Starting today I’m forcing myself to write every day for a minimum of 30 days. The goal is to form an idea every day for 30 consecutive days, write something about it, and press publish before midnight.
From the age of twelve, Ray Bradbury wrote 1000 words a day. Steven King doesn’t sleep without typing up 2000 words and Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 3000 words per day saying this about writing:
“My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”
There are three main things I want to say about writing everyday: Reading and writing go hand-in-hand, just publish it, and make sure you're doing it for yourself.
1. Reading and Writing Go Hand-in-Hand
You’re probably asking, “how the heck does someone have enough content to write 1000-3000 words a day for months? The answer is easy: read, like a lot.
There are tons of photos of Stephen King reading at baseball games. These photos are inspirational. You know how difficult it is to write one book in your lifetime? Well, Stephen King has written around 130 and it's because of his dedication to reading.
Honestly, the content you’re consuming matters more than the content you’re putting out.
If you’re not reading you won’t have anything to write about and if you’re not writing you’re not challenging yourself to become a better communicator, thinker, and overall better person.
If you’re a perfectionist or care a lot about what other people think, this is the hardest step. It’s the same as anything else, coming to a point where you say “that’s it, I’m done” is tough.
There’s always something else to fix. Always a better point to make or something to tweak. I’m not saying the stuff we create shouldn’t be the best it can be, but when it comes to doing something every day sometimes just getting stuff out there is better than making it a perfect song, blog post, or idea.
3. Do it For Yourself
If you don’t, you’ll live by people’s praise and die by their rejection (I stole that from a favorite rapper of mine). This is true for all of life.
The majority of the content you make isn’t going to be seen by anyone else and that’s fine. Think about all the stories those authors I named at the beginning never saw the light of day. Those late nights and thousands of words a day were for themselves, not their audience. Even when they did publish to their audience I wouldn’t say they did it for themselves, but because they simply couldn’t help themselves. They loved it.
The truth is this blog post isn’t even close to being done, but that’s not what an every day writing challenge is about. It’s about actually doing it and I just did it.
Here are two finished blog posts on this topic you might like: