And my life didn't change...
I'm still the exact same person I was a year ago. Nothing really happened. My life didn't change just because I wrote and published 365 articles in 365 days. Sure, it changed. But it changes all the time. And not because I do the same thing day in day out.
Just like someone a lot smarter than me once said you can't do the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome. So doing something every day doesn't necessarily mean that it'll change your life. Not at all...
What constantly helps me and helped me in the past to change and reinvent my life and myself is that I do all sorts of different things. You can't expect your life to change when you do the same thing over and over again. And at one point you just can't improve anymore. No matter what people say.
Maybe you can, but it would need an insane amount of effort. The 80/20 rule applies to pretty much everything in life. Even writing. If you'd like to get the last 20% out of your writing, if you want to reach the 100%, you'd have to put in almost all of your time into writing.
And right now, for me, the effort needed to reach the last 20% is just too much. At one point in life you've gotta decide whether or not you're going all in and focus 80% of your time on those last 20% or if you work on cultivating other skills..
And in my case I learned that it's just not worth it to spend 80% of my time writing. Don't get me wrong. I still love writing. And I will continue. But I love doing so many different things. I love experimenting. So I'll probably never make it as a writer. Or master it. Or make money writing.
And you know what? It's ok. There are hundreds of other things to do. And writing is one of them. It's the one thing that's holding my life together. The one thing that is and will always be there. I hope...
I'll just never really master it. No matter how many hours I'll be putting in. I'm already well past the 10,000 hour rule. Am I among the best of the best in my field? No, not at all. And that's ok.
Nonetheless, I've learned loads of stuff about writing and myself during this one year of writing and publishing one post every day...
# breaking the chain
What I've learned about myself in the past is that when I stop doing something once, it won't be the last time. And skipping just this one time will lead to skipping a second, a third, a fourth and maybe even a fifth time.
Until I usually stop doing it altogether. It happened to me so many times in the past. It happened with projects I've worked on, with subscriptions I offered, with products I created, with pretty much everything. Even things I was making money with.
If I broke the chain just once it was almost always a guarantee that I will stop doing that thing altogether within the next couple of weeks. And getting back into the flow is so much harder than just staying in the flow. It's not impossible though. Just close to impossible...
No matter what you're doing, no matter how much freedom you're seeking, no matter where you live or where you want to live, you need one thing that doesn't change. One thing that will always be the same. One thing that will always be the same, no matter how sick, healthy, tired, energetic or whatever you are.
You need one thing that gives you comfort. As much as everybody tells you that you have to get out of your comfort zone, you need one thing in your life that comforts you. Or maybe that's just me. I don't know.
For the past 7 years I've basically lived outside my comfort zone. And I can tell you this. The one thing that always gives me energy, the one thing that helps me to keep my shit together is to have that one thing. That one thing might change over time. But there always has to be a thing.
For me writing is the only stable thing in my life. It's my one thing. At least right now. I've lived in so many different countries that I can't even remember. I've worked on so many different projects that almost all failed that I'm too ashamed to even think about it.
And for me, writing is the one thing that keeps me from getting lost. It's the one thing that helps me to keep finding myself. Over and over again. Every single day.
Writing is the one thing that helps me to stay sane in a seemingly insane world...
I've put together a book with some of my best advice on writing.
Over the past 5 years I've written more than 1000 blog posts, published 10 books and more than 3 million people from all over the world read my stuff.
This book contains everything I've ever learned about writing. You can get your free copy here.
If you want to improve your writing skills or want to get started writing online, this is for you.
Click here to claim your copy now (it's free, for now)...
About a year ago it took me ages to write a blog post. Mostly because I was busy thinking about what to write about, whether or not it was good enough, if people would like it, what day I should publish it and a lot of other pretty much useless things. I was wasting so much time.
Now that I write every single day all of these things don't tax my brain's bandwidth anymore. Now all I do is just write.
Did I become a better writer? I don't know. Sometimes I write good stuff. And sometimes I write not so good stuff. Sometimes I have more time. Sometimes I have less time. Sometimes I write a post in just 5 minutes. And sometimes it takes me an hour. Sometimes I have hundreds of ideas. And sometimes I have zero ideas...
# start small
I never really decided to write 365 posts in 365 days. I just thought it would be cool to write one article every day for 30 days. Just to see what's possible. And I basically never really stopped writing and publishing one post ever since.
And I think if I decided to start with a 365 days writing challenge I would probably not have made it. Simply because that's a really, really long time. And those 365 days seemed so far away. So impossible to reach. If I think about it right now, I don't think I would ever be able to do anything for such a long time ever again.
But I made it. And maybe I will do it again. And it was a lot easier than I thought it was. Here's what made it so simple...
Instead of putting the target so far away that you can barely see it anymore and you'll miss it in 99.99% of the cases, why not just move that target a lot closer? Why not move it where you can still see it? After all, we all suck when we start something new.
And the closer you move that target, the more likely your chances of hitting that target. And once you've hit that target, you can move that target further away. Step by step. Little by little. Until you're unstoppable. Until you never ever really stop again. Unless you want to of course...
Just think about the momentum I was able to build over the past year. It would be insane to just stop doing it now. I think if I stopped writing now, I would never be able to get back into the flow ever again. Or maybe I would. I don't know. But for now I'm still comfortable writing and publishing one post every single day.
When you write and publish one article a day, no matter what, no matter how much or how little time you have, you will have to reinvent your writing. You will be forced to write different types of content. You have to come up with new and innovative ways of getting your voice out there.
If you're used to writing posts that take 2 hours, but that day you only have 5 minutes to write, trust me you will write something in five minutes and hit that publish button. And it will definitely be different from what you've ever written before.
Over the past year I've written and published some of the shortest articles ever published on Medium, as well as one of the longest. I even wrote and published an entire book on Medium in just 30 days. Every day I published one piece of that book and published it on my blog and on Medium.
And on day 31 I put it all together into an ebook and sent it out to people who pre-ordered it. And one month later I published the entire book on Medium. For free. According to Medium it would take you 130 minutes to read the whole thing. You can check it out here.
# quantity vs. quality
People always ask what's more important. Quality or quantity?
And I think it's both. If you only publish one article a day, then no one will even notice that you exist. No matter how good or talented you are. Sure, if you joined the platform early and built your audience while no one else was there yet, then these people will keep reading your stuff and one piece of content a week might be enough.
But if you join the game late it's almost impossible to break through the noise. No matter how good your content is. People won't even notice you exist. So the only way is to go with quantity and quality at the same time.
Not everything will be a home run. And not everything has to be a home run. Not everything has to go viral. But it has to be good. And the only way you get better, the only way to make good stuff and the only way to get noticed is to do it over and over and over again..
I'm not scared anymore about what people will say or think about what I write. Simply because tomorrow I'll have published something else. It made me a fearless writer. So even if one post won't be successful, if people will criticize it or what not, I don't care about it anymore. Because tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is a new game you can win. And you just can't win all the games all the time.
# getting started
Unfortunately, getting started didn't get any easier. I still have to push myself to write stuff. It still doesn't come naturally. It still is not a part of my day where I know that at this time of the day I will be writing. Sometimes I write in the morning. Sometimes I write in the middle of the night. Sometimes in the afternoon.
I don't know. Maybe that's because I don't have a very stable life. And change locations very often. Even though I tried to establish a daily routine a few times, I failed every single time. It just didn't work for me and my lifestyle. What pushes me the most is that I know that every single day I will write one article. No matter what.
So would I recommend doing something similar?
I don't know. If you're thinking about doing something similar, only do it if you really enjoy doing that thing. And don't do it because you think it might help you to make some money. Because it won't.
Look. We all already have enough things in our lives that we do even though we don't really enjoy doing them. We have enough things in our lives already that we do just to make money.
So do yourself a favor and don't add any more things to that list. And instead make sure that you do more of the things you really enjoy doing and work towards a life where you'll maybe one day be able to only do the things you really enjoy doing...
[Related: 121 Unusual Tips To Being A Better Writer]