The story of 30 days of writing

The story of 30 days of writing

January 30, 2021

I don’t know if I should celebrate or let out a sigh of relief tonight. This is day 30 of publishing an article every single day for 30 days. 

The finish line awaits at the end of this article. Pop open the champagne. Or maybe just a glass of whiskey. 

I remember when this ludicrous idea came into my brain. 

My 21-day email series was wrapping up and I was in talks with On Deck. They wanted to acquire Performative Speaking and things were moving very fast. We needed to see if it made sense because I had a cohort coming up. 

In the midst of all of that, I had begun publishing some articles more regularly. I published 5 articles in December before I decided to tackle the 3300 word Year in Review. 

It felt good putting my thoughts out there. Creativity was finally flowing again. 

Other people began reaching out to me. Emails. DMs. Brand new connections. So maybe there really was something to this publishing and serendipity that David Perell talks about with online writing. 

So even before the annual review, I had decided to write every day for the month of January.

It happened when I saw Dickie Bush post the thread of every person joining his Ship 30 for 30. I had talked to Dickie earlier in December and absolutely love what he’s building.

Except I wanted to write longer articles. I had this silly idea that every article I wrote should be up on my website. Partially because I thought it might help with SEO but also because I’m stubborn and wanted to write more words than the 250-word limit. I told myself that it would be 500-1500 words for every article. 

At that point, I decided. But initially, I was just going to do it. Keep it to myself and hope that I followed through. 

Let’s be honest...I wouldn’t have succeeded. 

Writing every day is hard. I’m not here to lie to you because many days it was rough. No idea what to write on. I’d sit and look at the cursor flashing at me. Mocking me. Laughing in my face. 

All while the blank page sat there. 

But somehow each day I found a topic to write about. And before I go into that the reason I ended up sharing this journey publicly was because of the response to the annual review article. 

That is probably my favorite thing I’ve written. I’m super proud of that article. 

It resonated with people because they reached out to me. I heard from people that I had spoken to in years. They Facebook messaged me, texted me, and sent emails. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and who I was hearing from. That was my lightbulb moment. 

Writing online works. 

I sent up the Bat-Signal and people came. They came to read my thoughts, ideas, and most of all stories. 

You may notice even this article takes a story format. That’s because it’s my voice. More and more I learn the voice I love is also the voice that connects. 

So as I heard from so many people I decided to Write in Public. I put it out on Twitter that I would publish every day for 30 days. 

If I failed, it wouldn’t be in silence. I would fail in public. 

I took the approach of trying to build out a fuller picture of who I am, what I love, and what drives me. I didn’t just want to talk about speaking. I wanted to talk about online education, Anthony Bourdain, Art, Culture, Consulting, and Roxie.

Then I also had the chance to write for Jack Butcher’s Value. That is probably my 2nd favorite article. 

Would I have gotten the chance to write that article if I wasn’t writing in public? Doubtful.

Writing in public let Jack see that my writing was worthy of Value. He didn’t need to ask for a writing sample because it was already out there. 

The new resume is your website, social media, and online writing. 

I built mine out. I tried to give a full picture of who I am. I still have more to write on. I still have more to share. 

And as this journey ends, a few things are important to note.

I’m incredibly grateful to anyone who read any of the articles. The kind words, funny comments, and encouragement helped this journey succeed. 

In the process of writing all of these articles and creating content everywhere, I now own my name. Robbie Crabtree in Google points 100% to me. 

Polina Pompliano recently on a podcast with Bilal Zaidi’s Creator Lab said something so powerful about the power of a name. When Oprah walks into a room she’s not just Oprah. She’s OPRAH.

Names are power. 

Forgive me for the random fantasy reference but in Eragon, if a person figures out the true name of an item or person, they can control it. 

In this case, I own mine. My dad may have wished I’d go by Robert or Rob as I got older but he will have to settle for Robbie. Because that’s me just like my voice is one full of stories to share with the world. 

So you may be wondering and to steal a line from President Jed Bartlet in The West Wing, “What’s next?”

My goal is 100 articles by the end of the year. I’ve got 30 down. 70 to go.

Here’s to a new journey.

Pop the champagne for a night because tomorrow the next leg begins.

Like Dom said in Fast Five, “Salud Mi Familia.”

I'm the Founder of Performative Speaking. In December, On Deck acquired my startup and I'm now the Program Director for On Deck Performative Speaking.

Applications open now for the program. Email me with questions or if you want to join:

Follow me on Twitter and Clubhouse @robbiecrab

Value article: Click here

Cover Photo by Agathe Marty on Unsplash

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