What I Learned Writing Every Day
Here’s what happened when I set myself a challenge to write and post every day
The daily challenge
I decided to challenge myself to write every day.
One reason I did this is because my writing and editing business has tanked since the crisis began, and for the first time in 13 years my diary is completely empty.
I’ve been forced to re-think what I do and who I serve. I’ve spent much of the past decade solving other people’s problems and meeting other people’s needs, and I’ve neglected my own voice and values.
Things I learned
Posting something every day and sending it out into the world under my own name has helped me rediscover my voice.
It’s also given me an idea of what’s possible. Before the challenge, I had trouble getting my monthly newsletter out regularly.
Since the daily challenge began, I’ve discovered I can research and write a 1,000-word blog post in a couple of hours, day in day out. I’m not scared anymore.
It’s been good for my self-esteem.
It’s also been good for me to see what works and what doesn’t. It’s shown me that I’m a capable writer, and I can write and deliver to a high, professional standard every single day.
I know I can improve, but I’ve learned what notes to hit, how to structure a piece, how to vary the cadence of the sentences so people keep reading, how to use headings and subheadings and images to break up the page.
These skills have been my bread and butter for 20 years, and now I’m figuring out what it means to apply them to my own projects.
Has it worked?
The real question is: will this create value?
I don’t know. It’s going to take more than 20 days to work this out. But it has helped me get a better idea of who I am.
I’m a writer with an editor’s sensibility. I help people tame complex material. I help them structure it and make sense of it. I help them write better sentences, sentences that flow and sparkle rather than trudge lifelessly.
Thanks for reading this far. Here are some of the highlights of my posts. If you like what I write, follow me so I can follow you back and read your work too.
Unconventional Productivity Hacks for Writers, Artists and Entrepreneurs
Writing advice you haven’t heard before to up your game, do less and increase your success
“Work like a termite not a bee. Bees live in boxes. Termites sprawl all over the place, eating away at the boundaries of their own work.”
“It’s a lot of work looking after a ghost, but the trick is to make friends with him.”
How to Get a Typewriter Obsession
The story of my first typewriter and how it came back to me
“There’s a clattering, shattering dance to the keys and the whip of the type heads as they hit the paper, punctuated by the bell and the satisfying crash as you crank home another line with the carriage return lever.”
If you’ve ever come to what appears to be a locked door in your creative or entrepreneurial efforts, maybe you just…
“Procrastination provides the space you need to consider and reject conventional or knee-jerk impulses, and instead to see patterns in the material that others might have missed.”
Why Looking at Social Media While You Work May Not be So Bad After All
Science shows that taking microbreaks can boost your productivity
“I think there might be some creative benefits to be found in using distraction to enter a productive state of depersonalization that allows you to come at problems obliquely.”
How to Survive the Writing Life When You’re Pressure Prompted
If you find yourself procrastinating a lot, you might be a pressure-prompted writer
“Being pressure prompted isn’t good or bad, it’s just one of many different working styles. In fact, being pressure prompted might just be your superpower.”