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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!

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)

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