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Janathon 2014 Completed

Janathon has concluded

Janathon was the first “official challenge” I have engaged in since I started blogging. A few times I’ve set up my own challenges such as blogging every Friday, or three times a week. But I kept these to my self and just did them.

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The Janathon Zerotohero challenge was public and required daily blogging and daily exercise. Amazingly, I managed to blog every day for 31 days. Now 32 days. I’ve never done that before. I only managed to exercise for 10 days straight. It is easier to sit down at 10PM and write than it is to change up and go for a run. I decided that a few curls or sit-ups was not going to count.

One day I counted a two mile walk with a little jogging as exercise. For many people a two mile walk would be exercise. My heart rate barely budged on that one. It was a bit of a cheat.

BAA, boston, marathon, running
My 2014 Boston Marathon application has been accepted!

 

In mid-January I also started my marathon training program. As that program ramped up, it required at least one rest day per week. In order to get that program off on the right foot, I decided not to worry about the Janathon exercise commitment.

Janathon What I learned

I learned that I get about as many likes and comments on re-blogged material as I do on posts that I carefully craft. Professional writers write better than I do, have great graphics with their articles, and know how to write an eye-catching headline.

I’ve discovered sources for quality material that I can use. If I can add my own insight or analysis to this material then I have something to offer my readers. Re-blogging an info-graphic takes very little effort or creativity. Many people do this and their blogs are quite successful.

The popularity of info-graphics and short informative pieces showed me that people are looking for material that is easy to consume and that does not require a big time commitment on their part. People are busy.

I’ve read that 2,000 word articles that are well researched and written are the best way to attract readers and maximize SEO. Who doesn’t like an informative article? We’re all looking for information to help us improve. But most people skim those long articles, I know I do quite often. Who has the time to read 20 of these articles a day?

The writers Craft

Jim Brennan whose blog is Rite 2 Run, sent this note to me recently:

Most writers advise to write every day, even if its throwaway material, just write. It’s like putting in the junk miles. Sometimes it flows, and sometime it doesn’t. You have to keep on writing to find your voice and the good stuff, like when you hit stride. But to write something worthwhile every day is a challenge. Don’t beat yourself up over it if you miss a day, or a week. It’s better to wait until it flows again. And how do you know when you’ve written something worthwhile. Oh, you’ll know.

Jim is a published author and has a great blog that you should check out.

Jim Brennan, running, boston, marathon
Twenty-four Years To Boston by Jim Brennan

I usually write a piece, save it and come back to it. I always edit for brevity and try to keep things short. This isn’t The Economist where a 5,000 word treatise is likely to be read to completion.

I think that writing daily for the past month has helped develop my writing and editing skills. I do enjoy building complex sentences but a short sentence can be a thing of beauty also. Five words can blow your mind, twenty can send you into the recesses of your mind.

Thanks for sticking with me. I don’t always write about running. I ramble on sometimes. I’m not correct all the time and sometimes I’m probably off base. But this is a blog; a writing laboratory. I get to experiment and play with the language. I’m not writing instructions on “How to dismantle an atomic bomb”. It’s all in good fun and hopefully a learning experience for both of us.

Run well my friends!

Andy

© 2014 anagelin


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2 responses to “Janathon 2014 Completed”

  1. runcolbyrun Avatar

    Nice job Andy! Congrats—Challenge complete!

  2. imarunner2012 Avatar

    Thank you! Now I get to see how much longer I can carry on daily blogging.

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