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.