

    August 6

    I have to go eat dinner, it’s super late … but briefly …

    August 7

    August 8

    • Experienced & researched: spent the entire day at the (Lake Tahoe) flea market where we got rid of TONS of stuff (mostly kid clothing, which sold well). In typical writer/journalist fashion, I took mental notes much of the day and even took photos (with an article in mind) about how sales really works, the psychology behind it and how I could apply it to the online world.
    • Held back: it took great effort on my part, but I wrote an outline for a post (which I rarely do) and then wrote some of it out, even talked through the post with my dinner companions and then … didn’t hit publish. The more I thought about and worked on the post, the better I thought it might be. So I’m going to try to do what I never do: submit the idea somewhere for publication. “Everything I Learned About Sales I Learned at the Flea Market.” It’s about sales, the psychology of sales and buying, tips for marketing and promotion, and who knows what else. Ideas for where it could be published?

    August 9

    • Mentioned: you have to keep on top of this stuff, but I found that Faith Dance mentioned me in a Facebook comment that she had written about my 1,000 posts on Medium. Cool!
    • Flattered: was warmed in my heart that a Facebook comment from Helen Carroll (whom I don’t know) on my “4 Out of 5 Surgeons Don’t Recommend This” (http://goo.gl/pm4EY2) said, “Just finished reading it, one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time, well done!!”
    • Posted: The Surefire Strategy to Fail at Guest Posting (http://goo.gl/csKE0f) where I later realize that I’m completely eviscerating myself for not really trying at the guest posting thing. Ouch.
    • Admitted: that I like connecting with others and especially enjoy people reading my work. Although often the introvert, when I know I have something good, I like to share it and love to talk about it.
    • Downloaded: PicLab HD to work on (featured) images in posts. Thanks, Darcey Rojas!
    • Posted on Reddit: The Surefire Strategy to Fail at Guest Posting.

    August 10

    • Responded: to Jessica Millis who asked to be a guest poster on repossible. She wrote me (oh, months ago … ) on Twitter asking to guest post on repossible and I see she’s quite the prolific guest poster. How about she writes about guest posting? We’ll see.
    • Emailed and proposed: super star writer, marketer and Book Doctor David Henry Sterry about guest posting on repossible while also asking him about ideas he had for me and my guest posting options. We’ll see what he says.
    • Posted: Tell Your Fans Specifically What You’d Like Them To Do. (Nope, didn’t post that, maybe another day.)
    • Posted: I just sent my first potential client to … Squarespace. (http://passthesourcream.com/squarespace/)

    August 11

    • Realized: having kids out of school, guests in town, and a full day of traveling don’t leave much time to … well, get much of anything done. School starts next week, looking forward to some real time in the day to Get Things Going!
    • Posted: more of a jounal-y post about persistence and resistance. One of those “let’s try this and see how far it goes.” Turns out, the title was so clear and to the point that it didn’t need much thought or further discussion. Good to know when to stop.

    August 12

    • Thrilled, comforted, excited, powerful: that I have met Darcey Rojas as she lets me know I’m on the right path. Darcey Rojas I certainly don’t blame you for leaving wordpress development. It takes a lot of hand holding with clients I’ve noticed smile emoticon Kudos to you for focusing more on your writing and figuring out what to say no to! I went through that when I stopped taking photography and website design clients. It was too stressful to continue, and I don’t regret choosing to follow my passion, even if it is taking time to come to fruition! Squarespace is an excellent resource to send people to!
    • (Re)posted: The Surefire Strategy to Fail at Anything on repossible.com. See next note as to why.
    • Listened and acted: after listening to Jeff Goin’s podcast about Medium where he said it was a great place to ALSO put your work, but that you should also have it on your own property (or wherever else you’d like it).
    • Posted: Write in the same place and at the same time every day.

    August 13

    • Posted: Write in a different place and at a different time every day.
    • Learned: that people like to let you know how they do things. In the past two days, I wrote two posts with opposing views. Both perfectly fine and each one easily defendable, they’re probably just personal preference. So how to use those to create a little buzz, get people to respond? Make a poll? So what? Learn something in the comments? Maybe learn what I could write to help those who don’t know which to choose?
    • Came out of the writer’s closet: to a friend I admire, I was open and honest about my new life as a writer (note: I even just edited this line, it previously said, ” … about my dream to become a writer.”). This may not sound like much, but it’s almost like admitting you’re an alcoholic (when you have always denied it) in public to someone you admire–and whom you hope admires you. Of course, this is a positive thing, but still, after so long keeping it bottled up, letting it out feels like I’m letting go of a scary secret. It felt good. Real good.

    August 14

    • Created: (in my mind anyway … but hey, that’s where it counts) a new product idea for Write Every Day. I’m not going to go into detail, but I think it’s going to help lots of people in a lot of different fields through writing every day. The more I think about it, the better it gets. So as not to spoil it, I’m going to go write it out, business plan style, but not share it. I’ll let it simmer and see if it’s still such an earth-shattering idea in a few days/weeks. I do need to write the book, “Write Every Day” first, which is moving up and up the priority chain.
    • Duly noted: that this Personal Experiment Challenge (http://goo.gl/FCGecZ) is changing my mindset, altering how I think. Now I’m not only Writing Every Day (yes, I capitalize that now), but thinking about how I can help others with it, make it do more, how I can help people learn and do the things that I’ve learned and done. One big part of an experiment like this is that the side effects or unexpected benefits are truly the icing on the cake–not to mention the fun part. Oh, don’t worry, you’ll bake the cake (and eat it, too), but the icing is where the good stuff is, it’s what’s on top, it’s the bonus, it’s the unexpected. That’s where I see the real secret benefits of these experiments.
    • Posted: Make money, teach your kids math, and clean the house … at the same time. (http://goo.gl/79OThR). It’s a pretty math-heavy, dorky article, but the is the stuff I like writing. It’s the kind of stuff I think that I could sell as well: to parenting sites, even techy sites, I don’t know. That’s where I need to spend some time. My challenge is that I spend the time writing and not the time promoting or looking where to promote/sell/pitch. As of next week when school starts, I’ll have more time.

    August 15

    • Listened: to much of Module 1 of Jeff Goins’ Tribe Writers course. Impressed. Lots about voice, writing style, etc. in this first module it seems. Which is good, I need that, too.
    • Posted: A Fresh Start. Literally. Back home today and the fridge was completely empty. Like just-bought-it empty. After having listened to Marie Kondo’s ““The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” most of the drive home and after a life-altering summer, it was just yet another sign that I’m ready for a Fresh Start. I kinda can’t wait. 😉

    August 16

    • Posted: Warning: self-improvement experiments can be contagious.
    • Cautious: back home and, with the exception of the empty fridge, the house is overwhelming. Just full of … I don’t know what. I know it needs to get done, but I don’t want to take away time from my original focus of the month: promoting my writing, career, brand, etc. Yes, I can do both, but jus’ sayin’.
    • Admitted: that my career change (did I just write career change?) will (happily) require lots of other changes: financial, administrative, networking, social media accounts (profiles), etc. I’m literally smiling as I write this.

    August 17

    • repo-174-writing-sharesPosted: bio on Jeff Goins’ forum, introducing myself. Always interesting to see what one writes as a bio. Maybe a good exercise to do, I don’t know, quarterly.
    • Posted: I like thinking about writing and the afterglow of writing, but not writing. So I don’t do it.  — What’s your favorite excuse for not writing? Shooting for a bit more engagement from readers. Also, I think this is a topic writers LOVE to talk about. It’s so much fun to find / make up / live by excuses so you don’t have to actually do the thing.
    • Testing out: retweet button. Not sure of the best way, but in attempting to get this a little viral, want to make sure it’s easy to retweet. Found Click to Tweet (https://clicktotweet.com) and used it at the bottom of the writing excuses post. We’ll see …
    • Inspired: Jamie Todd Rubin held a 373-day streak of Writing Every Day. I was so blown away by the number of shares (see graphic to the right) that I was reminded (read: kicked in face) that I need to share my experiences as they, gasp, might inspire someone else.
    • Submitted: an inquiry to 99u (where the article above was posted) asking if they’d like a similar article. Here’s my pitch below. I post it because I don’t really write pitches much (OK, fine, ever) and I know there are some tricks (not underhanded ones … ) and tips. Anyway, hey, did it. :-)Hi 99u,
      I re-stumbled on this article of yours (How I Kept a 373-Day Productivity Streak Unbroken, http://99u.com/articles/30801/how-i-kept-a-373-day-productivity-streak-unbroken) and was surprised to see how different my experience has been.To get to the point, I’m wondering if you’d like a similar article with different results.I just hit 1,000 Posts in 1,000 Days (http://goo.gl/tPju68) and I’m not stopping. I know this is cheesy, but it’s changed my life, it’s altered who I am. For those of us who think change is difficult (that would include me), it’s a big statement.I realize the eye-catching headline would be, “Thousands of dollars in passive income! 4 book contracts! A movie deal in the works!” but my goals were different. I just wanted to get back in the writing habit. I wanted to start a habit that my life was sorely missing.Still, the results, while less “Hollywood,” are thrilling. It’s all perspective, right?– I have a closer relationship with my kids.
      — Writing improves memory.
      — Writing as therapy (forget the couch, tell it to your keyboard!).
      — Tools to turn everyday events into articles (especially when you have to).
      — I feel like I can do anything, if I just break it up into daily pieces. (confidence)
      — OK, OK, yes, I also started and finished two children’s books (that my boys even helped me with).I could go on and on with the benefits and the “side effects.”I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions. Thanks again for posting the 373 day streak, it was inspirational.Best regards,
      Bradley Charbonneau

    August 18

    • Renamed: “I like thinking about writing and the afterglow of writing, but not writing. So I don’t do it.  — What’s your favorite excuse for not writing?”
      to
      “My chinchilla peed on my keyboard so I couldn’t work on my novel. What’s your favorite excuse for not writing?”
      I don’t know, the first one is very writerly and sad and … not even true for me anymore. I actually like writing. Done.
    • Participated: in Jeff Goins’ welcome audio webinar for the Tribe Writers course.
    • Answered: a bunch (12 or so) comments on the Best Writing Excuses post on Reddit.
    • Posted: No hoodies? Which is what happens when you have a challenge to Write Every Day and it’s late, you’re tired, and you have an excellent post you need to write (When is 23 minutes more than 23 hours?) but it’s too late and you’re too tired and you want to give a “good” post some real time and effort, so you have to write something so you dig through a few travel photos and find a silly / crazy / weird / beautiful one and write about that. Yeah, so that’s what happens sometimes in the life of a Write Every Day visionary.

    August 19

    • Met in person: with my business partner John Muldoon. Formulated some real action items (e.g. what are next steps for me, what are larger goals, etc.). More below.
    • Posted: I think my son is doing LSD. He’s 11. Is that OK?
    • Reminded: that writing can be fun, completely light-hearted and feel as good as a jog around the neighborhood. Fun and funny. I think the best stories come from everyday life. My son wrote a note (I think it’s to his teacher) and it was as if an alien took possession of his body and wrote something. It would have been less scary if he turned his head around 270 degrees on his neck. “We’re not done with this, young man.”
    • Listened: to another podcast from Jeff Goins about how Elizabeth Bradley posted on a couple of celebrity blogs. She was excellent! Some great tips in there and basically the underlying reminder to Just Do It. But: be prepared and do your homework and make your best ask. Worth a listen.

    August 20

    • Hinted: to my bookkeeper who has hinted to me that she’s up for some virtual assistant work, that I might have some virtual assistant work for her. Even though the kids are now in school, I’m actually doing more client work and I still don’t have as much time as I’d like every day to work on my writing (and branding etc.). So I’m going to see if I can hire her for some of it.
    • Listened: more Jeff Goins. I’m liking the guy more and more. I also like his podcast host/friend Andy Traub. They make a good team and play off each other’s differences–as a good team should. They’re both witty, smart and efficient. Listened to more of the workshop but also another podcast or two.
    • Posted: Write what you want to read. Pretty sure I heard this from Jeff Goins and it makes a ton of sense. It’s a big help if you’re wondering what to write or want more help with trying to figure out  what readers want to read.

    August 21

    • Conferred: with colleague about the future of my website business. What I should (really) do with it, how to do that. Realized I need to work on just how that is going to work a bit more. Actually met in person, complete with dog Pepper.
    • Recorded: weirdly inspired by a post on Tribe Writers’ Facebook group where a woman said she dared to say to someone, “I am a writer,” I recorded a 6-second video of me doing just that … then posted it as a reply to her comment.
    • Posted: just in case it catches some inspiration and more people dare to record themselves admitting, declaring even screaming from the rooftops that they are writers, I opened the vein: Are You a Writer? (http://repossible.com/are-you-a-writer/)
    • Replied, posted, replied: to several posts and comments on Pat Flynn’s Facebook group about publishing on Kindle (thanks for the invite, John). Even posted something of a “Hi, I’m a new member … ” and pimped my 1,000 Posts experience.
    • Heard back: from bookkeeper that she’s up for some non-bookkeeping work. I have a few ideas to keep her busy. Going to talk next week.
    • Sent: quick background on my “transformation” to writer to a psychologist who has a podcast–about possibly being on her show. Cool!

    August 22

    • Purchased and read: In Pat Flynn’s Facebook group about his experience with Kindle publishing, Martin Meadows gave some tips and advice, asked for reviews for his not-yet-released book, Pure and Simple: How to Simplify Your Life, Do Less, and Get More . He was so clear about his ask and also explained how important pre-sales of the book were and gave more of his experience and tips that my Thank You was to buy his book (on pre-sale for $0.99, read it and (soon) review it). Ask and you shall receive? Well, at least you have to ask.
    • Lessons learned: lots about the importance of pre-sales, pre-sales pricing, giving away for free to people who will review, etc.

    August 23

    • Came out of the closet: at a school function, told a techy and corporate-ish friend of my current career situation and change. The more I talked about it, the more excited I became. I couldn’t pretend to have doubts or regrets. The more I talked, the more I even convinced myself that it was the right thing to do … as if I need more convincing.
    • Posted: Someone should do something about that. Wow, talk about inspiring. Story of a 20-year old Dutch guy who has started an organization to clean up the plastic from the Pacific Ocean was another sign that you just need to make a decision and go with it. No turning back, no questions ask, just go.

    August 24

    • Scattered: Too many things going on, too many balls in the air. Would be fun if I had 5 things on my to do list and not 50.
    • Authorized: virtual assistant to do an hour of research on possible guest posting sites for something about 1,000 Posts in 1,000 Days. We’ll see what she comes up with.
    • Posted: Don’t be the easiest target for WordPress hackers. Mainly because I had a photo that I wanted to write something about. I was going to write about car break-ins in San Francisco and a tip about how to prevent it. But ended up with WordPress hacking. Probably better for traffic! Tired. Long day of client work.

    August 25

    • Posted: My day was really busy so I must have gotten a lot done. Bit of a firefighting day with doing a bunch and I think I had a bunch done, but I have little to show for it. The To Do List kind of guy that I am, I need one of those. I need a big, structured, table-of-contents type, complete with roman numerals, indented sub-items and an overarching goal strategy. Well, maybe that’s my benefit of having a day where I think I did a lot, but who knows.
    • Spilled: my guts (and plans for the future) to a friend and colleague who is on a very similar path. We also discussed how we both need to hang out with people who are on the rise and not with people who bring us down. We also made a deadline for her to post on this site by Sep. 1. I’m planning on holding her to it.

    August 26

    • Salvaged: a client who was heading astray. If I can just people on the phone, I can be very convincing … with pretty much anything.
    • Posted: I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say. (http://repossible.com/write-to-think/) I’m trying to write about writing more as I plan to guest post more about writing. Also, why people don’t write–and why they should.
    • Started: actually filling in the answers to the workbook for Tribe Writers. Also thought of an important aspect of writing and workshops and courses. It’s very simple, but Active versus Passive learning. I can listen to 10 hours of a workshop or a lecture, but I’d venture to say that I “learn” as much by creating for 10 minutes. Maybe “learn” isn’t quite right, but in any case, actions are more important to progress than passive learning.
    • Reviewed: MailChimp versus ConvertKit for setting up a mini-course on Writing Every Day. I’d like to set up a free “7 Days to a Writing Habit” quick-and-easy course with writing prompts, motivational quotes and case studies delivered through an autoresponder campaign. If they finish that, they might want to step it up and sign up for the 30 day Write Every Day course.

    August 27

    • Listened: to Jeff Goins talk about how to “Pick a Fight” with a post. That is, don’t just go down the middle, pick a side.
    • Acted: on what I learned and wrote out a post with more of a fight in it …
    • Posted: I’m not going to buy your print book.
    • Reacted: to more comments than usual! In Facebook group and on the post. Fun.

    August 28

    • Posted: 1.) Learn Something. 2.) Take Action. about how I learned about writing the Pick a Fight style post, did it, got results. Hmm, could it be so simple?
    • Listened: to more Goins podcast in the car for several hours heading out for the weekend.
    • Noted: that if I don’t take notes or better yet, write a post about something I learned, I can’t recall what I learned … !

    August 29

    • Posted: What I would really, really like is … trying to help me think of what others need help with and how I (or anyone) can help meet that need. It helps to even think more like this.
    • Missed: time to write. Out of town, with friends in the mountains, hiking, swimming, fun with kids.
    • Reminded: that writing is what I love to do. Like for some it might be eating ice cream.

    August 30

    • Clarified: a thought about a posible ebook to help WordPress newbies get started and how I could grow sales through partnerships. More on this later.
    • Can’t seem to get through my head: that I can’t have 7 new ideas per week and get them all done. OK, fine, I can’t get any of them done. I need to focus, start, work through, finish.
    • Posted: How to not catch any fish with a plastic bag, a stale granola bar and no WiFi. as an example of the kind of thing I really enjoy writing but also as an example of what could help others … if I could massage it a little to make it more clear what that benefit to others is (e.g. how to get your kids off of the electronics).

    August 31

    • Worked: way too much on client work. Yes, I have to pay the rent.
    • Imagined: a day in the not-too-distant future when I have, ahem, structure and my day has more writing (and writing-related work) than non-writing related work.
    • Watched: a Michael Hyatt webinar. Jeff Goins learned lots from him, I didn’t really know him. Webinar was strong with good points (about how to write killer blog post). Takeaway? If only to write something here that I remember now but won’t tomorrow, hmm, let’s see: (1) importance of the headline as there are many out there who scan headlines and won’t even open it if it doesn’t pull them in, (2) how he wrote out 3 headlines per post to test them out, (3) how a featured image is also very important–and why not to use an over-used cliche image, Very well done infographic!
    • Posted: If you don’t fail, can you still learn?

    September 1

    • Applied: for a WordPress freelance writing opportunity. We’ll see what happens with that.
    • Listened: to Jeff Goins’ podcast with Emily Freeman. She was eloquent, approachable and filled with goodness.
    • Commented: on Jeff’s site as well as Emily’s about how good the podcast was.
    By | 2017-05-24T13:24:50+00:00 August 2nd, 2015|Marketing, Writing|1 Comment

    About the Author:

    Bradley Charbonneau was sitting with his 8-year old reading a bad children's book when he said to his son, "We can do better than this ... and you're going to help me." Then they did it. He hasn't stopped since.

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