On January 1st 2012 I gave myself the challenge to write every day. I’m a writer, after all, so that seems like nothing too challenging.
Over the years, though, despite writing lots, I would still miss some days, perhaps even some weeks. I doubt I missed a month, but maybe somewhere I did.
Still, I didn’t have that regular habit. Today, as I write this, December 31st 2021, marks the ten year milestone. 3653 days (by my calculations – I think there were three leap years in there, 2012, 2016 and 2020) of writing every day.
As part of the challenge, I recorded my word count. Some days I wrote not very much (156 words was, I think my lowest number), some days a little more (one day was over 8000 words), but most days sat somewhere north of 1000. Most years were somewhere over 500,000 words. This last year I set myself the additional goal of writing a minimum of 1600 words a day – and I hit that, for a total of 652,682 words (which is actually over 1700 words/day average – kind of what happens when you set the bar higher, I guess). Not bad. Still not quite up to real pulp speed.
One thing that kept it engaging was the thought that ‘it’s all practice’. Just practising getting better. Practising openings, practising characterization, practising the rule of threes (see what I did there?). With practice, I would hope to get better.
Along the way I’ve published a lot of my works indie – links to a lot of them are here on the website – and gone wide, so you can find me on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and Smashwords and Apple.
The big sense that the practising was working, though, came when I started selling to the professional magazines – Asimov’s, Analog, Landfall, etc. Maybe I was getting better. Some writers get there real fast, but for me it’s been more of a matter staying the course. Submitting. Learning to write better. Submitting again. I still want to get better, of course. I have a bunch of courses lined up and a bunch of new goals.
The challenge continues. Writing every day. Aiming now to make it to 10,000 consecutive days. That would be something. But still, 3653 is something in itself.
Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year.