That’s a Wrap…Psych!

It has been forty days (and forty nights).

When I started this blog I set a few goals for myself:

  1. document my experience staying sober not drinking for thirty days
  2. share with people who are struggling to find balance in their drug use
  3. maintain my resolve
  4. develop my blogging, writing, and ability to attract readers (read: web marketing, social networking)
  5. answer the questions, “Why drink?” and “Why not drink?”

I have to say, goals 1 through 4 were met with extreme to moderate success. As far as answering the Big Questions, I made progress, but realized that they are questions we all have to answer for ourselves.

I published 14 posts. Really, only 12 of them were within the 30-day timeframe, but that still makes an average of one post every two and a half days! I think the quality of the posts was fairly consistent and high. I eventually stopped adding the updates that were kind of like diary entries, because I felt that they weren’t very interesting. In a way, I didn’t really document my experience of the thirty days. Instead, I documented most of what I know and feel about addiction as it relates to my experience. I wasn’t documenting the present. Instead, I was compiling and presenting relevant information that I have gleaned during my past 32 years.

What I learned from 30 days of blogging.

  • I can produce at least one quality post every 3 days, if the conditions are right…
  • Good content = passion + rumination + good information. I have thought about the themes of this blog for over a decade, so the information was mostly in my head. Even so, I did a fair amount of research to add value to my posts. The rumination part is critical, because most of my “ah-ha” moments came while I was away from the computer.
  • Doing good things for yourself is good for others. I have always believed that it was ethical to work on my own well-being, but had little evidence that helping myself was really making the world a better place. During this experiment, several friends and acquaintances decided to experiment as well. Although only one of them succeeded, the others at least made attempts and perhaps became a little more aware of the limitations of a drinking habit.
  • All that I have read about creating well-being, all the “life-hacks”, tips, tricks, and affirmations – they all help. Doing something as an experiment, telling as many people as possible, documenting your progress, doing something for 30 days…these are all great pieces of advice that actually work. Thanks again to Zen Habits.
  • Being anonymous is hard. Being honest is hard. I ended up sharing this blog with my mom, step-dad, and friends, but I can’t use it in a portfolio, because of the pot stuff.
  • Inspiration doesn’t fit a regular schedule. In my next blog, I will spread my posts out. If I feel inspired to write two posts in one day, I will save the second post a few days before publishing it.
  • Finally, I learned a lot of technical lessons: the limitations of free blog sites like WordPress, how to embed various widgets, how to write concisely without losing my voice, how to create an RSS feed for my site…

Overall, I feel stunningly successful. The only downside is that I haven’t yet found a niche that will sustain my interest long enough to create a lasting blog. I have a few great ideas which I will talk about in my next post.

Thank You

I want to thank all of my friends who read my posts and gave me feed back. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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2 thoughts on “That’s a Wrap…Psych!

  1. I really have enjoyed reading your blog! You are quite funny, and I have been thinking I should do this for a while now too. You have inspired me! Yay! But really, what good have you seen from doing this? I would truly like to know in your day to day life what has changed?

    thanks!
    Leslie

  2. Leslie,

    Thanks so much for reading.

    Although my “day to day life” is constantly changing no matter what I do, I think there are a few things that are a direct result of not drinking.

    Productivity. I spend a lot more time working on various projects. Admittedly, I also spend a lot more time stumbling around the internet, but I have many more hours in the day. I have definitely produced more writing and worked on various other creative projects in the past month than in the previous few months.

    Awareness. In September, when I looked back, there didn’t seem to be many memorable or meaningful moments that had happened over the previous few months. Now, I look back only a few weeks and I can’t believe how many meaningful and memorable moments have occurred. I think this is because I am more aware and less caught up with the routine of drinking. Being aware sometimes means looking at my character defects, of which I have plenty. Hopefully, recognizing them leads me to confronting and overcoming them.

    Socializing. The only bad thing is that I have been spending less time with my wider circle of friends and friends of friends. Even this might be a good thing though. To be honest, many of the people I hung out with while drinking don’t really do much for me when I’m sober. Also, I read somewhere (I think in the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell) that most humans can only maintain meaningful close relationships with about 12 people. I’ve been in better touch with my parents, my sister, my girlfriend, and a few close friends.

    Money. I am quite broke, but I would be even deeper in the hole if I was buying beer four or five nights a week.

    I could probably come up with a few more things that have changed, but these are the big ones.

    Thanks again for commenting. Replying to you has given me some ideas for a new post.
    -TinyNow
    tinynow@gmail.com

    PS – How did you find out about this blog?

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