30 Days of Writing
Challenge: write at least 750 words a day for 30 days in a row. Today marks day 30.
Writing every day is changing my life. I’m going to keep going and I think you should give it a try.
At first, I failed.
I was trying to write “something”. I started a couple of blog posts and tried to write some stories.
It was all shit. I gave up after three days.
A few days later I started over; more determined.
“My life lacks rhythm and discipline. I wake up late, get to work late, leave work early and still get home late. My life is dragging me along in the dust. It’s time I climb on this horse and drive.”
Some honesty for a change. It resonated and I decided to stop trying to write something and commit to writing anything, as long as it was honest.
The editor in me hesitated to put things down that didn’t sound good. I mentally deleted anything that sounded amateur before my fingers could type it.
Years ago I was stuck on a design problem and was just staring at a photoshop canvas. Garrett Dimon told me to “just get the content on the screen and the design will come.”
All craft is refinement. It’s all just separating the rubble from the road.
So I started dumping all my gravel on the page. As long as it was honest, I didn’t delete it.
I didn’t set out to write anything in particular.
But once I got into it—once I’d gotten the bullshit out of the way—something useful usually rose to the surface:
- It turns out I’m more reflective in the evening and more creative in the morning. Respectively, I’m learning to use that to my advantage.
- Doing one or two things with conviction is always better than throwing a bunch of things against the wall. I’ll refuse to slap anything together just because [insert any reason you can think of].
- There’s a screenplay I’ve been avoiding writing for years because I felt embarrassed about it. I’m finally approaching it head-on.
Chasing 750 words each day was enough to draw something real out of my brain. Even if I started out just writing a stream of consciousness, somewhere around 400 words something real would always emerge.
This isn’t a habit yet.
For the past thirty days I’ve posted a picture of my screen to Path with a message reading “1" or “2" or “29" or whatever consecutive day I was on. That social pressure has been helpful and I feel like I’ll still need it to some extent.
I wouldn’t call this a habit yet, but writing every day as a routine has changed me. I’m more confident and more focused. And I can finally spell “separate” correctly.
If you want to give daily writing a shot I would love to cheer you on. Little numbers become big numbers and all the sudden you’ve figured some things out.