Day 1 of the 500-words daily writing challenge
I saw Jeff Goins’ email about the 500 Words challenge. I decided to commit to writing a post of at least 500 words every day for a month.
I did this for a few reasons.
I am a writer
I’ve written posts for my blogs, scripts for my podcasts, academic papers for grad school, and even a few articles for a college news website back in the early 2000s.
Once I get into a flow, I enjoy writing. And while I do notice flaws, I’m not completely embarrassed when I look back at my previous writing.
I want to start a new habit
I spent 2018 exploring the idea of “new.” It was my word of the year, and it guided my thinking in a lot of areas.
One thing I finally grasped was that just a goal was not enough. A BHAG kind of goal will often end in failure if a certain thing is not present. A little goal will not be motivating enough, which once again will result in failure.
That little thing missing is a little habit. James Clear calls it something smaller and wrote a book about it: Atomic Habits.
The thing I’m learning is that if I want to be a writer, I need to write. But I don’t necessarily have to write a lot. What I need to do is write consistently. The more I write, the more I can write. The more I want to write. The more I feel the need to write.
(Same goes for other habits like eating right, exercising, and even eliminating ineffective habits).
In addition to reading Atomic Habits (listening, actually), I came across Jeff Goins’ 3-bucket system for writing. I realized his concept of ideas, drafts, and edits would be ideal for establishing the atomic habit of writing.
And then when I saw Jeff’s email about the writing challenge, I had to commit.
I did something similar in 2016 and it paid off big time
January 1, 2016, I committed to publishing a podcast episode every day during the month of January. At the end of the month, I was on such a roll that I continued during February. March went the same way. And finally, once I had about 90 days of consistent podcasting, I decided to push on through to 100.
I stopped at 100 because it was a lot of work, and I had other things I needed to focus on. Also, I had generated several ideas I could start to work on. One of those ideas was a show called Podcast Local, which I began later that year. My wife and I had also started our own local podcast in Fort Worth (before a job called us away from there).
So I’m looking forward to see what a month of daily writing generates. And who knows? Maybe I’ll continue the process for another month after this.
Can you do a P.S. in a blog post?
Another good reason to commit to a writing challenge like this at this time is to get use to creating with the latest WordPress update (Gutenberg).
The most noticeable change is at the core of WordPress: writing a blog post.
I like the new editor so far, but it is vastly different. Using it daily for a month should be enough practice to really get the hang of using it.
So one challenge I had was finding my word count. A Google search turned up helpful information. In the new Gutenberg editor, there are little buttons at the top. One of those buttons is a lowercase “i” with a circle around it. Clicking that reveals the number of words, headings, paragraphs, and blocks.
The P.S. and P.P.S. put me over the 500-words minimum!
Tally: 628 words