3 min read

31 days of writing

31 days of writing
Photo by Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

Today is January 31st, which means:

  • I am going on a 3-week vacation, starting in 9 days
  • I am getting married in 20 days
  • I have published a blog post every day for the past 31 days

When I started writing publicly at the start of this year, I listed 3 main reasons to write:

Writing to remember

One reason I wanted to write was to create a space for revisiting the memories of my life. This past month, the View from JQ has become a repository for capturing all the special moments leading up to my wedding. From photos of James' 39th birthday (next birthday he will be 40 and we will be married!) and my bridal shower, to love poems and wedding planning chaos. The View from JQ has also allowed me to capture priceless advice I've learned from mentors on influence, job searches, and the long-term rewards of leadership.

Additionally, writing has provided me with a means to be reminded the past. This month I dug up old high school essays for applying to college, and memories from when I started public speaking. Writing has become a journey not only to remember, but also to rediscover.

Writing to think

On the days I have more time to write, I often write to think. I think a lot about work-related things, such as creating new work rituals, naming the meta-conversation and delegating the 5-minute task. I also think about technical things, like trying to really understand bits, bytes and encodings or re-learning how to set up a Python project.

Writing to think has become a process for me to learn about myself. It has given me a unique opportunity to sit with my thoughts and feelings, without hot-potato-ing to someone else for advice. This introspection has given me the opportunity to really think about doing what works for me. I find that I am a lot more intentional in my decisions, because I focus on feeling good first, and I try not to do things just because there is some made-up expectation that I should.

In confronting my own bubbly personality, I've recognized the limitations I've imposed on myself by years of trying to conform to an idealized version of myself. Through writing and thinking about my tendencies, I find that I've been able to start shedding the need for validation and giving others the power to convince me that I am somehow less than. I feel less of a need to prove myself, because I now try to treat competence as a practice. This shift has elevated the quality of conversations with people I respect and want to learn from, and made it much easier for them to help me. Despite this January probably being one of the busiest months of my life, through focusing on what feels good to me and embracing good enough, I have consistently hit that publish button 31 days in a row.

Writing to connect

Lastly, I wanted to write to connect. While I haven't promoted the View from JQ extensively, I have shared it with several friends, and I sometimes write based on their requests.

I wrote about my philosophy against recurring 1-on-1s, because a friend mentioned she was struggling with having too many 1-on-1s on her calendar. I wrote about exercising in 2023, because my trainer reads my blog regularly and shared my dead-lifting stats with me. I wrote down my formula for dating apps, because many of my single friends regularly ask for it. And I wrote about how to create a budget that works for you, since many of my friends were curious about my process.

I originally thought that when today came and I had consistently published blog posts for 31 days, I would want to advertise the View from JQ extensively on social media. I don't plan to do that today, and I'm not sure when I will. I also considered setting up Google Analytics for the site, but I decided to postpone that as well.

I care a lot about continuing to hit that publish button every day. I value the act of showing up and writing for myself, more than gaining any number of subscribers. At the moment, the idea of making a big announcement on LinkedIn or monitoring the number of viewers doesn't align that primary goal.

As we head into February 2024, I want to ensure that the View from JQ remains a space where I can write to remember, write to think, and write to truly connect – with others and with myself.