I’m not sure I’ve ever done anything for a full year in a row. Unless you count breathing.
Yes, breathing must surely count. But breathing is involuntary; my writing streak was—is—probably the most intentional thing I’ve ever done.
And today is Day 365! So happy anniversary to me.
Not just to me, actually. Because if I hadn’t gotten the crazy idea to write every damn day, I would never have created the daily writing challenges that have helped dozens of writers to start—and continue— their own streaks.
Of all the things I’ve accomplished in the past year, I think I’m proudest of the daily writing challenges. Next 5-day challenge starts June 19th. Join us and see why I love them.
Why are writing streaks important?
The streak? It’s just a number; no big deal. What is important:
- Empowering yourself to create
- Creating even when you’re not “inspired”
- Deciding to continue when giving up would be so easy
I know I wrote those words just a minute ago. But re-reading them it’s hard to believe they describe me. What I’ve done over the last year. But it’s true.
I’ve written blogs—yes, lots and lots of blogs. My one-year anniversary of daily blogging comes up in a couple of weeks, on May 11th. But I’ve also written the curriculum for my writing classes. I’ve written marketing material, emails, sales pages, my “Occasional Flash of Brilliance” (the thing other people might call a “newsletter”). When I was really pressed for time one day, I pulled into a parking lot and journaled for 15 minutes. I never had the mad dash to write before midnight, but I did have to head to my desk after a lovely dinner out once because I’d forgotten to write earlier. The point is, I did it. I cared about myself enough. I prioritized myself and my creativity. And I’m writing about it now not to celebrate myself but to model that behavior for others.
Because if I can do this thing, you can too.
Getting a C (if I’m lucky)
My coach Samantha Bennett (no relation, although we’re both smart, funny, and gorgeous—so who can really say?) says “Get a C.” Don’t aim for perfection; just get it done. That’s been my mantra this year.
I have written some great pieces during this streak. I’ve also written some absolute crap. Hopefully I haven’t published too much of the latter, but I think there’s value in being transparent about the quality of my output.
Not all of my work is brilliant. And—guess what?—not all of your work will be, either. But that doesn’t give you license to put down your pencil. You’ll write again tomorrow. And the day after. And eventually the crap-to-great ratio might even out, maybe even start to tilt in your favor. Or maybe not.
But start writing. And keep writing. It’s the only way to get better.
Also published on Medium.