Overdue insights on daily blogging

My friend Vin, who appears in my book Creative Doing, and I were tweeting about the possibility of writing every day. I meant to write about this over a month ago, I’m now well over 100 days of writing at this blog every day, so here goes:

Here’s how I’ve made it happen so far

  • Keep the operation small: Make it possible for you to complete the operation in seconds (recently, I literally posted a link to a tweet, and that’s it! Or a link to an image)
  • Making time in between events in your calendar: Try to show up to a session early, and leave late (which inversely means leaving a previous session early and showing up to the next one late)
  • Appreciate flexibility: I don’t have a fixed time I write, which ironically has actually been super helpful to making this a daily routine
  • Relax expectations: I don’t edit most of these posts, the goal is not to monetize, and I treat each post like a mini-experiment
  • Appreciate inconsistency: See how messy these links are in this post? Some of them are before the colon, others are after, and that’s totally fine; the goal isn’t to publish with perfect formatting (though as an editorial director, I wince)
  • Keep a queue: I try to stay two to three days ahead so I don’t have to write every day

Here are a bunch of not-so-obvious lessons I’ve internalized through writing each day:

  • Writing can be a starting point, not an ending one: Each blog post is completely incomplete
  • Write to think: I don’t have a co-author or researcher, so I publish my thoughts at my blog and newsletters so people think and research with me; it makes for much more effective writing
  • The power of DIFY: Do it for yourself, don’t think too much about what you want other people to get out of it. Think like an artist, not like a marketer. I write long intros, I write about whatever catches my interest, and I write non-clickbait, obscure, headlines
  • Think small: There absolutely is enough time to write every day, and getting out of the time scarcity mindset is a practice
  • Gain energy: I actually find that writing improves my energy levels, which sets me up to do other things with a more expansive attitude and a more open mind. I feel like my head is clearer
  • A lot of books are collections of blog posts: This was perhaps truer in the past, though the format matters less. For whatever reason, my brain works well when publishing at a blog, much better than publishing at social media directly, so I just use my blog as a surface to gather raw intellectual material and ship it out at other places
  • Small is an unblocker: Almost everything I’ve gotten too precious about ends up stuck in Google Docs or Airtable—including a blog post like this, which I wanted to be elaborate and narrative driven. I just didn’t have time! I still hope to write something more elaborate, though this’ll have to do for now

There we are! 530 more words than I was going to write if I didn’t have this habit. It doesn’t matter if they’re all terrible, I’ll give it another shot tomorrow. There’s no time for self-doubt to fester.

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