When I first started blogging, in 2011, I was, well, obviously a noob!
I was horrible at writing consistently (something I still struggle with), but was really horrible then. I may write 3 posts in a week then not post again for 3 weeks. I was constantly stressing, and smashing my head on things trying to think of what to write. Just the idea of writing made me feel like this:
But, in 2012, while I was in Colombia, I learned about BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge – where each week for a year, they gave a blog prompt and asked you to write about it on your blog. Then, they featured the best posts, and shared it on their social medias and round-ups.
I jumped at the opportunity to participate in the project. I loved it because I knew that at least once a week I would have something to write about. Even when I couldn’t think of anything on my own, BootsnAll had a topic for me. I was a very insecure writer, and although I was having tons of new experiences, I could never think of a way to write about them. The Indie Travel Challenge helped me immensely with that!
I also loved that the challenge helped me get used to writing on a schedule. The topic would come out on Fridays, and I would write and post about it on Sundays. I started a few weeks into the project, so it was awesome I had 3 weeks of topics to work on all the time. There was also no pressure to write every week, except from myself. I went from seeing writing as a form of torture to looking forward to it!
Plus each prompt they gave me set off more ideas for other articles I could write.
But man, the best part was the total confidence booster when a newbie, like me, saw my article singled out as one of the best of the week! Seeing my article linked and shared on BootsnAll and their social medias got me all, “THEY LIKE ME! THEY REALLY LIKE ME!” inside.
(I seriously credit BootsnAll with the reason why I still have this blog, and that I didn’t just give it up a few months into my trip. You have no idea how close I was to doing that until I discovered the Indie Travel Challenge!)
So skip ahead a couple of years, to about two months ago.
We all know that I have been living between Vegas and Medellin, and the lack of actual, new travel, has been getting to me. I was having total writers block, and hadn’t put out a new post in a couple of weeks. I was sitting in the living room, staring at my blank screen, unable to come up with any topics (despite the crazy amount of videos to edit, and photos I have never posted or written about).
I was grunting in despair (seriously, ask my roommate), and about to start smashing my head on our glass coffee table, when I thought,
“Hey! I wonder if BootsnAll is planning on doing another travel blogging prompt challenge!”
So I wrote them, asking if they were planning on doing another challenge. Instead of a “yes” or “no” response, I got,
“Yes, we’ve been thinking about doing it. Would you like to head it up for us?”
Of course that is not what I said. I said, “SURE!” while to myself thinking, “What the hell am I getting myself into?” What I was getting into was some awesomeness, because after that, I went to my room with my notebook, and a flood of ideas for blog topics started racing into my brain.
Just having the pressure of “OMG AM I REALLY GOING TO WORK ON A PROJECT WITH BOOTSNALL” killed my writer’s block (thank you) and suddenly we are making Google documents, having online and Skype meetings, and starting April 1rst we begin the:
Yup. I am heading up the 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project for BootsnAll! The idea is for each day in April, we will give you a new topic to discuss. But not just write about on your blog. No. We want you to get creative. Write a story, make a video, create a photo album, draw a picture, make up an interpretive dance, or spend 7 hours creating a 1994 PowerPoint Presentation like this:
(I actually got bored with just writing during the 2012 BootsnAll project. The topic was to write about a family vacation. So I spent 7 hours making this AMAZING PowerPoint presentation to illustrate exactly what happened on the family vacation where we got into a car accident, and almost went into a ravine and died. I think I’m pretty talented!).
Starting this Wednesday, BootsnAll’s #RTWChat on Twitter will be commandeered and become #INDIE30 chat. (We will still use both tags so you can find us). This Wednesday’s chat will be to get you geared up for the April project and to answer any questions you have (we also have some questions for you to answer).
We will continue our pirating through the month of April (so 5 weeks). The Twitter chat happens each Weds at 12:30pm PST (Pacific Time.), aka:
4:30pm New York
8:30pm in London
3:30am Thursday Thailand
7:30am Thursday in Sydney, Australia
(or go to TimeZoneCoverter to look it up in your city/country).
The 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project is awesome for new bloggers who are just getting into blogging, as well as seasoned pros who may like ideas, or not having to think about what to write for a month.
The Project Page has all the info you need, but here’s the jist (from the project site):
You have multiple ways to receive your prompt each day:
- Sign up for the Daily Dose Newsletter to get prompts delivered to your email each morning (at 10am EST/7am PST).
- Check out the articles page or the BootsnAll home page each morning (a new article with that day’s prompt will be posted at 6am EST/3am PST).
- Check our Facebook page for the prompt each day.
- Check our Twitter feed for the prompt each day.
- Bookmark this page as the new prompt will be added each day
I will also be publishing the prompt to my GoingNomadic Facebook page. The 30 Days of Indie Travel Art Project page has all the details so I highly recommend checking it out to see how to participate and get your work tracked (because we need to track submissions).
I will also be writing a Weekly RoundUp of the top submissions on BootsnAll.
So I am super happy to be part of this project, and for such a great company to boot! I will also be taking part of this challenge because I think it will be fun. And no worries, there is no pressure to answer everyday’s prompt. At the least, you will get a ton of ideas for future posts!
Come be a part of this with me. It’s going to be awesome!
About Dani Blanchette
I am a freelance travel and music photographer and creator of GoingNomadic.com.
I love music, food, and exploring cities without guidebooks. I’ve flown a helicopter, hitchhiked down the east coast USA, and once snuck into the back of a zoo (in Serbia) and pet a lion.
I am always up for an adventure, and sometimes I videotape them.