Today marks a year since I started writing 500 words every day. Back then, coming this far was like a dream, but the more I wrote, the more intent I became upon building a writing streak and making writing a daily habit. Now a year later, writing has become a compulsion. Over the last twelve months, I’ve written a total of 283,970 words, and learned many lessons about the writing process, which I’ve occasionally shared on this blog (list below). So today I decided to share my experience of writing every day for 365 days.
When I started this “project” I only knew two things: that I loved writing and that I wanted to get better at it. I’d heard so much from other writers, published or otherwise, how important practicing hard was. I knew I needed to be dedicated and persistent. I knew this would require discipline, because there was no other way to succeed, and I knew this from my experience of failing to form a daily writing habit a year previously. I’d learned from that experience that I needed a more specific goal, and that I didn’t have the liberty to make excuses. I had to be accountable to myself, because somewhere I was still guilty for not sticking to writing the last time, and I wanted to overcome that guilt.
I wanted to be a better writer and I was convinced, thanks to so many inspiring authors (especially Stephen King), that I had to write every day for that. It was the only thing I knew and cared about.
There were a lot of problems I encountered on the way – lack of inspiration and motivation, lack of time and energy, etc. There were times when writing was fun, and times when writing felt like work. But in the end, it all paid off. My writing – my flow of words, vocabulary, sentence structure – everything improved. I could better express my ideas. I even got a story published and have a couple more that need some finishing. I think it all worked out because I’d myself accountable to me.
I’ve also become more confident. Over the past few months I’ve started blogging more frequently, sharing more of my writing with the world. It’s helped me to let go a little of the fear of judgement. I’ve started appreciating my writing more, and I’m proud of this little achievement I’ve made. I’m proud that I persisted, that I didn’t let my determination falter, that I didn’t let hopelessness stop me from moving towards my goal.
365 days of writing has shown me that it is possible to come this far and go further, too. So I’m starting my second year of writing every day with the hope that I’ll reach all my goals, and become a better writer and a better person, because I’ve learned that nothing changes you as much as experience and passion for what you do.
P. S. Here’s a list of posts where I’ve shared lessons I learned along the way:
- The Joys of Writing Every Day
- Three Days, Three Quotes: Day One; Day Two; Day Three
- Just Keep Writing, Just Keep Writing
- Looking Back at ’16: Writing Lessons
- Lessons From Work
I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper. – Steve Martin