A framework that helped me write 250+ stories in a row
As I shared a few weeks ago, writing daily has changed my life. It has become my favorite vehicle for exploring and learning new things.
Since my first blog post on February 24th, 2016, I have produced at least one piece of public content every single day. Though storytelling had always been a passion of mine, I had never before imagined I could write at such a large scale.
I am 19 years old. I am not a professional writer. I just like to share stories.
For me, writing daily is not an accomplishment that is newsworthy. But doing what you want to is, because most people do not end up doing what they want to do.
So, here is how I did it.
A naive view of mine is that anyone can do anything, provided they have patience and resources. While societal factors often try and inhibit us, getting what we want is often the product of just doing it.
I wanted to write. So I just did.
Writing is an easy one because there are few, if any, naturally limiting factors. I.e. things that would prevent me from writing and publishing.
Of course, I am lucky and privileged. I have a computer. I have internet connection. I have the time to wake up a little earlier than others. I am very aware and grateful for this opportunity. That is why I work with urgency, because I know how lucky I am.
The only thing that would prevent me from producing content is my own attention. There are so many interesting and fun things to do in this world, why write?
Writing is one thing that I do. I get a lot of “utility” from it, so I continue to do it. If I did not, I would stop. There are lots of things in life that bring me ‘happiness’ in the short and long term. I try to do those the most.
What I really do like is telling stories. You can achieve this exercise in a number of ways: running a podcast, building a company, etc.
The most convenient way for me to simulate these feelings on a regular basis was through a daily blog. There, I would be able to write something, practice storytelling, and grow a “product.” It was perfect.
Through experimentation, I found a great framework for anyone starting their own daily blog.
So here is how I went from rarely writing to being able to publish a new piece daily:
1. Follow A Passion
Doing things you are not passionate about is really challenging. For me, it is near impossible. On the converse, writing about subjects and topics that you are interested in comes really easily.
The only way to keep writing on a consistent basis is to actually enjoy it.
When keeping a daily blog, internal motivation is far more important than external incentives. Love what you are doing and it will feel less like work and more like fun.
2. Digest Content
I think one of the reasons I am able to write so consistently is that I never seem to run out of topics. I simply sit down every morning and start writing.
I trace this to my constant desire to digest new content. I read, listen, and watch tens, if not hundreds of different pieces of material every single day.
That excites my creative atoms and pushes me to explore new topics.
3. Keep A Notepad
As you are gathering materials and topics, it is helpful to keep a notepad on hand to write down your thoughts.
I rarely, if ever, carried around a physical notebook. Instead I’ve been using Evernote sheets to keep track of my different ideas and that has worked out really well.
4. Begin Simple
Before keeping this consistent daily blog, I had failed many times. In hindsight, I attribute this to one simple misalignment:
I spent most of my time worrying about everything other than my writing.
I cared more about my theme than my content. I thought about the comment section design more than the number of words I was producing. I was nervous to make sure I set up analytics correctly. I succumbed to distractions.
I recommend starting on a place like Medium, where the only thing to think about is writing.
5. Stock Photos
A great way to enhance your storytelling is to use compelling images to display your ideas.
A photo, though, is just another thing to worry about that may distract you from your writing.
You can use sites like these that offer free to use images in really high quality.
6. Hemingway App
Without an editor, it is hard to spot your own writing mistakes. Hemingway App is a solution for that.
The app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors to help you improve your own writing.
7. Have Short And Long Term Goals
Thinking about the long term is often overwhelming. If you had told me on day one that writing would be something I’d do every day, I would have freaked.
A refreshing and helpful framework is to break down your goals into both the short and long term.
In the short term, I worked on just that day, finishing just one blog post. In the long run, I had different goals — like getting jobs, better understanding myself, and sharing more interesting stories.
I wish you best of luck in building out your own daily blog! Remember, it is possible so long as you want it bad enough.