When I started the initial challenge of writing for 30 consecutive days, I had no intention to continue on for 365 days.
However, after seeing the value from completing 30 days of daily writing, I had a hunch that the benefits from crossing the 365-day finish line would be incredible.
Now, I can confirm that hunch.
Here are a few of my reflections on one year, 365 days, of daily writing:
- Daily Meditation
Meditation is often perceived in a very limited sense, restricted to a yoga mat and crisscrossed legs.
I believe everyone should have a daily form of meditation, whatever works best for them. For me, daily writing serves that purpose.
I used to think I wrote to express my ideas.
However, I soon realized that I often start writing without knowing what I actually think until I try and write it.
The revelation: I write in order to think.
Writing gives me a space to reflect, develop a stronger sense of self, formalize my thoughts, become comfortable expressing them, evaluate why I believe them and if they’re logical.
After all, it’s very hard to positively change your perspective if you don’t know what you think in the first place. Forming and seeing your ideas on paper can be uncomfortable, spark new ideas, illuminate limiting beliefs all while pushing you to be more vulnerable and honest. This has resulted in many realizations that have changed my life.
- Learning Is Exponential (which is a really big deal!)
It’s always worth paying extra special attention to things that grow exponentially.
Learning and gaining knowledge has this very unique property.
Much like money in an interest-bearing account, knowledge compounds. This happens for several reasons:
- New knowledge can be used over and over for the rest of our lives.
- New knowledge becomes the foundation of future knowledge.
- The practice of acquiring knowledge helps us learn faster.
- Sometimes 2+2 = 5 when it comes to knowledge. Two separate learnings can combine to make something hugely more valuable than the sum of its parts.
If we put in the time to learn new knowledge, not only do we learn more effectively, we increase our knowledge base exponentially.
- Create A Signal
Daily writing is a great way to show your work – especially as a young person developing their career outside of the traditional route, I have not and do not plan on going to college, showcasing what you’ve done through daily writing is incredibly important.
A college advertising for their MBA program had a sign saying “MBA Proves You’re Driven, Motivated, Goal Oriented”
Writing and publishing a post every day for 365 days is another way of communicating that message, although I don’t claim it’s the equivalent of an MBA.
However, the two are analogous in that both create a signal that you’re determination, self-disciplined, and have the ability to get things done.
As my friend Ryan Ferguson pointed out after awesomely crushing the 365-day writing challenge:
“I don’t think writing blog posts at 11 pm is a good strategy for producing high-quality writing…but this project was less about writing and more about discipline.”
If you have a daily deadline the window of opportunity to procrastination is drastically shortened, shipping becomes a non-negotiable factor.
Regardless of your circumstances, if you had a lot of time that day, or only 15-minutes, felt on top of the world or miserable, in health and sickness, you show up and write every day.
I remember very early on in the challenge, I believe day 12 or so, going on a 16-mile hike with my dad and brother. After the hike, I was feeling particularly sick, with a splitting headache and a stomach bug. Not in the mood to crank out any kind of written work, but I did. And I now I reflect on that moment with a certain amount of pride that I persevered through challenges coming out victorious.
That said I would be foolish to say that what I write on a daily basis is of a high caliber. I believe very few of my posts are void of spelling errors, and a sprinkling of circular, incoherent logic. However, at this point in time, producing daily written content with its flaws is a much better place to be then if I didn’t have this daily deadline and was writing sporadically – or worse not at all.
- New Projects
Daily writing has pushed me to take action and document things I wouldn’t have otherwise. A few examples are:
Starting Python (and creating a series to teach others: “Python For Absolute Beginners”)
- Would I recommend others take on the challenge of daily writing?
If you want to unlock incredible growth in your career, business, and life, you have to learn consistently.
Take this one step today: Start a daily learning habit.
This could be daily writing, or 20 minutes of journaling, or reading a bit on a topic that interests you each day.
Hands down, one of the most important qualities is the ability and motivation to learn.
- What does the future hold?
Daily writing has been so so incredible for me. It’s literally changed me into the person I am today.
Needless to say, I’m a big fan of it.
But it’s important to remember the reason behind why you’re doing it.
I frequently asking myself this question, “Does daily writing take more value than it’s giving?”
Currently, the answer to that question is “No.” However, if it ever becomes “Yes” I hope that at that point I will not be so absorbed in the day count to say no to an activity that was detracting more value than it was adding value to my life.
When working towards 365 days of consecutive writing I thought to myself that I’d like to think I’ve become a better writer after this challenge. The good news is with today marking day 403 I now know I am.
Ultimately, I would love for others to take on this challenge. As a word of encouragement, and to dispell any misconception, you do not need to be a writer to start this challenge, you become a writer by writing, so write.
This is a challenge worth pursuing, do it.
See you tomorrow,