5 Steps to Write a 31 Days Series

Whether you’re a blog writer or a blog reader, a month-long writing challenge might be one of your favorite (and most challenging!) times of the year.

In previous years, Crystal Stine invited us to post something on our blogs every day in October around a theme of our choosing for #Write31Days.

Once she stopped, Anita Ojeda began hosting a similar challenge every February, #Write28Days.

write28days

If you’ve never participated, consider it this year. It’s a great way to learn more, visit more, and engage with others on topics that you enjoy. I always find new blogs to read and friends to keep.

Here are 5 steps to get started with your own 31 day series.

1. Choose your overall topic

This week think about a subject you already know a lot about. Or a subject you want to know more about. Or a subject that you can’t quit talking about. All would be good topics to share with others in February.

Then narrow the topic down to something specific, if it’s too large. Or broaden it a bit, if it’s too small.

Get inspired by looking at the categories for the link-ups:

  • Family Life
  • Fashion & Beauty
  • Food, Health & Wellness
  • House & Home
  • Inspiration & Faith
  • Personal Endeavors
  • Simplicity & Organizing
  • Too Awesome to Categorize
  • Writing, Blogging & Internet Stuff

2. Decide how many posts

While you’re encouraged to write all 28 days (or post a picture, song, something), you don’t have to. If writing on the weekdays and taking the weekends off is what works for you, choose that. Or do a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule.

3. Make an outline

Keep this simple. Print an empty February calendar or make a list numbered 1-28 (or however many days you’re going to be writing). Then jot down a word or two that you could write about on that day. It doesn’t have to be a full description; just something to give you a jumping-off point for later.

4. Create a button

You don’t have to create a button, but it’s fun. And you’ll need a button to add your link on February 1. Go to Canva.com to create an easy graphic to use for the link-up and also for your blog or social media.

5. Write your first post

The first post is often the hardest. Go ahead and write that one now. Schedule it to post on February 1. Then see where the month takes you!

Previous Series

Below are examples of my previous series.

2020

Enneagram for Spiritual Growth

2019

Practicing Hope #Write28Days 2019 LisaNotes.com

2018

Handmade - Finding God in Your Story_tw

2016

  • 26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God

26-surprising-ways-encounter-god_index

2015

31-days-memorize-bible-chapter

Want the right words to tell yourself right when you need them?

Scripture memory isn’t a spiritual discipline just for kids. We adults need the Word, too.

It’s easier than you think. You’ll benefit more than you imagine.

If you’ve always wanted to put scripture into your head for instant access, this series will gives you tools to walk through it, one small step at a time.

At the end of 31 days, you’ll not only have memorized a chapter of the Bible, but you’ll have a working pattern to memorize any chapter or portion of scripture that you choose.

2014

31-Quotes-of-Grace-Lisa-notes

Want more grace? How much time do you have?

  • Lots of time? 
    Read one of the 26 books recommended in this series.
  • Not much time? 
    Read a few paragraphs from each book. Click on the post titles to get there.
  • Only a little time?
    Read one sentence shared from each book.
  • No time? 
    Download all the articles as a pdf now to read later.

PDF-31-Quotes-of-Grace-Lisa-Burgess

2013

31-Days-of-Books-at-Lisa-notes.gif

I share a few paragraphs from a favorite book of faith for 31 days. See the series index to get an excerpt of the excerpts. Click on the links to get the full quotes.

2012

The-more-grace-we-see-the-more-we'll-give

The more grace we see, the more grace we’ll give. More quotes and articles on grace.

* * *

What are you going to write about this October? Is there a topic you’re likely to follow? The series I love to read each year are on Inspiration & Faith, Simplicity & Organizing, and Writing, Blogging & Internet Stuff.

Please share in the comments

47 thoughts on “5 Steps to Write a 31 Days Series

  1. blankJoanne Viola

    Lisa, I loved reading this post. I had not realized 31days had been around as long as it has. I have not yet settled on my topic. I have ideas and thought about it but have not quite decided. Looking forward to reading your series and many others too 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      It comes around so fast, doesn’t it? Every year I think I’ll get a big jump on it by preparing a lot ahead of time. But alas, I rarely do. ha. If you do decide to write, I’ll look forward to what you’ll share!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yeah, it stresses me a little just thinking about it. But I know I don’t *have* to if I change my mind. 🙂 I love reading your words whenever you have time to post, Joe!

  2. blankGGMandy

    OH, thanks for this. This is year two for me. And I have gone huge. But I am very excited about writing 31 tips for Ministry leaders.
    Your plan sounds very interesting too. It’s going to be a great month!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I look forward to reading lots of new posts and writers, too. I usually find a few new blogs to follow (as if I need to follow more blogs! ha). One year it will be right for you, TC, but I know you have a lot going on with little ones in this season. 🙂

  3. blankBarbara H.

    At first I wasn’t sure I was going to do this again. I enjoy it, but it does take time (even those times when I was mainly tweaking stuff I had written before). And I wonder if it gets burdensome to regular readers that now there’s a post from me every day in their feed, LOL! But I’ve been seriously considering it the last few days, came up with a topic I love, but then wondered if it would be “cheating” since it would mostly involve things I’ve posted before. It would be nice to have all the posts under one umbrella, though, and most are so old that newer readers haven’t seen them. And then – another topic came to mind over the weekend, and after a short time brainstorming, I think I’d have enough to do a series on it. The second one is a little more novel, so that’s appealing. But I don’t want to do it just for that reason. So now I am undecided and praying about it a lot!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, yes, and yes. I have similar concerns, Barbara: Will I get on my readers’ nerves by posting daily? Should I switch topics now? Will it take too much time? As of now, I’m committed to dive in, but with Jenna’s wedding at the beginning of the month, I need to schedule some posts very soon. I have several drafts written but I need to pull them together now. I hope you do decide to write because I always enjoy your topics!

  4. blankDavid

    Dear Lisa

    I thought your series last year was brilliant — although I’m ashamed to say I
    haven’t learnt any Bible chapters (apart from some little Psalms). Your 31 days
    projects are always treat for your readers.

    It’s a game I’d love to play, but … (the usual excuses)

    The immediacy would be the thing for me: to create and publish something within the day.

    I like to pray, and I’d like to encourage myself to pray when I’m out in the world
    (currently I just pray in a quiet time at work in the morning, and at bedtime).
    Perhaps I could jot down a prayer in a notebook, take a photo of it, and blog that.

    Anyway, v much looking forward to following yours (I like your 31 Days of Grace booklet too!).

    David

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate your kind words, David. And it’s okay that you haven’t memorized any chapters. The goal is really to be intimate with God, however that comes about, and I know you’ve continued in doing that. I love your idea of blogging a photo of your prayer journal! That would be special.

  5. blankBarbie

    What a great post. I wasn’t able to participate in the challenge the last couple of years, and I’m not sure I can this year. Although my heart so wants to. I may try to simplify with quotes, scriptures or the like. I might choose to do something really fun. I like the idea of quotes. They are already out there and you simply pull them in with an image. Hmmm….Have a blessed week.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I know you’d pull together an amazing series, Barbie! But yes, it does take time so I understand your hesitancy. (I still waver in my own mind about it.) Quotes are always a hit with me so if you do decide on that, I’ll be reading. 🙂

  6. blankCeil

    Hi Lisa! Wow, you have had a lot of themes that you’ve written about. I never really participate in the 31 Series because it intimidates me so much. I don’t usually write that much…I wonder if I’d have anything good to say?
    I’ll look forward to what you will write, and your theme. And I’ll admire it too, what a challenge it is!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Oh, I know better than that, Ceil–you’d have lots to share! But it is time-consuming and takes a lot out of a person. I’ll see if I complete this year or not. With my daughter’s wedding coming up, I’m not sure how I’ll do.
      I’m glad to see you back in the blogosphere. My thoughts and prayers remain with you as you grieve the loss of your dad.

  7. blankAndrew Budek-Schmeisser

    I’ll probably dust of my 31-Day specific website and do 31 days of unexpected grace – quotes from people you would not normally associate with spiritual gifts, like Mick Jagger and Richard Nixon.

    Or I might bring out 31 alternatives to curse words, as when you hit your hammer with your thumb.

    Came up with a nice one today, that left Barbara speechless. “Tie-dyed pigs in a barley field!”

    When she recovered her voice she asked about any concussion today, that I might not have mentioned.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/09/your-dying-spouse-205-patient-fail.html

  8. blankMary Geisen

    You seem to be a pro at Write 31 days. Thank you for the tips. Last year was my first year jumping into the challenge. I am still deciding about this year because of another project I would like to complete during this time.

    It’s good to “see” you today. I pray your summer finished well.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I wouldn’t call myself a pro by any means, but I do have some experience, for what that’s worth. (I should have enough experience to know not to attempt it again! ha) If you do decide to join in, I’ll look forward to what you’ll share, Mary!

  9. blankMichele Morin

    Hmmm . . . almost you have persuaded me . . .
    But, no — not this year. I’m actually cutting back on the number of posts I do to two a week, and I’m excited about that freedom to spend more time soaking in fewer books and doing more devotional/Bible study writing.
    But, I will definitely enjoy reading everyone else’s, and I’ll be in the crowd cheering you all on!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for cheering us on, Michele. I’ve been cutting my posts down to 2 a week lately as well. So how do I think I’ll suddenly pick up to every day? ha. I’m not exactly sure! But I know the posts will be short, so that’s one way. 🙂

  10. blankLaura Rath

    Thank you for this post Lisa. I’ve thought about doing a 31 day series in October for the past few years, but still haven’t. I have an idea for this year, so we’ll see what happens. I do like the idea that I could set my own schedule and it wouldn’t have to be a complete 31 days.

  11. blankJoy

    Hi Lisa! Thank you for this post! I’m considering taking this challenge. Your instructions and examples are helpful. I’m glad I found you on the #raralinkup! Blessings to you!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      It is a time commitment so I understand your hesitancy in deciding, Carol. If I hadn’t already decided a few months back, I might talk myself out of it. ha. But even though I haven’t written as much as I’d like to have, I do have a few ideas stewing, so I’m in.

  12. blankDolly@Soulstops

    Lisa,
    Thanks for your Grace quotes PDF, what I’ve read so far has been encouraging and I’m sure the rest of it will be, too. Praying God continues to give you peace and joy as your daughter’s wedding nears 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks so much for your prayers, Dolly. I’m trying to not get too anxious about all the wedding details. So far everything has come together, and what doesn’t come together—doesn’t really matter, right? I’m continuing to pray about the release of your book! Keep me posted on when you’d like to me to share more about it on my blog. Blessings to you.

      1. blankDolly@Soulstops

        Lisa,
        ((hugs)) praying peace now…it is such a process…I’m saying the same thing about my book…God is in control and it will be all right in the big picture although I confess I kept quoting Isaiah 41:10 over and over 🙂 for the past few weeks.

  13. blankSharon

    I will eagerly look forward to your new series!! It takes a lot of discipline to write that often. When I first started blogging six years ago, I wrote every day. It didn’t take long for me to tire. But, one burst of writing, with a topic and plan in mind, like you’re suggesting, certainly sounds like fun and makes sense!!

    Looking forward to spending October with you!!

    GOD BLESS!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      I appreciate you, Sharon. I plan on keeping my posts short so people won’t get too tired of me in October. I might get tired of myself writing every day! 🙂 I remember back when I started blogging, I wrote every day too. I couldn’t keep it up either.

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      This will be my fifth year, and every year I tell myself I’ll start earlier next year. 🙂 I have gotten a few things done already this year but not like I’d hoped. But que sera, sera. It’ll go where it goes. If you chose to write, I’ll be reading along!

  14. blankTai East

    Lisa, I really look forward to reading and being encouraged by your posts for the series! And thank you for sharing such helpful tips for those of us who have never participated. GOD bless you, Love! 🙂

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Tai. I worked on it some again last night and I am excited about sharing it. As with most of our writing, it’s as much for ourselves as anyone else, right? So I’ll be working through all the exercises too. 🙂

  15. blankLori Schumaker

    Wow, Lisa! I must be honest whenever I’ve thought about that 31 day challenge, I got a stomach ache! lol! I just can’t even imagine producing that much content! But after reading your steps and descriptions, I realize it’s truly a different form of what I usually do. My content and graphics couldn’t quite be what they are now – I’d have to shorten it and spread the big content out over days. So, although I’m not going to be able to do it this year, at least I won’t get a stomach ache the next time I think about it aaaannnddd I may even contemplate it for next year!

    Thanks for always making me smile and feel encouraged when I come here! I love that you are a part of #MomentsofHope!!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Yes, it can make my stomach hurt when I think about it too, Lori. But you’re right that it’s a different type of content, and much less intensive on a daily basis. So that is its saving grace. And I have to remind myself that there’s no right/wrong way to do it, and if I skip a day here or there, that’s okay, too. 🙂 So, yes, do consider it for next year!

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