the 100 Day Shipping Challenge

Welcome to the wild ride that is my 100-Day Writing Challenge: Shipping Every Day!

Today, I kick off this journey with a post about keeping a promise to myself, and I can’t wait to share the ins and outs of this challenge with you.

If you’ve been itching to take on a challenge of your own, whether it’s a 30-day writing challenge or a 100-day publishing marathon, my story might just be the spark you need to light that fire.

And if you’re wracked with insecurity about your writing, well, buckle up, because I’m right there with you.

The Beginning of the 100-Day Writing Challenge

I decided to tackle this 100-day writing challenge head-on as a way to conquer my own doubts and fears, but guess what?

It only took me one day to start questioning whether I’d bitten off more than I could chew.

My mind wavered, almost downgrading my ambitious goal to a 30-Day Challenge.

Crazy, right? I mean, talk about a bumpy road ahead.

But I’m standing my ground, and every time that pesky resistance rears its head, I’ll just ask myself, “What would David Goggins do?” Ha!

So, let’s dive in.

Shipping Daily: The Core of My 100-Day Writing Challenge

What’s this shipping business all about?

? UPDATE: My 100-Day Challenge is now complete! You can read about the 10 lessons I learned from this wild ride here.

A decade ago, Seth Godin’s name popped up in a conversation, and my curiosity was piqued.

When I discovered he’s a Stanford graduate, I couldn’t help but think, “Of course he is!”

I placed him on a pedestal, absolving myself of any pressure to follow in his footsteps.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself binge-watching Seth Godin interviews on YouTube, soaking in every word like a sponge.

It was as if the universe aligned, and Buddha’s words rang true:

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Seth’s interviews were like a soothing balm, full of inspiration, education, and encouragement.

He’s warm, funny, compassionate, empathetic, wise, and a true trailblazer.

And it was his message on “shipping” that lit the fire under me to tackle this 100-Day Challenge.

Curious to learn more?

Keep reading to find out exactly what “shipping” means and how Seth Godin’s wisdom fueled my determination to embark on this 100-Day adventure.

Shipping Every Day: The Key to Growth

When I ran my online retail business, it was absolutely crucial that we delivered what we promised within the expected time frame.

So we shipped every day, Monday through Friday, without fail.

We could never, ever disappoint our customers.

Big or small, keeping my promise is incredibly important to me, and I take every promise I make very seriously.

And when I started my blog, I knew nothing about blogging.

All I had going for me – if you could call it that—was my love for reading and writing.

But we all know loving it and doing it well are two completely different things, right?

So I started with:

I’ll write every day.

Prolific writers like Stephen King and William Zinsser said that’s what we should do if we want to be good at writing.

Now, I didn’t aim to become the best blogger in the world.

I just want to be the best I can be.

During my short time of blogging , I mastered this one habit: I wrote every day.

My drafts in WordPress, a Word document, Google Docs, and Grammarly have plenty to show for it.

But that’s all I’ve been doing.

I mean, I published a post here and there. I aimed to publish at least once a week.

Oftentimes, though, I was just chuffed with writing every day without publishing.

Seth Godin’s messages then struck me and made me realise that:

Ultimately, writing is about communicating.

So what exactly have I been doing with my writing if I haven’t published it?

The answer was obvious:

I was hiding under the pretence of getting better.

Shipping as a Blogger: Time to Publish

I realised I had to treat my blog like I treated my online retail business: by shipping every day.

Except I don’t have customers to keep a promise to.

This time, I’ve got myself to account for.

It doesn’t mean, as Seth Godin said, shipping sloppy and flawed work.

It means knowing that it’s not perfect and that it may not work, but shipping it anyway and seeing what happens.

Do more.

Be better.

Holding onto the Wise Man’s Words: Seth Godin’s Impact

So this challenge is about keeping a promise I made to myself by publishing one blog post every day for 100 days straight.

I realised I’ve been waiting to get better at writing.

But now I know that the only way to get better is not just starting (writing), but finishing (shipping/publishing).

We all have something we desperately want to achieve in life, but we never do because we feel not good enough or confident enough.

That’s how I felt about writing. It could be something else for you.

What’s really encouraging about what Seth Godin said was this:

It’s not fair to say you aren’t good at writing until you have written 50,000+ words.

So I’ll continue to write and ship every day while I dance with my inner voice, the critic.

And then, we’ll see what we, me and my inner voice, have to say to each other after 100 days.

I put my trust in Seth Godin’s wisdom.

You’re probably not good enough. But you could get better and if you keep getting better, sooner or later, you’ll be better.

Seth Godin’s Advice for Aspiring Writers

Below are two questions and answers I picked from Seth Godin’s interview on Forbes.

What is your writing process?

  1. Write like you talk.
  2. Learn to talk better.
  3. Blog every day.

What are your three best pieces of career advice?

  1. Begin.
  2. Fail in the service of generosity.
  3. Blog every day.

I read this “write like you talk” advice everywhere.

I’m not a chatty person, so it doesn’t come naturally to me (how annoying!).

The Mammoth Challenge: 100 Days of Blogging

So for many reasons, this is a mammoth challenge for me.

But unless I set some obligations for myself in my blogging journey, I know my next 100 days will look the same: no progress, and I’d really hate that.

What I’m Aiming For in My 100-Day Writing Challenge

I’m hoping to gain clarity in my thoughts at the end of the 100-Day Shipping Challenge.

I’d also love to see my blog posts help someone out there, even in the smallest way possible, because that’s, ultimately, my goal.

For this post, I initially wrote 4,000+ words.

It shows the sad state of my mind. Ha. It’s been like this since I started blogging.

My thoughts are all over the place. I can’t explain myself clearly.

William Zinsser says a clear thinker is a clear writer.

He also points out that one should not try to solve everything in one post or something along those lines.

That stood out for me.

Because so many times, I felt that I was trying to solve the world’s problems in one post, this was the primary reason I couldn’t ship more often.

Learning from Seth Godin’s Wisdom

And watch Seth Godin’s YouTube video below.

You’ll feel compelled to start creating and shipping your work.

It’s possible his message may not “speak” to you this time.

Remember the years that went by before I was taken in and watched all his interviews obsessively?

What if, on the off-chance, this is all it takes for you to change gear, as it spurred me into this 100-day challenge?

Either way, by listening to this gem of wisdom, you will most likely plant a seed for your future self.

So I thoroughly recommend watching the clip below.

Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain

Final Thoughts: Overcoming Self-Doubt and Embracing the Process

You’ve got to believe what you’re doing is helping someone. And learn as you go along.

John Paul DeJoria

If you feel stuck and get frustrated in your creative endeavour like I do (or anything else you want to achieve in life), remember the quote above.

And please follow along with my challenge so I’ll have the privilege of having someone else to account for other than me!

? Update: My 100-Day Challenge is complete now. (Read my 10 lessons from doing the 100-Day Challenge.)

Before you go, check out the related posts below you might also enjoy.

Let these resources inspire you to start your own challenge and embrace your journey towards personal growth and self-improvement.

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