A week ago I decided to follow the example of the amazing Nathan Barry in order to try kick start this blog and work on a couple of book projects that I want to launch. The basic idea revolves around creating the habit of writing a specific amount of words every day no matter what.

It has been a week since I started and so far it has been both a rewarding and challenging process, this method is not new by any means whatsoever some people recommend doing 750 words per day others swear that 1000 words is the ideal amount.

There is even an on-line editor which sole focus is on writing 750 words per day, the site is called -- shocking right? -- now it really all depends on what you are trying to say and the ability of the writer.

While sounded like an easy way to get started, I didn't felt comfortable writing what might be privates thoughts or at least sensitive information without any control or guarantees of how the information was stored and guarded.

For my daily goal I settled to start with 500 words; 500 words seemed to be an achievable goal that would keep me motivated, but challenging enough where I would actually had to put some effort.

Tricking Myself to Win

Setting a habit is hard, specially when is something that requires effort or makes uncomfortable (read exercise); writing is not different, you are not going to be on the top of your game each day and the infamous writers block my hit at any time and without warning.

So I took preventive methods to help me out and basically tricky myself pass any obstacles, the first thing that I'm doing is keeping record of how many days in a row I been keeping up with my goal, for tracking this I'm using and iPhone app called Commit by Nathan Barry.

The app is very simple and easy to use, you can set daily goals and if you want to a reminder; the app will ask you each day if you have met your goal. The more you keep the chain going the less likely is for you to break it; you also get instant feedback and a sense of achievement.

And thats exactly what I wanted, to feel that sense of achievement each day, that rush of satisfaction of completing a challenging task, basically I was trying to trick my brain into becoming addicting to writing.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. - Aristotle

The first two days writing 500 daily words seemed easy enough, I was even exceeding the quote for a few hundreds words during the first days. By Thursday I was starting to slowdown.

Slowing down is not a bad thing unless you stop completely, I found that changing topics and working a different draft helped me to write pass my mental roadblocks and get back into a writing flow.

The result

After just my first week I feel incredibly productive and I have build a considerable buffer of posts, that I will be posting every four days or so in this blog.

Along with that I'm also making progress on my new book project (shhh! Don't tell anyone).


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Allan MacGregor




Random ramblings about code, programming, and technology

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