I discovered a website, Medium, where I can read various personal essays people have written. It’s an incredible platform where I’ve found some amazing pieces of writing, including an essay called, “How Writing 1000 Words a Day Changed My Life.”
I’ve mentioned here multiple times how I’m not as good at writing as I used to be, but I conveniently “forget” the fact that in order to get better I must do just that: write. I don’t want to post on here every single day because I don’t have well-formulated thoughts I’d like to solidify on the Internet. Instead I’ve been using an Evernote notebook to store my 1000 words a day. Currently (as of Sunday, since it’s still Sunday night) I’m on day three. I’ve yet to write anything I’d deem satisfactory, but it’s been good to get words onto the page. It’s been nice to feel my fingers flying unapologetically across the keyboard and not worrying about the end result. I’ve also noticed my excessive use of “but” and “so” and “just” and other filler words. My writing has gotten lazy and I hope to use this exercise as a way to work on my word choice and sentence structure. I used to be able to do that, but as of this moment it’s time for me to stop referring to and focusing on what I used to be able to do.
From today forward I’m going to put my attention towards how I can better myself each day. Putting so much thought towards what I was capable of doing before does me a disservice. I want to make positive changes in my life and looking backwards won’t help me do that. I’m going to continue setting goals and start looking ahead. I’m going to continue writing 1000 words a day, but I’m not going to beat myself up if there’s a day I don’t do that. I’m not going to be able to do things perfectly and that is okay. It’s the journey I’m taking, not the place that I end up where the real progress happens.
I don’t like the post that I put up a few days ago because it’s not “deep” and doesn’t have much substance. It’s truthful and real, though, and that’s what is important. It’s where I was at that day and I don’t want to deny my existence. I won’t be inspired every day, I won’t be able to produce fantastic work at all times. As long as I continue writing, though, I am making progress. It’s not about search engine optimization and making myself seen and known, it’s about bettering myself and hopefully helping a few people along the way. It’s not all about me, but I won’t be able to help anyone else if I can’t help myself.
I also read a great article on Men With Pens that explains how writing a certain amount every day won’t make me a better writer. That’s a good thing to consider because if I’m not writing with intention then I’m merely repeating bad habits like using “but” and “so” and “just” too often. If I don’t pay attention to what I’m writing and merely mash out 1000 words a day then I’m not going to become any better. Ray Bradbury said, “Write one thousand words a day and in three years you’ll become a writer.” I do want to be a writer, but I want to be a great writer. Not for anyone else. I want to be a great writer for myself. I know that I am capable of it and I want to fulfill my potential and rise above it.
In order to become a better writer I must become a better reader. The last time I finished a book was at the beginning of this year and that’s shocking considering how much I used to read when I was younger. Once I started using drugs and alcohol, my attention span and desire to read disappeared. I tried to read but couldn’t focus on what I was reading and simply gave up. I’ve been working on my reading skills again and I’d like to continue doing so. I’ve been reading essays on Medium and realize how I can hardly get through a piece that’s a few thousand words; I’ve got a lot of work to do. All it’s going to take, though, is practice. As I read and focus more I will become a better reader, as long as I’m reading with intent. It’s just like writing. If I don’t do it with purpose then I’ll merely further instill bad habits.
I will continue writing 1000 words a day because it’s getting me to write, but I will also read a few essays a day to see how others formulate their sentences and use words. I’ll learn from other writers and incorporate what I take from them. I’m excited to see where I will be six months from now. A year from now. Especially considering I’ll hopefully be able to start hormones soon, but that’s another topic for a different blog post. I’m excited to see how much growth will occur in the next six months when I look back and consider how much I’ve grown in the past six months. I respond to situations entirely different than I did in April. I’m more thoughtful. I’m more considerate. I (mostly) show up when I say that I will. I’m more selective about who I spend my time with and if I don’t want to do something I don’t do it. I’m taking care of myself today. And writing more will help me to do that.
Being intentional in not only my writing but every area of my life will help me continue to evolve. I can write a thousand intentional words a day in various areas of my life. In my recovery, in my reading, in my relationships. I want to continue to work on myself on a daily basis because it’s done well for me so far and I believe it will continue to do so.