365 Days Writing Challenge – Checkpoint Four

4 months after deciding I will publish an article every day in 2021, here I am. Still kicking. It was by far the most difficult month, and I’m not gonna lie, I was close to not making it at least three or for times. But all is well when it ends well.

Let’s see a bit more details in my regular monthly checkpoint.

April was a month in which I traveled a lot. Not going into details, but it’s related to the decision to switch countries. For the last two and a half years I’ve been living in Spain, and, starting today, I’m in Portugal. During April I did a lot of online and on site research for this, including living for 3 weeks as a local in Lisbon and Porto. All this while continuing to work for my regular job. Needless to say, my routine was quite disrupted because of that.

I wrote my daily article at least 5 times in the last hour of the day, barely making it before midnight. I think I was able to schedule an article for the following day only once. I’ve been doing this constantly in the first couple of months, when the challenge started, as a way to get a little bit more buffer, so to speak. But because of the hectic schedule, I couldn’t have more than one opportunity to do that in April.

Also, the topics were more or less chaotic. I’ve deliberately refrained from writing about my travels (for personal and diplomatic reasons, so to speak), so, at the end of the day, I had to rely only on free form writing. Meaning there were quite a few times when I just started blank, without having any idea what I was going to write about, and then rolled with the punches.

As expected, the quality of the articles suffered a lot, but this was already priced in, I expected it. I couldn’t have the same clarity and consistency as usual, but that wasn’t the goal of the challenge. The goal was to create the habit, and you create the habit by doing it every day, whether you like it or not, whether you’re satisfied with what you wrote or not, you just do it.

But, even if the quality of the articles suffered, and I barely made it to the end of the month, one big improvement also happened during April: I finally changed the main theme of the blog, and I’m not talking about the WordPress theme. Nope. I’m talking about clarifying what these writings are good for (except for helping me keep my mental sanity).

If you come here relatively often, you may have already noticed it. Before, the blog description was: “On living a better life, screwing up, and everything in between”. While the description was technically correct, it was also too broad. I needed something way more niched and organized.

Hence: financial resilience, location independence and meaningful relationships. And since I write in such a way that it will never become viral, I also decided to call all of this: “anti-viral writings”.

For the last few years I focused almost only on these 3 areas, even though I didn’t name them directly. Financial resilience, location independence and meaningful relationships are basically the reasons I’m still keeping this blog. I have tons of material to cover in each area, but I never took the time to organize my topics around these 3 themes. So, on top of my daily writing routine, I tried to find some time to re-organize homepage, write a little introduction, and create the landing pages for each theme. While they are still at the stub level, I’m quite ok with how they came out.

All in all, April was a good month.

Onwards and upwards!

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