So I hit a new milestone: I’ve written more than 500 words every day for 200 days in a row. I’m quite proud of myself. Very proud actually. It is the most dedicated I’ve ever been. There has been a lot to learn from this little journey so far, and I’m amazed at what I’ve learned through this little habit.
Despite having schoolwork and test preparation to do, I sat down with my notebook instead – the one in which I’d written daily for around a month. I’d been planning to get back to what I’d written to see if there was anything useful in there, but could never get enough time to do so (and it was impossible to read more than 153,000 words – my progress so far – in a single day).
Of course, there was some stuff I cringed at – I couldn’t believe I’d written it. They were random ramblings. Sometimes they were just a single image or a thought stretched to 500 hundred words – my initial word count goal which I’ve now increased to 750. Other times they were a repetition of the same thing. Then there were bits I’d thought would look great as stories, but they turned out to be nothing like what I’d wanted them to be. They were disappointments. Or rather, I was a disappointment at not having executed those ideas properly.
I noticed, for the first time that day, that many of the stories I’d written were a reflection of me. The characters were a different age or person, at different places and times, but they were all me. They wanted things I’d wanted, they’d lost things I’d lost, they cried at what made me cry, they hoped my hopes and dreamed my dreams and lived my sorrows. Through them I said what I’d wanted to say out loud but never did, because no one would listen and because I really ought not to say those things – they would hurt people very badly. My desperation to say those things was clearly visible, and I was shocked to see that agony shouting in those pages. I hadn’t realized what I’d done until I read all those words. I’m different now, and I’m surprised about that, because some of the things I’d weaved into fiction from my life were things I’d thought would haunt me for the rest of my life.
I’m different also because, I’ve grown so much better as a writer – and that surprises me too. There were times when I’d thought whether merely putting words down every day would change anything. I’d even come across a couple of articles that said this habit won’t make much difference, that just writing things wasn’t enough. Since I was too much in disagreement with the title of the articles, I didn’t even bother to read what they had to say (though generally I don’t do so.). I wonder what was in there, but I’m also glad that I didn’t read them all the same, or I perhaps might’ve given up, which wouldn’t have been too difficult if the articles were convincing enough.
I see the change in my writing, and it makes me beyond happy. The person who wrote the words sounds so unknown and different from the person writing these words. The tone, the style, the structure of sentences – every thing is so different. The words read more smoothly now, and though I’m still not writing good stuff every day, it is way better than what I’d written in the beginning. Turns out those articles were wrong after all, because I didn’t do anything other than show up to write every day. It didn’t matter if I didn’t do anything else, but I made sure I wrote. And look where it’s got me. I can safely say that writing every day does make a difference. You could try it out, and even if after some time you aren’t convinced, you would’ve at least written, you would’ve started – which many people fail to do.
Of all the things I’ve done in my short life, coming this far is perhaps the only thing I’m very proud of. 200 days of writing have made me so much better at what I’ve done, though I’m nowhere near reaching my Super Goal of writing 2.5 million words. I wonder how great it would be by the time I’ll come around to hitting that goal. Practice mean progress. And I’m so glad I’ve made it. The difference is beautiful, and sometimes it has happened that stuff I’d written months ago is actually good – one of those rare days – good enough to impress me even today. This progress only reminds me to do one thing: