Announcing The “Become a Writer” 30-Day Challenge!

Welcome to November!

At this time last year, I decided to start writing a new article every Monday and Thursday. What has happened since then has been unexpected and totally awesome. We have a community of more than 27,000 people reading each week, over 100,000 people visit the website each month, and more than 1.5 million people have read my articles this year. Of course, I’ve made a ton of mistakes and written terrible articles along the way as well, but I can safely say that starting this blog has been one of the best decisions I have made.

Because writing each week has been so valuable for me, I want to challenge you to also follow a writing schedule … for the next 30 days. There is no pressure to participate (I’ll return to regular posts on Thursday), but my hope is that this challenge will help you kickstart the consistency that is so important for making long-term progress on your goals.

My good friend Scott Dinsmore recently ran a similar challenge and so I’m taking a page from his book and calling this The Become a Writer Challenge.

Here are the details…

The Become a Writer Challenge (Examples)

You can approach this challenge however you would like, but here are a few examples.

  • If you’re an aspiring author, you could write part of your novel every Sunday.
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, you could start a blog and every Friday write down what you learned in your business that week.
  • If you want to improve your fitness, you could start a journal to record your workouts each time you go to the gym.
  • If you enjoy vegan cooking, you could start a website and post a “meatless Monday” recipe on your website every Monday night.
  • If you’re pursuing any goal, you could start a blog and write about your progress each week.
  • If you’re feeling lost or confused, you could just write about whatever strikes you each day during your lunch break and see what happens.

You get the idea. The goal isn’t necessarily to become a professional writer, but rather to write about something that is important to you, and do it consistently, for the next 30 days. This challenge is all about the power of following a system rather than setting goals.

Complete These 3 Steps

There are 3 steps to completing this challenge.

1. Pick a topic to write about and a place to record your writing.

DIRECTIONS: Personally, I think the best place to record your progress is on a website or blog. There are many options available, but I made a video (at the end of this article) that provides a step-by-step tutorial if you want to start a blog or website like I did. Obviously, you’re free to write in a notebook, Word document, or elsewhere if you don’t want to start a blog.

2. Decide when you are going to write.

DIRECTIONS: When it comes to building better habits, writing on a consistent basis has made a bigger difference for me than anything else. You are welcome to follow my Monday-Thursday writing schedule if you want. Or you can follow any variation you want: once per month, once per week, once per day. Whatever works for you and your goals. The most important thing is to have a schedule. When, exactly, are you going to write?

3. Stick to your schedule for the next 30 days.

DIRECTIONS: If you stick to your schedule for the month of November, you will have successfully completed the challenge. My hope is that this challenge will show you that progress is achieved by setting a simple schedule and following it each week, not by making outlandish goals and promises.

You don’t have to sign up to join the challenge, but if you want some accountability you are welcome to send me a message and tell me what schedule you will be following. Or you can share your plan in the comments.

Why Should I Do This?

Why should you join The Become a Writer Challenge?

1. You’ll learn.

Writing about a topic — whether it’s recording your workouts, hacking away on the book you always wanted to write, or sharing marketing ideas for your business — will automatically teach you more about it. In many cases, you will naturally become a thought leader and expert on a particular topic simply by writing about it each week.

2. You’ll teach, share, and contribute something valuable.

Sharing your thoughts and experiences with the world allows you to engage with other people and share helpful ideas with others. There are always people who will benefit from hearing about your journey.

3. You’ll hold yourself accountable.

What gets measured, gets managed. Whether you’re writing about your workouts, your business, or anything else, the act of writing makes you pay attention to that area. Paying attention means you’ll realize areas for improvement and be more attentive to mistakes that you make.

4. You’ll improve your thinking and perspective.

Writing forces you to think clearly. Good writers understand arguments and ideas from different angles and perspectives. That’s a great thing because you can develop a more solid reasoning for why you do what you do and become more respectful of other people’s opinions at the same time.

5. If you want, you can make a living from it.

I’ve been an online entrepreneur for 3 years now and my living has been made entirely off of my writing, blogs, and websites. And I’m not the only one. There are tons of freelancers, consultants, and small business owners who market their services and drive most of their clients through their popular blogs and writing. There are even technology startups like Buffer that have grown to over 1 million users almost exclusively through writing guest posts, their own blog posts, and the resulting word-of-mouth buzz.

Long story short, writing can help you achieve your goals in health, business, and life.

Tutorial: How to Start a Website or Blog (In 10 Minutes)

As I said above, my personal Become A Writer Challenge started when I began posting articles to my blog one year ago. Given how well this setup has worked for me, I think a website or blog is the best place for your writing to live. The video tutorial below will explain exactly how you can start a website or blog like I did when I began.

Don’t see a video? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

As you watch the video, there are two things to note:

  1. There are many ways to start a website or blog. This video explains how I have created all of my websites. I like this option better than the free choices that are out there because it allows you to have your own domain name and it provides more options for customization. (And it’s inexpensive.)
  2. The video shows you exactly how to setup a blog or website with zero tech experience, but if you’re still not comfortable with the process, then go to HostGator and click on the “Live Chat” button in the top right corner. That will open up a chat box with customer support and you can tell them that you want to start a blog and have WordPress installed, but you’re having trouble with the technology. If you ask nicely, they will usually set it up for you.

Either way, I recommend watching the video above at least once so that you understand what is going on and where you’ll be logging in on your website.


  1. Pick a topic that you want to write about or keep track of for the next 30 days.
  2. Set a schedule (when, exactly, are you going to write down your progress?)
  3. Stick to the schedule for the next 30 days.

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.

Good luck with the challenge! I can’t wait to see what writing does for you!


  1. Jeff says:

    Thank you for the challenge, James! Do you have any recommendations for books that give writing advice? Also, have you written on this in the past?


  2. Urska Erklavec says:

    Challenge accepted. :D

    • Philip John says:


      I am delighted to have been introduced to your site by my son in law, Dr. Ernie Prabhakar. Your instructions are ‘clear’

  3. Kevin says:

    Are you familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)?

    It’s this month.

  4. Maureen says:

    I will take the challenge. I will write for 20 minutes a night on my novel. It has been percolating in the back of my head and it is time to let it out.


  5. Shadia says:

    Great advice! I just started a blog and it’s been a fulfilling and scary process. I need to get on a regular writing schedule.

  6. C. Onyeije says:

    Challenge accepted. I’ve tried this before but hopefully a public statement like this will make me more accountable. <>

  7. Ms Hanson says:

    Perfect timing! Yes to the NaNoWriMo, begun already. Thanks, James, for giving structure and form to my efforts. Will report back at month’s end, when you do the same.

    Hope many others in our circle will join us now.

  8. Daniel Holl says:

    That is exactly what I was thinking about this morning. I wrote down that I will stick to my schedule (1 post on each Wednesday and Sunday) for the next 30 days. It’s a small start, but I finally want to act like a pro with my posting schedule. NO MORE EXCUSES.

  9. Benya says:

    I was wondering, when I’d write my next blog post, because I delayed my articles and was afraid, that I don’t find the motivation to keep it on.

    I’ve started a blog recently, so it’s perfect that you encourage us to write regularly, I needed this inspiration!

  10. jim says:

    Thanks for the challenge, is coincides perfectly with my N=1, ketosis 30 day challenge. I will document biomarkers and my mental status (as much as I understand).

  11. Lady2Soothe says:

    Hi James,

    Great information as always.

    Curious, what’s the benefit of using HostGator over going directly to WordPress?

    Thank you.

    • James Clear says:

      Good question. WordPress offers two products, which can make things confusing. They have, which allows you to make free blogs, but they must have the after them. (i.e.

      Meanwhile, allows you to install the WordPress blogging software on your own domain. (i.e. uses WordPress, but I have my own domain. It’s not

      If you go with option 2, then you have to use a service like HostGator to host the site. I prefer the second option because it allows you to have your own domain name, which is more professional, and it’s still cheap. Hope that helps!

      • Steve Turner says:

        Hi James,

        Just interested, why use WordPress rather than Google’s Blogger, which is free?


        • James Clear says:

          Hi Steve,

          It comes down to your goals. If you just want a place where you can record your thoughts, Blogger is fine. So is a Word document or a notebook. If you want other people to read your work, however, then you’ll need a more professional solution. WordPress allows you to use your own domain name, offers increased customization for layout and design, and is far more flexible than Blogger. Also, it’s no accident that virtually every popular blog runs on WordPress. It’s the de facto standard because it works better, is professional and easy to read, and (while not free) is still cheap.

          But, as I said, it depends on your goals. Hope that helps clear things up. Good luck with your writing either way!

          • Kimberly says:

            Good point, James! I decided to go ahead and use Word Press/Host Gator before I get too much on my free Blogger site that has to be transferred over. Now I have my very own domain,, and a new learning curve in front of me. (I kinda like learning curves as long as they aren’t too steep all at once. Oh and thanks for the discount. : )

      • Margeaux says:

        James, Thank you for your clarity here. I was always confused as to why there were two sets of WordPress and even when I tried to read why, the answers were never as clear as yours.

  12. Maureen says:

    To the writer who wanted a book about writing. The one that I have read that was the most helpful is called Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass.

    Hope that helps.


  13. Hi James, Funny you should pose this challenge for November! I posed a similar one to myself a few days ago…to write a post on my blog every day for 30 days. I’ve done okay with it so far, starting with a list of twenty-five Paleo-ish things that helped me on my journey from near debilitating back pain to being pretty darned fit for a fifty-four year old Crossfitter. The side effect has been that there is also sixty pounds less of me. I am so excited and have so much to share that I really want to get my blog going. The goal is simple; to share tips and recipes that have helped me (and my husband)to this place in our lives. Thanks so much for all you do.

    BTW here’s my Blogger blog:

  14. Robin Lee says:

    I’m in! And looking forward to the exercise :D

  15. Shiau Ling says:

    Hi James! I have accepted this challenge! So excited to see how it’ll be in 1 month’s time and perhaps, in the far off future!

    Thank you for always inspiring us!

  16. crazyladyx5 says:

    Challange accepted and needed. I will write or post a picture on my blog Monday thru Friday. My topics vary from my past, family, photography hobby, my sewing , and just whatever strikes my fancy.

  17. Love it, James!

    I am going to produce a new podcast every Monday (which I have actually been doing for one month successfully now) AND work on my ‘getting influential people to respond to me’ writing by getting in touch with a new person I would like to interview for the podcast every Tuesday.

    Let’s keep each other on track then, y’all!

    Be well!

  18. Margeaux says:

    James, I really feel like you are spying on me! Several times you have come up with a topic that has been very clearly on my radar. I have recently moved to Australia and don’t know anyone in my field. I have been successful in the past in my field, but here I am starting from scratch it seems. I am reaching out and meeting with people by sending “cold” emails out. One thing that really helps me focus and plan is my daily journal which I sometimes neglect. Here’s to the challenge of writing in my journal every morning where I plan the process on what I need to do to take things to another level. I am also thinking about a blog so thank you for the info. Good luck everyone!

  19. Darin Ramsey says:

    Awesome. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, but this challenge is more like what I need.
    I commit to making progress on my novel every day, with at least 20 minutes devoted to it. I will also post an update on my progress every week. Thanks for the jolt!

  20. Melissa says:

    This is a great challenge. However, everything I do to help my family backfires with such negativity that I refuse to be a “tool” any longer. Very unfortunate and manipulative. So, my goals and life come second to providing for my children. It would have been nice to participate. I’m done though. My only goal is standing up for myself and kids – by sacrificing it all. This is likely the MOST frustrating position I’ve ever been in. Being a distance racer and optimist and completely giving up to force a precedent-setting ending. Not what a results-driven person would ever choose. It’s force and necessity… Sad but not wavering on position. Letting go of aspirations is required at times. I enjoy reading about others who have ability to pursue their dreams.

    • Margeaux says:

      Melissa, I don’t think you are “done”, I just think you are on hold. Please try and find some outside support. You should not feel manipulated by your family. Not cool. You deserve better. Find the support you need. Lots of people are there to help. Good luck.

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks, but the issues I’ve experienced are worse when seeking outside support. It’s been too long (1+ year) and it’s clear I’m being tormented by someone. Unfortunately, since I can’t identify “who” I am choosing to refuse tolerating it. Removing the unrelenting stress of “performing” and simplifying my life to such a boring extreme has given me moments with my boys I value. Extremely valuable and important at this time. Being “on hold” has a purpose – when the purpose is established and understood to some minimal degree. Otherwise it’s destructive. Plain as day.

  21. Ivan says:

    James since I started reading your blog, I decided to create my own blog and get into the habit of writing every week. It has been going pretty well so far. I want to thank you so much for your amazing articles, i really hope to be as good as you one day and be able to reach many more people.

    Please do visit my blog when and if you have some time, I would really appreciate it.

    One of your biggest fan,

    • Margeaux says:

      Your blog looks very professional. I really liked how you had the “forgiveness” blog in there. Good luck with it.

  22. Wes Gibson says:

    I am in James.

    I am a retired Navy Combat Photographer, who for several years now, has had a photography blog that is somewhat neglected. OK…I took a year off. Just getting back into blogging. So, your challenge helps. I pledge to write one blog article each week and post on Wednesday.

    Also, I’m an aspiring entrepreneur/internet marketer currently working on several projects including writing books for Kindle. I will also pledge to write for at least 30 minutes a day on my next book creation.

    Thank you for the challenge. Oh…and thank you for the book “Transform Your Habits.” Read it a few months ago, and will more than likely read it again.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Writer’s Challenge accepted! James, thank you for inspiring us! This is the answer that I’ve been searching for regarding my writing passion. This will be immensely helpful in simplifying the whole thing and beginning a structured process. For me, I’ll start with twice a week–Wednesday and Sunday. I want to start a blog with WordPress…either for my tutoring service or a meaningful passion of mine that is inspirational. Imagining what could lay ahead…excited!


  24. AJ Natal says:

    Hi James:

    I wanted to thank you for this post. I’ve been writing on and off for a few weeks and finally made a commitment to write 500 words per day. Then I read your post today! I don’t have a blog yet, but I feel that’s the route I want to go. I just want to get comfortable writing first to then search within to find my niche.

    Thanks again!


  25. Barb Johnson says:

    I’m definitely in. Do I ever need this. I’ll get my blog started for real. My goodness it seems I’ve written those words many times. but this time I’ll do it.

    Will get blog off the ground this week, by Friday. Then a new post of MWF of each week.


    Thanks so much for this James.

  26. Margeaux says:

    James, Can you tell be advantages and disadvantages to writing articles on my website as oposed to writing on a blog. I have an out of date website available.

  27. Stephane says:

    OK! Let’s do this. ;-)

    4 days a week, one hour each.

    Unfortunately, I am in mainland China so I cannot access YouTube.

  28. Gala says:

    Challenge accepted! Gonna update my blog regularly & start working on my new and improved website

  29. Na'dir says:


    I’m not trying to become a writer, but I am learning Web & Mobile Application Programming. So I thought I’d apply this challenge to my topic of interest as you suggested. I have a topic, place and time to write. The subject will be the skills acquired each week on this journey. I’m going attempt twice a week, whereas it will provide reinforcement of the skills I learn each week. I’m looking forward to sending a note to you in 30 days stating that I successfully completed the challenge.

  30. Barry says:

    Hi James,
    Thanks for the great writing, I am new to your community and find your site stimulating and thought provoking on making things better in our lives, I thank you for that.

    I travelled earlier this year and wrote a travel blog for the first time and committed to up dating each day, and the fact I made it a ” schedule ” for everyday, well I surprised myself and quite enjoyed the process, you have inspired me to do the challenge and I will write about my business and see where this takes me in my quest to break through a few barriers.

    I have linked my travel blog from July

    Thanks again James, you have put some simple strategies that I hope over time will make great strides in my personal progress.


  31. SWEET, challenge accepted! I’ve been waiting to push myself to start this writing task for a while now. It’s time to go!

    I have a question though. Should I even be concerned with finding a template or something for my wordpress or should I just go ahead and write and do all the aesthetic stuff later?

  32. Megan says:

    Hey James!

    Thanks so much for this post. I only started following you recently after my Dad recommended that I check out a blog post of yours and now I’m addicted! I seem to always be on your website!

    I recently started a nutrition/clean eating blog because I have been suffering from awful food allergies and illnesses for the past 5-6 years and have become extremely interested in the healing power of foods because of my own problems with my body. I started studying nutrition about two years ago when I realised main-stream medicine simply wasn’t helping my condition and have been obsessed with the study of natural medicine and natural remedies ever since! Unfortuntaly, since starting my food blog ( I’ve had very little time to write. I’ve moved from Ireland to America and then to London (as I am a touring singer/songwriter) all since this past summer so things have been crazy! But that is no excuse!

    After reading this I am committing to a minimum of three blog posts per week about nutrition and the healing power of certain foods, etc. Anyone that feels like learning a little more about nutrition and allergies, adrenal fatigue, weight loss, etc etc please follow me if you like on

    Thanks again James! This was great to read this morning!


  33. Sara says:

    When you say ‘write’ do you mean type it out or pen and paper? Which method do you recommend for a first time writer?

    • James Clear says:

      Whatever is easiest for you. I was thinking “type” when I wrote this out since that’s how I write each day, but the choice is yours!

  34. James,
    Fantastic post. Thanks a lot. I am a day trader from India trading derivatives for a living.

    When I started my blog I was really struggling to survive as a trader. But everything changed when I started documenting my thoughts and started sharing the ideas. The inspiration to start the blog was a quote from Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821-81), Swiss philosopher, poet.

    “It is by teaching that we teach ourselves, by relating that we observe, by affirming that we examine, by showing that we look, by writing that we think, by pumping that we draw water into the well.”

    So if we want to learn, start teaching others.

    Apart from the daily trade analysis, I have written around 120 articles since January 2012. Sometimes I really wonder how could I do this.

  35. Shandy says:

    This is a nice corollary to your previous article about setting up systems rather than goals. I’ve toyed with the idea of doing NaNoWriMo for a few years now, but the goal of 50,000 words trips me up once I realize how far behind the pace I’ve fallen. This year, however, I’ve abandoned the goal and adopted the system of writing every day for a month. The vague goal is “one page a day” but that’s irrelevant next to the system of “sit down and write something, every day, no matter what.” I think this will instill a long-term habit that leaves me writing long after November. Thanks for the prodding!

  36. I’m sure you’re right about needing a schedule for consistent progress.

    I have two blogs but no schedule so they’re very inconsistent. I do write a bimonthly magazine column and I must say even that infrequent commitment has resulted in a wonderful archive of informative articles, so I totally get your point!

    I want to commit to writing a blog post once a week this month, for one or the other of my blogs. I hope that counts for the challenge! Since it’s Tuesday today when I got your email, I will pick Tuesday mornings to write. Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. Awesome. Challenge accepted. I’ve also signed up to Scott Dinsmore’s ‘start a blog challenge’.

    I already have a blog, I want to commit to at least one post per week, and to work on the USP along the way. I also have a niche website,, where I also commit to one page or more per week.

    I published a new page yesterday, and just published a blog post today. I’m thinking that I will post a new page on AAMP every Monday, and a new blog post on Thursdays.

    I gave up on worrying about, what’s the best day and time for my site vs. my blog, and what if I publish on a different day. All distractions. Just doing it!


  38. Suzanne says:

    I’m in. My challenge is not writing because once I get started I can write like crazy, but it’s making the regular commitment to do so. So…I commit to writing twice per week on days that I don’t work out, and on Sundays. Anything else is a bonus. Someone hold me accountable please…

    • Kimberly says:

      Suzanne, you are smarter than I, LOL! (Love the bonus part.) I challenged myself just last week to write in my blog every single day for month…already a FAIL. That’s alright tho, now I have James’s challenge too and that should be a boost. I need you to hold me accountable, so let’s make a deal here. : )

      • Suzanne says:

        Works for me. I’m starting tomorrow (because I have a big work deadline today and well, the paying job has to come first).

  39. Caroline says:

    Hey James!

    First off, this is an awesome challenge. I’m a 24-year-old R&B singer and have been saying forever that I want to release an EP with original material. However, when it comes to writing, I’ve realized that I keep waiting for a moment of divine inspiration, which only ends up happening every once in a while. (Hence hindering my progress) That being said, I’m committing to finishing one song per week (by Sunday night) :)

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  40. Benn says:


    Your invitation, which I accept with cheer, has come at the best time to inspire me. I just returned to dialy writing last week! Since I tried, succeeded, then relapsed in the past, I am committed to sticking to writing again. Since last week, i have almost completed a book chapter that has been pending since last year. I completed the research, but could not find the time to write. However, your blogging rekindled my writing, and this challenge will push me further.

    I will write 45 minutes each morning after the gym. This will be work on any conference paper or professional writing projects; then I will write for about one hour every Sunday afternoon in my Journal about anything that I found interesting during the week.


    • Suzanne says:

      I love that you relapse. I relapse with writing all the time. In fact, I’m relapsing right now. :) I thought I was the only one. Laughing!

  41. Dillo says:

    Challenge accepted. Last year I blogged most everyday but have slid this year. I will be posting Mondays and Thursdays. I will be exploring giving thanks to God in the midst of a soul-tired season.

  42. Norah says:

    Just started blogging again. Perfect timing. Thanks for starting it. I plan to write every Wednesday and Sunday on digital marketing and living a healthy life.

  43. Steve Pare says:

    I’m in!

    I will write and post every Tuesday and Friday on my blog Tuesday’s writing will relate to what I am learning as I develop better dating habits and Friday will be tips and reminders for others who are interested in cultivating a better marrige by dating their spouse.

    This is exactly the challenge I needed at this time. Thanks for all you do!


  44. I’ve been following your blog for a while and you have inspired be to do something about my own blog as I’ve been putting off posting my thoughts for a while. So I’m going to sign up to your challenge! Every Sunday morning I’m going to write my blog and post it on Monday! This will give me time to review it before posting it as it always seems different when I ready it later on. But come Monday morning it’s going to be posted, whatever it looks like.

    It all sounds easy now as it’s Monday. But now comes the challenge and I’m starting to feel the “heat” already! Wish me luck!

  45. Yvonne says:

    Challenge accepted! I will write and post on my blog every Sunday and Wednesday. It is called Musings from an Inspired life and will cover what I am learning in my eclectic life: spiritual insights, life lessons, mental and emotional health, global culture, 3rd culture life, interracial marriage and parenting, music, medicine, public heatlh add, politics from an immigrant’s perspective, advocacyetc. By sharing my ideas I hope to inspire others to accept and live their own truth.

  46. Alvin says:

    I am an aspiring blogger and I have an interest in making money online. This article helps a lot. It gives inspiration to just do it. Thanks James.

  47. Anita says:

    Thanks for the motivation. I write almost every day, and have intended to blog for a while now, but have been scared to put it out there… there are a few reasons for this, one is a fear of criticism (which I have to get over), another is not knowing exactly where to start, the third reason is that I’m aware of certain things that ‘aren’t mine’ to share, and have been worried that I may not be skilled enough to write about (at times) some personal/classified info without identifying other people.

    So it’s taken me until the 12th of the month even to get this far. However, gotta start sometime. So, my challenge is to write a blog post every Tu, Fr, Sun — from today until the 12th December.

  48. Sherrilyn says:

    This is a great challenge, James, thanks for it! I have a blog, and I’m challenging myself to write at least 2 new posts a week, on any topic, just so I keep writing. I write about economics, scooters, dance, food, and social justice.

  49. Jeff says:

    I like that :) Your challenge has been accepted! Though coming up with things to write about might be tricky, but I’m all for it.

    By the way do live meetups actually work??

  50. Penny says:

    I set my self up with a 30 day writing challenge at the beginning of the year and it was fantastic opportunity to get new readers and followers. I’m an expat blogger that seems indulged into a lifestyle blog about 2 years ago.

    So, I will I want take this challenge and bog at least once a week for the next month. More realistic when I consider the amount of time I spend on the My computer these days.

    I’m going to blog every Thursday at least.

    Thanks for your blogs.

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