This being the penultimate day of this challenge, I wanted to use the word penultimate and also wanted to share with you some things I learned after writing and posting every day for almost thirty days. And because the internet likes lists, here’s the first half of one:
Thirty days has never felt so long.
If you do anything — baking, sewing, drugs — every day for 30 days you’re going to get better at it.
The best time to write is the morning. Or the afternoon. Or the evening. Or all of the above. I wrote some of these pieces in my car. At Starbucks. On my phone in line at the bank. Knowing I had to post something every day forced me to make time to write every day, wherever and whenever I could.
I wanted to quit roughly 312 times, and that was just the first week.
If you sit down to write every day, something will come out. Promise.
The more specific your writing is, the more universal it will be. The stories I thought were super specific to me were the ones I got the most messages about.
People might not clap on Medium, but they will message you on Facebook. One of the best parts of this for me was hearing from people I hadn’t been in touch with in years, sending kind words and thoughts and emojis because they could relate to something I wrote. Creating art to me is about connection, sharing the knowledge we’re never alone in our experiences, and if I could help do that for someone? I can die happy.
More people had pet parades than I ever imagined.
If you do this challenge, you will get a boyfriend. When I started writing these 30 days ago, we were just dating. By the end, we had slapped the label of boyfriend onto each other. I’m not saying it’s because of the challenge, but I can’t say it’s not. So. All the single ladies? Start writing.
You won’t know how many people are reading your posts until you’re late posting one day and get threatening messages asking where your daily post is. This will make you feel both wonderful and stressed out at exactly the same time.
500 words doesn’t sound like a lot, until you’re staring at a near blank page with twelve words on it.
500 words doesn’t sound like enough once you get into a story, rambling on and on and before you know it, you’ve overshot by a couple hundred words.
Editing is important. Editing is everything. Editing is hard. But turns out my piece about running probably didn’t need that three paragraph soliloquy on chunky peanut butter. Fine.
Lists make posts go by much quicker, but also feel like cheating.
The end of each post was always the hardest for me. I always try to tie it all up or make a sweeping statement but sometimes? You just have to stop at 500 words.*
*This post was exactly 500 words for the first time all month, and I could not be more proud of myself right now.
This is post #29/30 in a 500 Words-A-Day Challenge. Read them all here.