A few weeks ago, I came across a post on Reddit from a songwriter who decided to write and record a new song each day for 120 days. I liked this idea of working on a passion ad nauseam to push though and explore what works and what doesn’t. It’s like a forging process that shapes your skills, interests and audience. This seemed to be what I needed to jump start Hearth+Mantel and add action to an idea. After reflecting on the songwriting project he had a few pieces of advice.
- Your schedule is your friend. Set up your schedule for success. If you set untenable expectations of what you can do each day, you will set yourself up to fail.
- Involve others in your process. This helps with seeing other prospectives and gaining feedback on your content.
- Tell everybody about it. It adds accountability to stick to your plan and creates opportunities to connect with people with various interests, connections and skills.
- Wake up early. Being able to get a jump on the day and write clearly before the day gets too busy helps keep the writing moving forward.
- Drink less beer. – See above.
One big departure from the songwriter’s schedule is that this was his full time job and devoted over 7 hours a day to it, while this is a side gig for me. I think the scale of deliverables differs too, so I’m not too concerned about that for now.
So between the 120 day songwriting project and advice from a prominent blogger that I’ve followed for a decade who told me to just start writing for a few months and see how it felt and how it evolved, I decided that this would help me start. It would help create a tangible goal and not focus on the number of followers or ways to monetize the site. Just start, involve others, be consistent and see where it goes.
Anyway, if you’ve read this far, you must really be wondering what the number at the bottom of each post is. That is the number of the day from when I officially started posting to Hearth+Mantel. Weeks of work went into setting up the site and various social media accounts before posting for the first time, but I didn’t want to cheat and let those days count. I wanted to have 120 days of posts, writing and research to look back on in November. So here we are, day 17 of 120 and I’m looking forward to all of the great people and businesses I meet along the way.