I wrote an article a day for 100 days straight and counting …

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Afterthoughts: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

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During the Covid-19 lockdowns, I challenged myself to write 1 article per day that would be published on this blog. It was just yesterday that I hit the 100 day mark, though it feels like it was only yesterday that I started on this endeavour. It has become a core part of my daily routine, and one I have come to especially treasure for all that it has added.

We have a lot more to share than we realise. One of my initial concerns when I started on this writing-an-article-a-day challenge was that I would quickly run out things to write about. Granted there were some days I spent an hour toiling about waiting for inspiration to strike, it always eventually did. Whether it was experiences from the past, interests, topics brought up in conversation, or things I read about – there is no shortage things to share my perspective on. As a result, I realised just how much of what we engage with in conversation or through media just goes in one ear and out the other.

I had imposter syndrome in the first month – who was I to be talking about these things when there are experts who have already given their thoughts – but quickly got over it when I reflected on what it meant to share creative work. My thinking around this revolves around two points: that all humans are endowed with unique perspectives and the incremental nature of learning. The former boosts the latter. For example, habit formation is a topic that is well-covered on the internet by a bevy of DIY enthusiasts, scientists, and psychologists. If I write about it, I know that I will not add necessarily add anything new from a content or information angle. The delivery and presentation of my thoughts on habit formation, however, might be impactful for someone who reads it at the right time. By impact, I am referring to the increase in their likelihood to take actions based on the article in whatever area it might be in. With anything new, it takes time to become comfortable with and finally take action from. For example, that’s why lots of people do a lot of research before purchasing a new gadget or car for example. The same principle applies with ideas, people need to reach a “critical mass” for an idea before they take action on it. Hence, all creative work has value.

Writing everyday is easier than I thought it would be. I gave myself a S.M.A.R.T goal i.e. specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Everyday I had to write at least 300 words on anything in the world and publish it onto this blog. This constraint made things so simple, and after the first week or so, I didn’t actively have to think about it anymore, it just came naturally. The resistance I had in my mind disappeared and was replaced with a “let’s do this” attitude.

I feel more thoughtful and reflective with how I engage with the world now that I have this writing practice. It feels like I am listening to and talking to myself myself. It is a habit that I wish I picked up sooner, especially during the more turbulent and busier periods, it would have been so interesting to see what thoughts would have been compelling enough for me to have written about. Regardless, this is something that I see myself carrying until my last day.

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