16 January 2017

Hafiz Adewuyi

Recommitting to the 500-words-a-day challenge

In case you missed it, on the first day of this year, I committed myself to a 31-day writing challenge. Each day, for the next 30 days, I was to write at least, 500 words and post it on my blog. I managed to maintain the streak for the first six days. However, as is usual for most new endeavours that I undertake, I started to waiver in my commitment on day 7 or 8, I missed one day out of laziness, telling myself that I would make up for it the next day. 

But from that day on, it progressively became easier to just procrastinate the writing and end up not doing it at all. Now, it's been over a week since I last completed any post. Yes, I have several drafts lying all over the place, but the point of this whole challenge is to put something out every day.  

I am not happy about this development at all. And I'm definitely not waiting around for the start of another year or even another month before I make another go at carving my writing through the stones of practice. Today, I start counting from 1 again. 

Below is a list of some of the top things - apart from sheer laziness - that I would say have prevented me from maintaining my streak on the 500-words-a-day challenge:

Writing in other places I keep an online journal and I get to write in that almost every day. I also have another blog that commands my attention almost as equally as this blog does. And sometimes, I find that I am much more interested in writing on a topic which while appropriate for the other blog, would not be for this one here. I would cut myself some slack here and work with the ruleset below going forward:
  • You have to post on at least, one blog per day, even if you have filled in your journal entry. This is because your writing for yourself is different from your writing for others. And this whole challenge is about honing your "writing for others" skills
  • You are allowed to write for others on any blog or platform, so long as it is published and the cumulative words across all daily published blog posts number up to 500
  • It is mandatory that you report your daily progress with the challenge on this blog when the actual post for the day is on another blog
Lack of focus/analysis paralysis Each time I decide to go on an internally motivated endeavour like writing, studying, working on a pet project and so on, I have to fight a battle of why this one is the most important thing I should be doing with my free time versus the other ones. Sometimes, even after I move past stage 1 of the battle and decide that I want to write, I still struggle to decide which one of the three articles which I currently have in mind would be most worth my while and that of my audience. Which one would be too short and which one would be too long and take too much of my time (which I don't want). The usual unfortunate end result of all this struggle is that I end up crashing under the feeling of being overwhelmed and end up going to read other people's stuff (like 10 ways to determine what to do with your time) or doing something else random online. 

Why is it so much easier to consume than to produce?


too many open browser tabs
Too many open browser tabs
When I'm writing for my blog, I like to write within the blogger editor. That means I'm writing in a highly tempting environment which is the 50 other tabs I've got open on my browser. Each time I hit a snag in my writing, it's very easy to jump out of the blogger editor and go check whether I have a new mail. Next thing you know, I've spent the next hour watching cat videos on YouTube

DISCLAIMER: I don't watch cat videos! Plus this is today's post. Phew!

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