What I Learned From Writing Every Day

This is it. My 21st post in 21 days.

When I began the 21-Day Blogging Challenge, I set out with two aims in mind: 1) to develop a consistent writing habit; and 2) to rediscover my writing voice. I ended up doing more.

For years, I’ve had this bad habit of telling my friends and family that “I want to be a writer.” I wanted the kind of freedom that enabled me to work from the back corner of my favorite coffee shop anywhere in the world. It was (and still is) my dream.

But there was a problem: I didn’t actually practice writing.

I knew that writers write. If I wasn’t writing every day, then I could never call myself one. So I decided that I needed to cultivate a solid writing habit in order to turn that aspiration into a reality.

How I developed a consistent writing habit

typewriter writing nathan oakley
Nathan Oakley. Creative Commons.

First, I found accountability. It’s the only way to see something through to the end, especially when the going gets tough.

It’s the reason I made a public announcement that I was going to publish something every single day for three weeks straight. Knowing that you — my online community — was expecting me to show up every single morning helped me power through all of these posts.

Second, I adopted the philosophy: “published over perfect.” Trust me, I am entirely dissatisfied with some of the posts I’ve shared. In fact, over time, I will probably go back to rewrite them.

But the point wasn’t to have a perfect post to share. The point was to cultivate discipline and consistency.

3 Things I Learned from Writing Every Day

So what were the big takeaways from this little project? I narrowed them down to three.

1. Writing is hard.

Finding time to write a blog every day in the midst of my already hectic schedule was incredibly difficult. But there’s something worth noticing here: I still found the time.

Creating space to write each day demanded that I wake up earlier and spend less time scrolling through Facebook. But it was worth it.

It was also challenging to come up with fresh content worth sharing every single day. I realized that my life isn’t as interesting as it used to be. But perhaps finding the adventure in the mundane moments of my day is a spiritual discipline I should pick up, yeah?

2. Writing is rewarding.

This past weekend Merridith and I were talking about my little blogging challenge and she said, “You’re probably glad this is almost over. I’m sure it’s stressful.” But the reality is that while it’s been hard, it’s not once been stressful.

It’s been fulfilling.

Do you ever do something and you think to yourself: I wish I could do this every day? That’s how I’ve felt about writing. It’s awakened some of the deepest parts of me to their potential. I’m eager to continue.

3. It’s helped me remember who I am.

In the first few days of the blogging challenge, I dug into the stories of my past, particularly my own journey. It helped me remember some of the times in life I’ve felt the most “alive” and why.

Doing so helped me cultivate a new vision for my future, one I can wake up every morning and say “YES” to!

What I’m going to do now that it’s over

Well, for starters, I’m going to keep writing every day. I’m just not going to publish a blog post every day. Instead, I’m going to share something twice a week.

But…

I want to write things you want to read and create content that adds value to your life! So…

In order to do that, I’m asking you to take this brief survey by clicking here (it’ll take you longer to heat a burrito in the microwave).

Simply put, this anonymous questionnaire gives me valuable insight into who you are, what interests you, and how I might be able to add value to your life.

And if you haven’t done so already, join my email list. You’ll get a brief update in your inbox when I have new content to share; plus, you’ll be the first to receive a little surprise I’m working on in the next two weeks.

Finally: What are you writing?

Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed several in my online community blowing the dust off their online living spaces in the last few weeks. Are you blogging again?

Leave a link in the comments. I’d love to check out what you’re writing and give you some encouragement.

MS

About Matthew Snyder

Matt is a thirty-something writer and young adult minister. He lives in Atlanta with his wife, Merridith, and their dog, Finn.

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