September Challenge: One Post a Day

Original image by Oloff3 (Deviantart)

Hello, September! I would like to challenge myself this month. For the next 30 days, starting from today, I will publish 30 posts on this blog. One post a day. Since I am learning to be a great strategist, of course I am doing it with a plan.

The goal is to focus myself 60 minutes per day on writing blog posts and publish them on this blog, 1 post/day, in September 2012.

Duration

Challenge is active from September 1, 2012 to September 30, 2012.

Writing Time (GMT+7)

My best hours are 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM. I write the first thing in the morning.

Research and editing on WordPress panel are done during Game Hours (8:00 PM to 10:00 PM) or Free Hours (10:00 PM to 12:00 AM).

Success Parameters

  1. To spend 60 minutes/day for writing only; researching, reading books and editing posts (on WordPress panel) do not count
  2. To publish 1 post/day

Challenge is successfully completed if all parameters are done.

Case: Let’s say by September 25 I am able to write and schedule posts for September 26-30, I will have to write in total focus for 60 minutes/day for the remaining days. Additional posts will be scheduled for October. Reward for additional posts is the same as reward for Challenge posts.

Topics

Anything is possible!

I may review videogames, books, movies, animes, apps, etc. I may share my thoughts on living the fun way. I may share daily life in the office.

I will not bound myself to niche topics as this blog is never intended for SEO. What matters most is that I write regularly in English.

Tools

Workstation

Here is where I write. With a Macbook, a small portable table, a pillow, a cup of tea, water and some snack, I’m all good.

Notebooks

I bring a physical notebook most of the time. For other times there is Evernote. Both are important to keep random ideas.

Dictionaries

I own no dictionary, but The Free Dictionary and Sederet might help.

Virtual Editors

I cannot afford English class, so WordReference forum and English Club serve as my guardian angels. After the Deadline checks for grammar mistakes, while Synonym provides new vocabularies.

Research Bank

God bless Google!

Calendar & Task Manager

I use Trello to keep me on track.

Internet Connection

Android tethering FTW! My phone, an Xperia Play, can be a portable hotspot. ^.^

A Nice Cup of Tea

Always my favorite! (pic taken from asia-mart.co.kr)

Encouragement e-Mails

43Things allows me to schedule encouragement e-mails sent to me.

Steps

  1. Define a topic to write
  2. (optional) Do some research
  3. (optional) Write the outline
  4. Write in 60 minutes
  5. Check the post for grammar errors and typos
  6. (optional) Revise the post
  7. Copy-paste the post onto WordPress panel, add some HTML codes
  8. Schedule the post
  9. (the next day) Check if the post is completely published
  10. Update Trello

Obstacles and Tactics

More Internet Cost

Indonesia’s connection is expensive. Since my tools are mostly online, I might spend IDR 200,000 (around $20) for mobile data plan. I need to cut the meal budget. No dining out in September!

Also, my magic jar finally comes into use; I can cook rice and buy omelets for breakfast.

The magic jar! It magically saves me whenever I am low on cash.

Unreliable Mobile Connection

The writing (step 4) is the most important task, so I do it offline on Evernote. I need to keep backups on Dropbox, just in case. All other steps require connection, so I should be flexible with them; I can do them in the office.

Expensive English Books

I need to read as many English books as possible, but I barely afford them. Local universities have libraries, but I am not sure if they open for public. Most of the books are written in Indonesian anyway. I guess I have to go to coffee shops that import books; I can do this on Sundays. I can also borrow a couple from some friends.

Buying books is definitely not a top priority, so I will hope for the best from the internet. Again, God bless Google!

Busy Days at Work

Sometimes I have 6 meetings in one day. If it ever happens, I might not be able to spare 60 minutes at one time on writing, but I can do it in 3 time-slots (20 minutes each).

Important Notes

  • I should finish all drafts first. Currently there are 1 scheduled post and 19 unfinished drafts.
  • I need to fully charge the phone before I go to work.
  • Encouragement e-mails sent to me on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Busy days, lower energy.
  • Everyday before I go home, I have to use the office’s wireless connection to sync Evernote and Dropbox on Macbook and the phone.
  • Discipline is crucial! I cannot afford to miss any meal nor wake up late.
  • Health is more important! I should do morning meditations and some jogging. More vitamins, less instant noodles!

Benefits

  • Be more disciplined in several areas: health, mood management, waking up early and writing regularly
  • Improvement in English writing

Reward

For each post scheduled on time, I keep inside a piggybank IDR 10,000 (around $1).

Successfully complete the Challenge to unlock IDR 300,000 prize, Dian!
And get this awesome upcoming game from your favorite developer Level-5!

Yes, Professor. I’m so getting you for my birthday! HOHOHO…

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