This post is the third part of a series of blog posts, reviewing my time in the Praxis program. Want to start at the beginning? Check out My Praxis Experience: Pre-Program and Month 1.

Writing, Writing, and Writing – Oh my!

This month of the Praxis Program has focused on writing one blog post every day. Yes, you read that right! One blog post. Every. Single. Day.
By the end of this month, the Praxis participants are expected to have completed the following:

  • Written one blog post per day of the month. (28 Days to 31Days)
  • Attempted to submit four blog posts to four different third-party websites.
  • Swapped multiple blog posts with other participants in the same cohort.
  • Read the swapped post and provided feedback for each of those swaps.
  • Read through the book: The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield

Praxis Expectations, Plus YouTube

On top of everything mentioned above, I still planned to make Excellennial youtube videos during the entire month. (I set this goal so I could continue with my original project from Month 2.)
The plan was to record, edit and upload an additional eight videos for the month of July. One video for each Wednesday and weekend. That was a little more challenging along with the blogging, but I was able to do it!

Short-form Vs. Long-form

An additional goal that I set for myself was to practice long-form blogging. I wanted to find a way to write a long-form (2,000 words) blog post in a shorter period of time. The original goal, at the beginning of the Praxis program, was to be able to write a long-form blog post in two hours.
That transformed into something else entirely. I began by tracking my week one blog post. This first long-form took about four and a half hours to write it, edit it and post it. Whew, that left me with much room for improvement.
After a few more weeks I found that the hardest part of writing long-form posts is making sure that the content stays engaging. That means, no filler words: “I really really thought that was a very good post.” This example sentence should only say “I thought that was a good post.” Really and very don’t add too much to the hype of the sentence and can sometimes waste the readers time.
I bring up filler words because I found this was one of my downfalls. Challenging myself to this long-form blog post series helped me see where I could improve. Now I find myself fighting the temptation to use run-on sentences, filler words and fluff talk.
By the end of the month, I had a system down to help shorten my time. Since my post was due by Saturday, I would write for thirty minutes on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. That means that I already knocked out around one hour and thirty minutes of my work. That way Saturday wasn’t so busy, and then most of the content was already there.
As mentioned earlier, I tracked the time spent on my first blog post: four hours and thirty minutes. My last blog of the month (this one) took me three hours and twenty minutes to write. Still, lots of room to get better, but I made some improvements!

Long-form Lessons

While trying to get more information on becoming a better long-form writer, I spoke with a Praxis advisor named Dan. He was very helpful and made me understand some other aspects of long-form writing. Such as how much you know on the subject, if you are even motivated to write, how much research is required, and other things that can affect your quantity and quality.
Not that any of these things were meant to be excuses or reasons to avoid become better. Instead, that these are things to take into consideration if a blog post doesn’t go quite as smoothly as I expected.

Favorite Self-Published Posts

This post is one of my last of the 31-day blog posts challenge. Out of the posts that have I’ve written so far, here are some of my favorite posts that I’ve published.
I could offend people whether I talk about God or avoid talking about God. This post and the responses I received taught me to stop worrying about offending others with my thoughts and creativity.
I’m super excited to make more Today I Learned posts! I learned all of these things from two podcasts called 99% Invisible, and Everything is Alive. Plus, how awesome does interrobang sound‽
It seems silly now, but I didn’t realize there was a difference between CDT and CST until I noticed myself and others using them interchangeably! That was an interesting post to write, and I learned a lot.
I had a ton of fun writing my vows. I remember wishing that more guides were available and I wanted to help provide this to others. That was one of the firsts blogs that I submitted to a third party too.
One of my goals at the beginning of the Praxis program was to learn how to be more confident in my creative abilities. I wrote “I want to be more confident in my creative side. When I make something, I want to own it! Though still be anti-fragile/anti-sensitive and open to feedback.” What helped me become confident in the posts I was delivering was learning the difference between validation and feedback. This post walks through that lesson.
One of my advisors, Hannah, and I have had many conversations about what it means to be a stable person. More specifically, what to do to become a stable person. That was my long-form blog post from week three, which walks through the whole idea of being a stable individual. This is also the third post that I submitted to a third party blog. Thus far, this was the only one that was approved! This post is scheduled to be published on July 30th to https://theselfimprovementblog.com.

Favorite Cohort Published Posts

Everyone else in my Praxis May Cohort also published blogs daily. We have a group where we share the blog posts daily as well. Here are some of my favorite blogs posts that others in my May cohort published.
Meredith had a fantastic idea to have her “reasoning” talk with her “feelings” in this blog post. She writes this blog out as though “R” (or reason) and “F” (or feeling) are having a conversation about the 31-day blog challenge.
Trinity completely shuts down the idea of “curiosity killed the cat” and all the bad connotations that come with it. The title grabs you and throws you into the topic of curiosity. I mean, you opened the post in the first place because it made you curious. The point is really driven home and it’s a good one!
You can’t go wrong with writing about dogs. Dogs are the best. I could leave it at that, but it wouldn’t do this post justice. I learned so much from Meredith’s post about buying from responsible dog breeders. There is a whole different world to it, and you build a relationship with the breeders too. Who knew? It makes me want to have a dog family reunion with my dog’s parents.
In this post, Trinity wrote and recorded a video about the marketing copy of a website that sells tea. Trinity cracks me up in her videos because she’s so matter of fact, and yet manages to get a joke in there. Aside from the jokes, she does do a great job reviewing the marketing copy and explaining what didn’t sound right to her. As well as the changes that she would make to the website.

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

If you ever want to create anything, then you should read the war of art. That means that everyone should read this book. If you are human, you likely want to create something at some point in your life. The main point that Steven drives home is that you should focus and do your work, but the way he goes about saying that is brilliant. The idea is that distractions, or procrastination, or lower priority responsibilities coming up first, so on and so on. These are all issues that he calls the resistance. Creations main enemy. He talks about what this is, how to identify it and how to fight it. Don’t let the resistance stop you from your creations.

Why you should do the 30 day blog post challenge?

You will learn how to articulate your thoughts better, be more interested in new topics, and have new ideas that wouldn’t have occurred if not for a prior blog post.

You might be surprised, but this challenge forces you to look at the world differently. It’s so much easier now to think up blog ideas, such as how I could show something I recently learned, or provide an opinion piece that I think could help others. Many times, I would start writing a post and think up one or two other post ideas as I am writing the first one!

Don’t Be Precious with your work, just deliver.

This month taught me how to push myself to deliver. I couldn’t be “precious” with my work. Meaning that I had to force myself to publish it without holding it to my chest like a precious stone or ring that no-one else can see.
Imagine if Gollum had to share his precious ring. That is how it can feel when you want to make sure your blog post is perfect before anyone else can see it.

I learned how to not be like this about my writing and to be willing to let others critique it.

If you are interested in reading any of my post from my 31 lost challenge, check them out here: https://laceylanzo.com/category/31-day-blog-post-challenge/

What does this mean going forward?

Over anything else, it means I will have far more confidence in my work and that I will be more receptive to any feedback that I receive. I expect I will be blogging a lot more now, but I’d rather not leave that vague.

Based on my schedule and the challenges coming up in the Praxis program, I don’t expect to be writing every single day. I will be committing to writing at least one blog post per week for the rest of the Praxis Bootcamp. I will reassess my goals at that time but expect I will bring that number up or find another way to continue writing. I hope to use my personal blog (laceylanzo.com) as a tool. Specifically to showcase things that I already am knowledgeable about and can help others with, as well as posting about new things I am learning each day.

If you are interested in learning more about Praxis, check out DiscoverPraxis.com.

If you are already thinking about applying, then just jump in and apply! It helps you understand the program even more and there is nothing to lose. If you use my Personal Application Link, get accepted and confirm you will begin the program then you will get $100!

~ Lacey Jade Lanzo

P.S. Buy the premium Grammarly subscription. It’s worth it.

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