Reflections on Writing Every Day for 90 Days
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Cats are the best at daily habits. They eat, hunt, and sleep—every single day. Mine also sings; she's a professional. If you ever want to form a new habit, you really should ask a cat for advice.
I'm no cat, but I am a cat person. Also, this isn't advice; it's a reflection of my own, relatively new habit of writing every day.
Stories have always been a passion of mine. But, over the last decade or so, I accidentally surrounded myself with them across all aspects of my life. Book clubs, printed novels, audiobooks, short stories, story-driven adventure games, graphic novels, story-centered films, the list goes on and on.
Earlier this year, I decided to write every day. I was looking for a creative project outside of my usual technology-related pursuits, and after a lot of thought, I settled on writing.
It was simple. I added a nightly reminder to go and write; then, I did it. I didn't even think to track it, and I'm still not. I only know I've been writing so long because of the timestamp on an email I sent to a friend a while back.
For any of my habits, old or new, I find it helpful to look back occasionally to know if I'm going forward on the path I want.
When I do look back, I ask myself a few questions:
- Am I happy doing this?
- Is it important enough to me to make time to do it?
The answer to both of those, in this case, is yes.
I categorize those two questions as qualitative. What about the quantitative results of writing every single day for 90 days?
- I planned a horror novel and began writing it. The planning stage took me a few weeks, and I ended up with around 20,000 words of the plan.
- As of today, I'm around 55,000 words into it. I think it will end up somewhere around 150,000 words.
- I've written and published three fiction short stories.
- I've written and published one article.
- I planned three different serials and wrote the first episode of one.
- I set up a website and social media accounts for writing.
- I've come up with 18 ideas for novels, with enough detail to flesh them out in the future.
- I've come up with 7 ideas for short stories or articles, again, with enough detail to flesh them out in the future.
It sure looks like a lot after 90 days. But, it didn't look like much when I started, and it never looks like much on any given day. Every day when I sit down to write, I add a small piece—it's cumulative. It's the long-haul, the marathon effort that does it.
For me, writing isn't a goal or something to accomplish; it's a habit, a routine, a practice. I enjoy it. And, as far as my daily habit goes, I will continue it.