Photo by William Stitt on Unsplash
I wrote a blog post every day this week and published it.
Here’s how I did it.
- I’m currently on Day 12 of building a daily writing habit. I’m simultaneously doing a plank challenge (40 seconds today) and a push-up challenge (3 push-ups today).
- Austin Kleon posted about using a calendar to keep track of habits. You focus on one thing you want to work on and you stick to it every day. The goal is NOT to miss two days in a row. I got my free printable PDF calendar from Time + Date. I haven’t missed a day yet, but I’m human. It could happen.
- Let me talk about how the writing portion of my habit building works. On Day 1, I wrote zero words – gotta be honest. On Day 2, I wrote 100 words and stuck with that for the rest of the week. I increased my daily count to 150 words. Each week I add 50 more words to the goal.
- Every morning, I go into WordPress, open a new draft, and start typing. I don’t edit, I don’t look for hyperlinks, I don’t attempt to sound impressive, I just go. At first, I used a random adjective generator for ideas. Now, I’m inspired by any quote I see – I have so many posted on the walls of my home office.
- Once I’m done my Sh*tty First Draft (see: Anne Lamott’s amazing and life-changing piece on this), I do a couple of quick revisions. Again, the goal here is to write a certain amount of words, not to be perfect.
- I typically exceed my word count, which is a cool unintended feature of this process. It’s also neat to be able to track my word count in real time, because WordPress has your word count at the bottom right-hand side of the screen at all times.
- After the draft is complete, I select the Morning Writing category for my post. This way I can go back and see all my old habit building entries. I select a hi-res + beautiful featured image from Unsplash, and then publish* the post.
- This entire process takes 15-20 minutes**.
- Once it’s all done, I go back to my calendar and draw an X through the day. I love seeing how much I’ve accomplished after the week is over. I never thought doing something for 5+ days in a row could feel so satisfying. Working out doesn’t feel that way, but writing does.
- I’m hoping to keep this up until I get to 1,000 words a day. Then, I hope to remain at that level. Chris Guillebeau does, and he’s written several books among many other amazing things. But, for me, it’s about creating and sustaining a habit within something I care about: sharing love and light with you through the written word.
- Oh, and I was mainly inspired to do this by Glennon Doyle Melton because of her interview about showing up before you’re ready on Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast. She talked about how she just writes her honest truth, posts it, and then let’s it be. So refreshing and scary at the same time. But, I feel less afraid every day I do this.
*Note #1: Several of my earlier writing drafts are saved in my Google Drive. I only recently began posting here every day.
**Note #2: For the sake of productivity, speed, and efficiency, I keep everything I need for this entire process in a bookmark folder on my bookmark toolbar – another reason using Chrome rocks. This also means linking directly to an artist on Unsplash that has a collection of photos I can easily download from. I don’t want to spend too much time on any part of this process. The majority of my creative energy needs to go into the words I write. Not fonts. Not pictures. Not anything else. This post took longer to write because it’s more of a teaching post (I want you to have all the resources), but typically, I’m just aiming to get my words up and out.
BEFORE YOU GO: I loooove hearing from readers! What’s one habit you’re wanting/working to build these days? Comment below 👇 and let me know. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org