Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

For most people, the month of October heralds thoughts of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, fall leaves, and crisp jacket weather.

For a select few of us, the month of October brings something more. It means writing. Specifically, the challenge of writing every single day for 31 days straight.

What is #write31days?

Write 31 Days is a challenge. Choose one topic, every October, write every day. That’s it! There are really no other set rules.

The Write 31 Days website has a Link-Up available for the first 5 days of the challenge where we link our blogs with a photo (called a “button”, which means a 150×150 photo that links to our website) so people can find our blogs.

Began in 2009 by Myquillyn, “The Nester”, she set the challenge for herself to improve her blog and her writing by writing every day of the month of October. The following year, she invited a few friends to join her, and 8 participated. Since then it has grown and this year 1,500 bloggers are participating. MyQuillen has since stepped down as the leader and Crystal Stine has taken over as the new leader.

Who are the Write 31 Days Writers?

Anyone who has a blog is welcome to join the challenge, whether you have 2 followers (your husband and your mom) or an email list of 100,000.

There are 9 categories of writing:

  • Family Life
  • Fashion and Beauty
  • Food, Health, and Wellness
  • House and Home
  • Inspiration and Faith
  • Personal Endeavors
  • Simplicity and Organizing
  • Too Awesome to Categorize
  • Writing, Blogging and Internet Stuff

Believe me when I say there is literally something for everyone in these lists of blogs! I am continually amazed at the awesome writing and creative ideas.

Click on the graphic below to check them out. Just be warned, if you are like me you might end up spending hours reading through all the amazing blogs! I suggest a blog reader such as Bloglovin to capture all your favorite blogs to read in one location.

31small

What’s It Like Being a #write31days Writer?

This is my second year of writing a series for the October challenge, and each time it’s been a whirlwind. Last year I wrote about Faithful Fitness, and this year I am writing a series called The Hope Toolbox: Practical Help for Depression and Anxiety.

Each writer has her own method and way of organizing her thoughts. Some write furiously right up until midnight each day. Some have their posts finished in September and simply have the computer post them in October. Many writers start the challenge and are unable to finish as life’s demands have a way of catching up with the best of us.

The structure of the challenge is wide open so that posts can be short or long. They can be videos, quotes, completed by guest authors, or any other way the writer sets about making them happen.

I brainstormed the concept for my series this summer. Because this post I wrote about depression has been so popular  on my blog (Depression is a Liar), and because it’s such an important and meaningful topic to me, I knew I wanted to do a series about depression.

I outlined the 31 days on paper and filled in the topics.

write31days photo
Notes for my #write31days series

Then the most important work begins — the writing. Oh, the writing! Sometimes beautiful inspiration hits, and those are great moments. Other times, I feel I am clunking my way through, but I keep going. Those pieces often come together in the editing process.

Sara's desk

I am continually surprised by what resonates with my audience. Sometimes my favorite pieces fall flat, and other blog posts that I think are “meh” take off and are shared like crazy.

Sara by computer
Hello from behind my blog! Welcome to behind the scenes of my writing world.

If you are a blogger, I highly encourage you to consider joining the challenge next year. You will be stretched and grow as a writer. One of the biggest benefits to the challenge is joining the 31 Days Writers closed Facebook group. The group is incredibly supportive and encouraging.

I would not encourage you to take this challenge if you are hoping the link-up will increase traffic to your blog, though. I was really disappointed the first year when this did not happen. I get maybe one or two visitors per day from the write31days.com link up. I’m not sure why this is, but other bloggers say the same thing. However, I have seen my blog traffic continue to go up, because I am sharing on Facebook and Pinterest and increasing the great content on my website.

If you are a reader, definitely please come check out the amazing content being written and shared at www.write31days.com. I stand in awe of these amazing writers, many of whom I now have the privilege to call my friends.

If you’ve considered starting your own blog, go for it. Maybe by next year at this time, you’ll be ready to join us as a writer!

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Sara Borgstede

Sara Borgstede is a triathlete, speaker, and writer. She has been maintaining a 100 lb weight loss for 10 years, and runs an online faith and fitness program for women, http://www.faithfulfinishlines.com/ She is mom to 5 kids through birth and special needs adoption, and she and her husband Mike, who is a pastor, were foster parents to 35 children. Sara takes a lot of power naps. Find her at her website, The Holy Mess, at http://www.saraborgstede.com/, and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. (Links Below)

Finding My Confidence in Learning to Enjoy Exercise

In: Living
Woman at exercise class, color photo

This picture is of me, noticeably overweight, attending a silks class. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I looked noticeably out of place in my XL frame, compared with the other women in their size two Lululemon leggings. At one point, before we began, I actually quietly asked the instructor if there was a weight limit. She reassured me that people a lot heavier than me had hung from their ceiling on those silks. Before we started hanging from the ceiling, the instructor had us all sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and our goal for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Until We Meet Again

In: Grown Children, Living
Daughter hugs elderly mother from behind outside

Mom, I pray to the stars that someday, somewhere we pick up where we left off. Before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Before your life, my life, and our family’s life changed forever. If we meet again, will you appear just as I remember you before this awful disease took over? With ebony black hair, vibrant blue eyes, and a gracious smile. Will you look at me and know I am your daughter? Will you refer to me by my beloved childhood nickname? RELATED: The One Thing Alzheimer’s Cannot Take Away Will you embrace me in a warm hug and tell me...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading

I Loved You to the End

In: Grief, Living
Dog on outdoor chair, color photo

As your time on this earth came close to the end, I pondered if I had given you the best life. I pondered if more treatment would be beneficial or harmful. I pondered if you knew how much you were loved and cherished As the day to say goodbye grew closer, I thought about all the good times we had. I remembered how much you loved to travel. I remembered how many times you were there for me in my times of darkness. You would just lay right next to me on the days I could not get out of...

Keep Reading

The Only Fights I Regret Are the Ones We Never Had

In: Living, Marriage
Couple at the end of a hallway fighting

You packed up your things and left last night. There are details to work out and lawyers to call, but the first step in a new journey has started. I feel equal parts sad, angry, scared, and relieved. There’s nothing left to fix. There’s no reconciliation to pursue. And I’m left thinking about the fights we never had. I came down the stairs today and adjusted the thermostat to a comfortable temperature for me. It’s a fight I didn’t consider worth having before even though I was the one living in the home 24 hours a day while you were...

Keep Reading

I Hate What the Drugs Have Done but I Love You

In: Grief, Living
Black and white image of woman sitting on floor looking away with arms covering her face

Sister, we haven’t talked in a while. We both know the reason why. Yet again, you had a choice between your family and drugs, and you chose the latter. I want you to know I still don’t hate you. What I do hate is the drugs you always seem to go back to once things get too hard for you. RELATED: Love the Addict So Hard it Hurts Speaking of hard, I won’t sugarcoat the fact that being around you when you’re actively using is so hard. Your anger, your manipulation, and your deceit are too much for me (or anyone around you) to...

Keep Reading

Give Me Friends for Real Life

In: Friendship, Living
Two friends standing at ocean's edge with arms around each other

Give me friends who see the good. Friends who enter my home and feel the warmth and love while overlooking the mess and clutter. Give me friends who pick up the phone or call back. The friends who make time to invest in our relationship.  Give me friends who are real. The friends who share the good, the beautiful, the hard, the messy, and are honest about it all. Give me friends who speak the truth. The friends who say the hard things with love. RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends Give me friends who show up. The friends who...

Keep Reading

I Asked the Questions and Mother Had the Answers. Now What?

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Older woman smiling at wedding table, black-and-white photo

No one is really ever prepared for loss. Moreover, there is no tutorial on all that comes with it. Whether you’ve lost an earring, a job, a relationship, your mind, or a relative, there is one common truth to loss. Whatever you may have lost . . . is gone. While I was pregnant with my oldest son, my mother would rub my belly with her trembling hands and answer all my questions. She had all the answers, and I listened to every single one of them. This deviated from the norm in our relationship. My mother was a stern...

Keep Reading

A Friend Gone Too Soon Leaves a Hole in Your Heart

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Two women hugging, color older photo

The last living memory I have of my best friend before she died was centered around a Scrabble board. One letter at a time, we searched for those seven letters that would bring us victory. Placing our last words to each other, tallying up points we didn’t know the meaning of at the time. Sharing laughter we didn’t know we’d never share again. Back in those days, we didn’t have Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat or whatever other things teenagers sneak onto their phones to capture the moments. So the memory is a bit hazy. Not because it was way...

Keep Reading