2 January 2017

Hafiz Adewuyi

500 words a day for a year

A couple of days to the end of 2016, I happened upon a post from leading writer mentor Jeff Goins' blog where he talked about how his commitment to writing 500 words a day was a turning point in his transformation from amateur to professional writer. One day, several years ago, after a discussion with his friend, he decided to set aside a particular time of each day to write at least, 500 words on whatever idea he chose. Not only write, but he also ensured that he published each piece on his blog, hence creating some accountability for himself.

He started this and kept the streak on for 365 consecutive days. After that, he maintained this daily practice for several years thereafter. Now, he has made himself a very good life based solely on the proceeds from his writing skills. He's now a very influential writer, and it's hard to believe that there was ever a time when he doubted his ability to be a successful full-time writer.

Happening upon that post and reading of the possibilities that lay ahead if I took such simple but consistent practice seriously got me really excited. It also helps that I have seen several real-life evidence of the fact that nothing beats consistent action in achieving success at almost anything in life.

I consider my writing a very important part of my life. Partaking in it activates my brain in a way that hardly any other activity does for me. At the best times, I feel like God, partaking in the act of creation in all of his glory. Though, I feel I must admit how the worst I've ever felt at writing was the time when I got my first and only ever freelance gig on Elance.

My task was to write some articles about getting travel visas from Nigeria to some of the most popular destination countries for Nigerians. I remember the process being very arduous and mundane as I had to plough through several links on the internet. It also did not help that this was not a topic that I was interested in at the time. In addition, I was frustrated each time I juxtaposed the time and money(internet data) I was spending to complete each article against the meagre rates I had desperately agreed to. I was eager to get just any opportunity to improve the credibility on my Elance profile.

Sometimes, this experience makes me think that writing might not be my thing after all. But I sincerely doubt it, because I move around every day with ideas of what to write about constantly swirling around in my giant head. My only difficulty most times is this: "which one should I release first"? And sometimes, I engage in this debate for so long, I never get to produce anything.

Since it's that time of the year for this kind of thing, well, I've decided to make a go for this challenge myself. I must tell you, though, I am absolutely scared about this commitment I'm making. Last year, my goal for this blog was to achieve one post a week for a year, hence my target for the year was at least, 48 posts. And even though I fell a significant 17 posts short of that target, I'm glad that I made nearly twice as many posts as I had in any previous year (19). That's the power of goals. I aimed for the moon, and I ended up settling at the stars. Not too bad if you ask me. I digress.

I'm scared that I would run out of ideas. I'm scared that once I get back to work from the holidays, I would have to keep to my commitment even on days when I'm absolutely burned out from being at work all day. I'm scared I'm not creative enough to write something beautiful and relevant every single day, and that the perfectionist in me would discourage me, telling me that the world will do better if I spend a few more days refining my thoughts than to dole out some bullshit all in the name of living up to a commitment.

I'm scared that I would have to reveal too much about myself to keep the streak going because after all, I am the subject of which I am most knowledgeable. And on days when inspiration runs dry, the easiest thing to do would be do discuss one juicy story or the other from my life. I'm very addicted to keeping a lot about myself locked up in my mind; majorly out of fear of embarrassment and/or criticism. However, I think that confronting these fears is a major ingredient in my growth as a person and I think I've never been more ready for this kind of change in my writing and in my life.

I will bank on the assumption that a lot of people in my life don't follow my blog religiously. So a lot of the things I say here will go undiscovered. Even though, from experience, I know that if a story is juicy, it will surely find its way around, even if it's buried in my obscure blog

Asides being scared, I am excited about the ways in which being committed to this challenge can make this year drastically different from any previous one. I can see myself stepping out of my comfort zone to find answers to questions that bother me as I go about my life every day, just to ensure I have enough pool of experience to write from on any given day. I see myself talking to a lot more people than I normally let myself do, seeking new experiences that take me a little out of my mundane daily routine. I look forward to all these and more with some anticipation, and still with a bit of fear that I will chicken out too early out of fondness for my comfort zone.

Will I be brave enough to approach random people to ask the most ridiculous questions that come up in my mind when I look at them? I'm confident that my curiosity will not fail me in this respect, but then, there's no point for it if my inhibition keeps me from following through with finding answers because I don't want to be seen as "intrusive" or because I'm afraid of rejection.

Oh well. Acknowledgement they say is the first step. I can't wait to see how this turns out. I invite you to join me on this quest of self-exploration and advancement. I hope to make it so worth your while that you'll literally be drooling in anticipation of what I have to say tomorrow.

Catch ya!

Subscribe to this Blog via Email :