Home > Announcements > This is the end, beautiful friends. @PostADay 2011’s 365th Post. Beginning A New Challenge For 2012…

This is the end, beautiful friends. @PostADay 2011’s 365th Post. Beginning A New Challenge For 2012…

Writing pad of paper and pen

January 3rd 2012. This is, as Jim Morrison of The Doors sang, The End. Not the end of this blog, no, this is the end of the 2011 Post A Day Challenge which I started on January 4th 2011 with this post, exactly 365 days ago.

I was proud to have the badge that said I was part of the Challenge which you can see below and on the right hand side of the page but didn’t know when I put it up if I would be able to do it justice. I am happy – and somewhat relieved to say that I made it and I did do it justice. I remember when I started the Challenge being told by other bloggers – specifically Casie Stewart comes to mind right now – how amazing it is and how it is a great diary when you want to look back on your year. As I look back on my year it amazes me some of the things I wrote and how I wrote them and a lot of the stuff brings a smile to my face. If I wasn’t working with the post per day deadline I probably would have tried to be more of a perfectionist and not gotten nearly as much content out there. Indeed, when I look back at some of my posts I realize I really, really need someone to proofread for me (I think we all do!) but I guess that simple mistakes a proofreader would find comes with the territory of writing a personal blog and writing it daily. If ever you see a simple error – like I mess up and write “it’s” instead of “its” please feel free to call me out on it via email.


What a wild ride it has been since I started this blog. My traffic grew at a pretty constant rate as you can see in the chart below…well constant except for the post I wrote in April about a certain French Canadian high school secretary who was moonlighting in pornographic movies and then got caught which drew A LOT of extra traffic (in retrospect this is not a big surprise). Finishing this challenge just gives me such a sense of accomplishment I cannot begin to describe it. It is just one of the most fantastic feelings in the world to be done something that was my idea (well, for me to take part in it), my commitment, and had no discernible benefit at its end in terms of reward.

LevyNewsNetwork Traffic chart

In that vein, I think my challenge for this year – aside from my silly New Year’s Resolution of living past December 21, 2012 – will be inspired by my friend Erin Bury‘s resolution for 2011 which was in turn inspired by another friend, Dave Fleet‘s, resolution for 2010: Read 26 books over the course of the year (this means a book every 2 weeks).

As I began writing this I thought I was already off to a great start in finishing John Varley’s “Rolling Thunder” and it is only January 3rd as I thought I had read the bulk of it New Year’s Day but looking back through my GetGlue history it seems I did the bulk of my reading of that book on December 31 so I cannot count it. Good thing I already started reading a new book – Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers”. I’ve already made a 90 page dent in it too so I am happy. Looks like it is a good thing I started stocking up on books from the library and I will now get to embody – once again – what I wrote about a couple of days back. Writing this also reminds me I never have gotten to the Steve Jobs book just yet probably because of all the books I just got from the library.

The below is the method I am going to endeavor to employ through this task and is taken from Dave Fleet’s blog post about his own challenge in 2010.

26 books per year… how?

How do you go about reading a book every two weeks, all year?

It’s simple – 20 pages per day.

That equates to 140 pages per week, or 280 every two weeks – roughly the length of the average book. For me, I fit in 10 pages on my commute to work, and another 10 on the way home. You might prefer instead to read for 30 minutes in the evenings, or do all your reading over coffee in the morning. Either way, once you break it down like this, it’s not so bad.

I guess I sort of have a head start in that I have already read, as mentioned above, 90 pages of Gladwell’s book, but realistically I don’t have that much of one because we are already 3 days into 2012 which means I should be 60 pages into the book anyway – so I am only 30 pages ahead of schedule.

I am very excited for this new endeavor and look forward to how it develops. I think I may need a new tag for it too and am spitballing some ideas as I sit here. Right now I am thinking BookAFortnight or maybe 26Books or maybe just Books. I think I am going to follow in Dave’s lead and just stick with ‘Books’ because it is just simpler. (I hope you enjoyed that little stream of consciousness moment in my writing…that was all completely legitimate and I decided to leave it there as is.)

So it is time to go on to my next challenge. Are you trying out anything new this year? Setting any challenges for yourself? No matter how minute I would love to hear it! Let me know in the comments below.

  1. January 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Love the idea of increasing reading a year after doing all the writing. I find the more I’ve read, the better my writing is.
    I might modify this to a book a month if I took it on for myself. No way I could do more then that.

    • January 3, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Just think of it as 20 pages per day and it suddenly becomes A LOT more reasonable and way less daunting. I guess it also depends on the subject matter (how intellectual it is and how difficult to understand) and how quickly you read. I think if you shoot for at least 20 pages per day but try to always do more you will quickly find that you are achieving this goal and, in fact, doing more than you expected yourself able to do as Erin & Dave both found (see their posts linked above).

  2. danah
    January 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

    I wonder how many books i read last year? I do love your new challenge. Good luck on it.

    I tend to be a book monster myself but i do have weeks or months were i dont read that much at all but then other months were I read 6 or more books.

    Heavy non-fiction can be a tough one to get through in 2 weeks so as my little suggestion try to avoid them for this challenge. I think “Too Big to Fail” took me 6 weeks to read, so much to wrap my head around and so many different people to remember.

    Will you blog about each book when you finish it? (i assume that is what you mean by needing a new tag)

    • January 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      I truly don’t know how many books I read last year either Danah but I know I have DEFINITELY slowed down in terms of sheer numbers since my younger years. I found that over time as I started reading more and more online content I stopped reading books as much – might also be time to start culling the number of feeds I have in GoogleReader.

      Maybe I will put “heavy non-fiction” towards the middle or end of the challenge so I can get a bit of a headstart in case it slows me down. I am already on page 119 of Outliers as of this comment so I am well ahead of the 20 pages per day number.

      I won’t necessarily blog about each book but the more interesting ones and ones which really provoke thoughts will be blogged about. As well, I am going to use the “books” tag for updates and thoughts on the challenge in general. I suppose I should have made that more clear above but it was my stream of consciousness which I wrote down not fully formed thoughts and then I just decided to leave it as is. Glad you were able to understand what I meant for the most part!

  3. January 5, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Congratulations, Dan!

    Even though you’ve completed the post a day challenge, I hope you’ll continue to post often (at the very least more often than my (on average) once a month).

    Raymond AKA The Funk Barrister

  1. January 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm
  2. January 2, 2013 at 12:00 am

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