Announcing the SQL New Blogger Challenge!

TL;DR – In April, I’m challenging myself to write (and publish!) here regularly, and I’m extending an open challenge to other new bloggers to do the same. Interested? Read on.

I enjoy reading Seth Godin’s writing. Many of his daily posts speak about allowing your creativity to flourish and about building communities by simply allowing your voice to be heard. It’s all about the conversation, about making connections with other people in your own way. It’s all about allowing yourself to take the risk – not only the risk of failing, but also the risk of succeeding. To do that, he says, you have to create, you have to ship, and you have to do it regularly.

In January, he issued a challenge to his blog readers called the Your Turn Challenge, named after his most recent book. Those that accepted the challenge would commit to publishing one blog post per day for a week. The posts had to be public, and they were publicized via a Twitter hashtag. I thought this was a fantastic idea. Unfortunately, the week of the challenge was the week I was leaving on a long-planned family vacation to Walt Disney World, and blogging was not an option. So I did the next best thing: I promised myself that I would do the challenge myself in the near future.

That future is now. In April, I’m going to take the Your Turn Challenge. But what fun would it be to do it by myself? Therefore, I’m challenging other new bloggers in the SQL community to join me. The rules will be simple:

  1. Write – and publish – at least one post per week during the month of April.
  2. Weekly posts should be published by 11:59 PM each Tuesday (April 7, 14, 21, and 28).
  3. Posts must be published on some sort of public forum. This can be your own website, Tumblr,, Blogger, LinkedIn – anything, as long as it’s public.
  4. Write on any topic you want.
  5. Tweet your posts after they’re published using the hashtag #SQLNewBlogger.

The idea with the challenge is to have fun writing and to get ourselves comfortable with publishing what we write (often the hardest part!). I also hope that some who take the challenge will stick with it after April has passed, and we will end up with some new voices in the SQL community. After all, we can never have enough!

And what if you’re an experienced blogger? No problem – everyone’s welcome to join the challenge. Join in yourself (maybe to get back into the habit after a hiatus), or offer encouragement or ideas to those of us in the challenge. The more, the merrier!

Personally, I’m nervous about this. I’ve attempted to get my blog going for quite a while, and mental blocks have always stopped me. I’m putting a piece of myself out there for public criticism, and that’s a hard thing for me to do. However, there’s only one way to get comfortable with blogging, and that’s to do it.

I’m looking forward to the challenge. Will you join me?


Ed Leighton-Dick helps small and midsize businesses solve their most challenging database performance, resiliency, and data security issues at Kingfisher Data, the consulting firm he founded in 2014. He has taught thousands of people at over 200 events, including the world's largest Microsoft data platform conferences, and he has been a leader in the Microsoft data community since 2008. Microsoft has recognized Ed seven times as a Data Platform MVP for his expertise and service to the data community.

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