The seven things I learned from writing 1000 words a day.

Recently I took up a new practice of writing 1000 words a day. It sounds a bit daunting at first but one thousand words is really only about two pages of writing, depending on the size of font you use. I wanted to break down my journey so far after ten days and ten thousand words later. Here are the seven things that I have gained from the experiment.

  1. Consistency

Sometimes a great idea starts out with the best of intentions, but very quickly I fall off the wagon and am right back to my old routines. In January we took a two-week vacation road trip. The vacation was amazing, but coming home I found myself struggling to get back into a routine of productivity. I stumbled across an interview by Ali Abdaal and Nathan Barry. (linked below) Nathan is very inspirational when it comes to productivity. He had a lot of feedback but he attributed most of his success to one particular practice, writing one thousand words a day. This really sparked my interest and felt right so I launched my own writing journey. I understand now how working on something a little every day can yield great rewards. I have discovered this in my own photography business.  Being consistent with something seems minuscule at the moment, but as you get further down the road and look back, you can see the progress and appreciate putting a little bit of time every day into something.

The consistency has led to a newfound benefit I wasn’t expecting, writing captions for social media has gotten much easier. This is an area I have always struggled with and kept me from posting. This is a major benefit in my opinion. Writing every day has opened up new channels of creativity and thought consistency, and the captions have gotten much easier. This leads me to the next benefit that I am already seeing.

2. More creativity

I feel so much more creative in what to write. I have to be creative every day. It can come in so many different forms. I love photography but sometimes a little diversity in the the medium of art really helps rebirth some inspiration back into my main passion. When I can fully express myself I feel more like a blank canvas, uncluttered and wide open for new ideas and inspiration. Writing is a way to empty out my head so that I have room to bring in more conscious thoughts and ideas.

3. More confidence in how I express myself

I feel more confident in what I am saying because I have practiced it. Writing sometimes comes easy to me and sometimes I feel at a complete loss as to how to express myself. I can get a bit long-winded and forget the point I’m actually trying to get to. Writing is a muscle and using it every day has helped me with a routine. The more I write the more curious I am about writing better. I have worked on giving myself permission to have the worst first drafts. I know my perfection will often sabotage me from even starting a project. To get past this I have had to tune into those little voices that are encouraging me to go back to eating Cheetos on the couch while watching Netflix. Yes, I can now tune into them, but pat them on the head and dismiss them. When they come to the conscious light of day they don’t seem to have so much power over me. And therefore I have been able to build another muscle that was starting to seriously wane in my life.

4. More presence in my daily life

In order to hear those voices, I have to sit quietly for a minute. I see how busy I can make myself with needless tasks that aren’t associated with what I’m truly wanting to accomplish. The tricky part is some of those needless tasks are actually valuable to accomplish but the caveat is that there is no relevance to the actual task I’m set on accomplishing. Therefore I see that as sabotage. I have started to dissect the messages that are rerouting my efforts. And after I get the initial message of “you have better things to do than write” I then have to go deeper. And the messages are 

“You don’t need to do this” 

“What are you going to do with this writing anyway” 

“You’re seriously wasting your time”

“No one is going to want to read this”

All of these comments are becoming a peanut gallery that, with practice, I have developed deaf ears for. And that is leading to a very resilient attitude for…

5. Pushing through the hard stuff and voices.

This is not easy, and truth be told I don’t think there is a secret formula besides white-knuckling it for a while till you can get past the hardest moments. Challenging those voices by finding inspiration in other’s stories or writing down some of my own to remember can be helpful. Feeling passionate about what I’m writing certainly helps too. And this leads to my next point.

6. I am getting to know myself better.

From this exercise. I have found that as I write my 1000 words a day, certain truths are emerging that I feel very passionate about. Things that I would not have known nearly as well or at all had I not sat down to articulate them. I feel more confident in expressing how I feel about certain topics because I have written them down, categorized them, and actually challenged myself to record them in black and white. This makes things so much less abstract. And if I’m not feeling abstract then I feel more understood by myself mostly. I know what I stand for but more importantly why. And that has given me the confidence to… 

7. I Value myself more

Not only because I know myself better but also because I have stuck with something through all the challenges and difficulties and found a figurative rainbow that is a shower of positive benefits. I also trust myself because I am doing what I say I’m going to do as well as putting myself and my goals as a priority. 

And you’re wondering how this all applies to photography as a whole. Well, I feel like it’s always important to explore new things. No matter what your creative passion is. Diversity is key at times to keeping that passion alive. Inspiration is a feeling. It’s not segregated to just one area. It can flow from one genre to the next and build up a system to be utilized in many different ways.

I am really happy with the progress I have made writing 1000 words a day. I have discovered how much I do enjoy writing! I plan to continue this and hopefully have another blog post of 30, 60, or maybe even 90 days of writing.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my words. It is always my hope that they can be helpful to someone on their creative journey. 

If you want to keep reading, another blog post I suggest is BLESSINGS. How to feel successful by incorporating gratitude.

If you want to know more about Nathan Barry’s strategy you can read his Blog Post HERE

Here is the podcast between Nathan Barry and Ali Abdaal

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