It Ends Now

Well, this is it.

Back in June of 2015, I said I would write and publish a new blog post every single day.  At first it was only a month, then several months, then a full calendar year.  I went over 400 days of writing every single day, with the vast majority being over 1,000 words.  It’s been an incredible, almost surreal experience.

And it’s ending now.  I will not continue my writing streak through September.

This doesn’t surprise me.  The writing has been on the wall for a little bit now.  At first I loved keeping my streak alive, adding +1 each day, but that has faded considerably since I passed the one year mark.  Once I proved I could do it, much of the thrill went away.  Adding to my streak was, well, uninteresting.  So what?  Is it even that important?

This affected my writing, first a little and then a lot.  I started writing later and later, barely squeezing it in on time.  Throughout August I frequently didn’t even start writing until 11pm, sometimes later.  The motivation, the thrill, was gone.

This makes sense, because I didn’t start writing because I wanted to have an epic writing streak. No, I wanted to become a better writer.  Writing everyday was simple the vehicle to get there.  You can’t get better without practice, and over the last year I got a lot of practice in.

At the same time, there’s more to writing than just vomiting out words.  I know this, as I’ve taught writing before.  There’s editing, planning, research, the whole writing process.  Because of my commitment to publish something new each day, I never got a chance to do these things.  I did lots of writing, yes, but very few of the elements of good writing.

You can tell.  When I first started, I was rusty.  My writing sucked, but I got better and better.  I reforged my writing muscles … and then I stopped improving.  My writing stagnated.  To continue to improve, I need to do more than just write.  I need to go the extra mile, do the little things.  To do those things, though, I can’t write every day, not without giving up every other pursuit in the process.

So that’s why this is it.  I won’t write tomorrow, and likely not the day after that.  I’m not sure how that will feel.  I mean, I’m so used to writing.  It’s defined my year.  It’s a big part of how I see myself.  It’ll be something, but I won’t do it.

To be clear, I’m not giving up writing, nor am I giving up my blog.  I will still do these things, but they’ll be updated far slower.  I might write an article once every week or so.  The difference, though, is I’ll be going all out: planning, editing, different drafts, the whole nine yards.  The goal isn’t just to produce quantity but rather the best quality I can manage.

This will be a positive change.  I’ve written a lot since I started my writing streak, but a lot of that was filler.  That’s bound to happen when you write 1k every day.  Some days I just don’t have good ideas, so I have to do whatever comes to mind.  Worse, in my opinion, are  the days I had good ideas but I didn’t quite execute them.  Something would be slightly off.  If I had the time, I could edit it and make it shine, but my self-imposed deadline stopped that.

This thus ends one chapter of my life.  My writing streak is over.  It was a good run: just over 450 days and just under 700,000 words.  I’d be lying if I said it was fun.  Some days were, but for the most part it was work.  Writing is one of the hardest things a person ever has to do.  Tomorrow, my day will be a little easier.  I’m free.

I’m not sure what my next project will be.  It won’t be writing, though.  I’ve earned a break.

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