#31 Days Tips

writing

This year will be the 5th October where I’ll write on one topic for 31 Days. I’d love for you to join me and a community of writers and pick a topic of your choice to write about. Come link up on October 1st actually it’s easier if we do it September 30th somewhere between 8-10pm EST–that way the west coast doesn’t have to set their alarms for 4am. Here’s last years 31 Dayers. This year we’ll have separate categories. Look for upcoming posts on how to link up and how to create a button to link up with.

join 31 days

In preparation for 31 Days I thought I’d share some of my best tips, all of which I learned the hard way.

#31Days

1. You don’t have to have the words “31 days” in your actual title or button.

Last year my title was Home. On Purpose. The year before was my favorite year ever with Lovely Limitations. This year, again, I won’t have 31 Days in my series title for my button. I do refer to it as a 31 day series and categorize it that way on my blog but it just takes up precious space on my button so I leave it off. (We’ll be talking abut buttons next week).

2. The goal IS to post for 31 days.

If you go in telling yourself you’ll take the weekends and Tuesdays off you’ll end up only posting twice a week at best. There’s no rule on how long your posts have to be but this is a challenge, push yourself to TRY to post something every day, and the challenge is figuring out how to do that while keeping it fun, doable and interesting for both you and us, the reader–this is usually where the magic happens so don’t just tell yourself you won’t post every day.

Some of my favorite posts were the ones where I had 30 minutes until my feed went out and I HAD to come up with something to say about my topic. That’s the worst and also the best, it’s something I don’t normally force myself to do. Take a few hours in September and write ahead if you need to. In light of the goal, no one’s going to come around and check if you have 31 posts or not, I just don’t want you to miss out on part of the creativity push that happens with 31 Days.

3. It doesn’t have to be ALL you writing ALL words.

Use quotes, photos, videos, songs, point to others who are an example of what you are talking about, maybe get some guest posts. Because most of us don’t have time to write a perfectly thought out 700 word post every day, we are forced to be creative with the TYPE of posts we have. Again, this is a secret perk of 31 Days that might change the way you write on your blog in the future.

4. Make your topic specific.

Instead of 31 Days of Home Tips what about 31 Days of Decorating with Blues. It sounds like you are limiting yourself and you’ll have less to write about but actually the opposite is true (don’t believe me, read my 31 Day Series on Lovely Limitations) putting some limits out there (like posting ever day and talking about the color blue) actually is a way to force yourself to be more creative. You might be surprised at how deep you can go into one topic.

5. You don’t have to be the expert on your topic.

Pretty much every year I’ve chosen a topic right where I am. I write about what I’m learning and what I feel like I need to learn about. I write about what I need encouragement in and what I find facinating. For example this year, I’m not decorating my house with blue, so I don’t really want to write about decorating my house with the color blue. I’m in the middle of a move and a renovation and a busy (excuse the curse word) year. So I want a topic that I can be where I am and talk about that–a topic I WANT to learn more about and be encouraged in.

6. Test out a book idea.

Seriously. If you ever wanted to write a book this is a great way to start dancing a little closer to it. My last two years of 31 days both were jumping off points to chapters in my book that comes out next spring. Don’t worry that you’ll use up all of your information. If you keep your posts short say 250 words times 31ish that’s about 7750 words. Let’s say a book would be about 50,000 words, that’s not even 1/5 of the information plus you would be getting great feedback and questions from readers that could help shape your writing.

Need more info about 31 Days?

Here’s how to make a button,

a place to practice linking up,

Categories for 31 Days

Be ready to link up the night before October 1st–September 30th to get a jump start on 31 days!

domestic fash

Many of the 31 Dayers in the past have created ebooks from their series. Ashley even had hers printed

Here are some more tips for 31 Days from some fellow bloggers:

13 Reasons to Write a 31 Day Series

31 Tips for Writing a Great 31 Day Series

What’s your best tip for 31 Days?

Related Posts with ThumbnailsPin It

Comments

  1. This makes it sound easy enough I’m half tempted to try it and I haven’t been blogging much at all lately. I even thought of a topic I could write for days about while I was reading this post! Whether or not I have the guts to do it I can’t wait for October, I’ve found some really great blogs through these 31 Days series.

  2. Oh I keep getting drawn back to this challenge, can I do it? I do love a challenge, I am a new blogger and worry I may put myself under too much pressure. Decisions, decisions

  3. Thanks! this post triggered an idea for a post for my topic!

  4. Well I have three areas that I am passionate about: Faith, Journaling, and Fitness. In that order. Guess what everyone wants from this old, lazy Trainer ? Fitness…and so we shall get our tushes moving and 31 Days of Fitting in Fitness is ready to roll…well almost, kinda sorta- Second year in- last year I joined in for 31 Days of Faith Life Preservers. It was the best thing I have done for me, just wrote my aching heart out…This year, we will see what this challenge squeezes out of me! Onward- thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. I had so much fun doing this last year (I did an organization topic last year), and I spent a bit last night brainstorming for this year because I had so many ideas floating around… I think I’m going to do 31 days of things I wish I knew my first month in my house. Thanks for running the series!!

  6. How in the world did this sneak up on me so fast? What is happening?! I suppose if you can do it in the middle of a move, reno, and book writing, I can pull it off too!

    • don’t make it harder than it is, every year, once I get my topic I think it will lead to a certain closing point and EVERY year I am shocked at what I actually end up writing about and how I close out the series. It’s so unplanned I should be punished!

  7. This is interesting. I’ve had a look at your links and don’t understand the criteria, (beyond posting every day that is) . Does one pick a topic or do you suggest a topic which everyone incorporates into their posts? :)

  8. Thank you for linking to my 13 Reasons!

    My best 31 Days tip is to craft an outline ahead of time. Even if you change it as you go, at least you’ll have some idea of whether you can write 31 posts about your subject. And depending on your series topic, an outline might be necessary to keep things organized for both yourself and your readers.

    • I read your 13 reasons and 31 tips the other day. They really helped me refine where I am going with things and get a little planning done. I have never participated before and am excited to join everyone in the challenge. Amy

  9. Definitely make it a specific topic! Mine was too broad last year, and it didn’t do me any favors. I don’t know why, but that made it so much harder to feel like I said Anything at all by the time I finished writing my posts.

  10. Woah, this sounds cool!! But so scary at the same time!! Thanks for something to mull over! Can I do it?? Eek!

  11. Elizabeth W. says:

    I started blogging a few years back, but stopped and over the last year I have been journaling little notes of love and life knowing that the time to write was coming. This challenge is such an encouragement from the lord. Im just a little unsure on how to join?
    Tenatively planning my 31 days theme ” the love that fills unlocked doors” (hearts)
    sincerely,
    elizabeth w.

  12. Thank you for linking to my tips post at Design by Insight! I’ve got my series outlined and will start writing next week. I love that it doesn’t have to be long & deep every day … I’ve added several days of meaningful quotes relating to my topic to my plan. I feel like that gives me room to breathe.

  13. I was going to do this last year and I had jotted down a bunch of ideas about decorating with blue. So, if I decide to do that topic this year, I hope people won’t think I got the idea from today’s post. I hope that’s not what your 31 day is about :)

  14. I just bought my favorite magazine of the holidays season “Christmas Ideas” book and saw the wonderful layout of your beautiful home. You did such ann awesome job! Everything is so neat, natural and very comforting. I like your Christmas decorating.
    Congratulations on your new home – I can’t wait to see what you do with it. I know it will be amazing.
    After reading the article, I realized I had not seen your first name anyywhere (didn’t read the profile page) and its very unique and very beautiful. It fits you perfectly.
    You have worked so hard and I am so happy for all the wonderful things that have happen to you and your family. God has Blessed you in a mightly way.
    Hugs,
    Connie

  15. You make me SO want to do this! Unfortunately, I’m a planner, so I would completely stress myself out if I tried to write for 31 days this year. I’m putting it on my calendar for next year though!

  16. I want so badly to join the 31 Days series. I have been a loyal reader to your series each year, and WOW! What inspiration. What creativity and Passion!! I’m not a computer techy, and I struggle with setting up the blog, buttons, and gadgets, but I am going to try my best and accept this challenge this year. Thank you for pushing so many of us to come out of our comfort zone and Just DO IT!
    You are truly an inspiration.

  17. I had already decided to do a Breast Cancer theme for the month of October. I would love to link that in to the challenge, as long as the focus stays on Breast Cancer Awareness. I can make my own pin, right?

  18. I am a new blogger and can’t wait to jump into this challenge with both feet! I love reading the potential topics other bloggers will be writing about. October will be a great month!

  19. Over the summer I hit a brick wall with my new little baby of a blog, and this might be just the thing to get my creative juices flowing again! Although to be honest, I’m almost slightly terrified!

  20. That’s not a bad idea, I could so use an printed book of my recipes.

  21. So inspired by this challenge. A few things have been rolling around in my head. I have just recently started blogging (I’m still in the infant stage actually) and feel a little out of my element because I haven’t mastered the whole blog thing. But my intent was to challenge myself to find out more about myself and let go of my fear of failure. So why not… Now it’s just getting over the fear of it not being reader worthy.

  22. Can’t wait!

  23. I am so so glad this came out today. I have had my topic picked for like months now, and wouldn’t you know…God just kinda nudged in on me today and for the last few days and suggested I change my topic! So here we go! Can’t wait. Thanks for hosting this! :) Always a fav!!!

  24. Interesting!!! I wonder what 31 days would I do or make… Wondering what others are up to too!

  25. Hi-ya – am i too late to join the 31 day challenge!
    I’m planning on doing “31 days to a digital magazine” so get myself to push out my own first issue and capture the learning curve along the way. Please let me know how I go about joining if I am not too late.

  26. Thanks so much for mentioning our post of 31 days tips! I love that you host this every year! :)

  27. Very excited and anxious! Thank you for the push! Cannot wait to see what it gloriously morphs in to!!! Thanks for sharing about my ebook sweet friend!!! xo

  28. I think I’m going to take the plunge and do it! I’m hoping you have another post about how we can go about linking up and such :)

  29. Normally, I try not to leave a link to one of my posts in a comment on someone else’s blog, but I put something in encouraging others to sign up for the #31 Days (and borrowed your b/w button). Posting every day for a month is a challenge…and a really great idea! And I love that it’s in October, because so is my birthday, so it’s kind of a milestone thing for me. :O) Here’s the link:

    http://backporchervations.blogspot.com/2013/09/100-ideas-for-31-day-blog-series.html

  30. You are making me think I can do this! I’m running errands today and making a list of all the possible posts I could do. I’m up to 22 already! This may just be the push I need to get some of this stuff out of my head. I love to write, but sometimes feel silly writing some things, so I just don’t. This is a great excuse to write them!

  31. I participated last year and can’t wait to do the same this year!!! I have one main idea and two subideas. soooooooo excited!!

  32. Last year was my first year . . . I loved it. It was hard–not the writing but my subject matter–you see I wrote this post on October 1 about being honest about my weight. A post with the title “Let’s be honest–I’m fat.” was what I wrote that day–without the intention of writing for 31 days, but I didn’t want to write another post. I wrote for 31 days about being honest with myself!

    It was the best thing I have ever done.

    In January, I picked the word INTENTION for my word of the year . . . clearly I am searching for purpose and meaning. Thank you so much for the inspiration to stand in my own truth!

    Be Blessed.

    P.S. This year 31 days of Vegan recipes

  33. Oooh…gotta do this. My blog has been too neglected as of late!

  34. Michelle King says:

    I am tempted to try 31 days of art journaling/mixed media as that is something I have been delving into the past 3 months (a new love I have discovered). Maybe I could try that…hmmmmm….

  35. Hey Author I totally agree on your point of not making any hard and fast rules for taking off, just relax for a day or two when you get tired but to post some great articles you have to be and expert only them you can bring something interesting for readers..

  36. ok, you’ve got me! I’m going to commit to this and actually complete a challenge for once lol

    I’m thinking of something closet-related because I am NOT a fashion person, or good at organizing. My challenge will be a full on internal war most days lol I’m looking forward to it!

  37. As much as I enjoy writing for 31 days (and I’m looking forward to joining you for the 3rd year running), I also enjoy reading what every one else is writing. I try to set aside each day to read through various blogs because I have found some new blogs – and friends – this way!

  38. This terrifies and excites me all at the same time.

  39. It’s been a challenging year — parents divorcing, while I’m in a serious relationship. Forcing me to reevaluate what Love is. I think I’m going to do 31 Days of Changing My Definition of Love. An ode to maturing and pushing myself to truly figure out what that is — an emotional purge of sorts. This will certainly be a great challenge! Can’t wait to join in and see what everyone else comes up with.

  40. I’m very interested in joining the challenge but don’t think I can have a button made that quickly. I have someone that does my work and he’s not that fast. I guess I will have to wait until next year. It sounds like a great idea and fun though. Cheers!

  41. This is such a great idea. I only found out about it today. I’d love to join in the challenge if I may. Is it too late? If not, how can I do this?

  42. I just found this! It is a wonderful idea, and I’d love to join in if it’s not too late. I sure hope not! By the way, I’ll be writing 31 days to hope.

  43. This would be such a hard challenge! I post several times a week, but sometimes they are really small or short. But writing about the same thing for a month would be challenging.

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