I've written before about what a game-changer a daily writing habit has been for me: here, here, and here, most recently. It's not for everyone, of course. Creative process works in mysterious, highly individual ways, and every day is not feasible for every artist. But for me, it meant steady, forward progress, finishing things. Even more importantly, I stopped wasting time floundering around and trying to remember my own story.
I've written a heck of a lot in four years. According to Magic Spreadsheet, one of the tracking tools I use, I've written nearly two million words in that time frame. (When I'm editing and revising, I count 10% of the words I process in that session as word count). My school-day nightly goal is 800 words, my vacation-day goal is 2,000 words. A day still counts as a writing day so long as I make the rock-bottom minimum of 250 words.
(It's best when it's not just "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over).
I've seen three novels, a collection of short stories, and seven short stories in multi-author anthologies onto bookshelves during that span. I swear, I look at the pile of books and I feel like Ozymandias: "Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!" (though I hope that doesn't leave me crumpled in the desert with dried up pages blowing by in the wind).
I still want to be more productive.
I'm a twenty-first century girl after all, and I want to make sure I live my dreams to the fullest.
I have too many unfinished projects and too many still waiting for me to develop them.
As I move into my fifth year of daily writing, I plan to be a little harder on myself. Up until now, I've counted all writing: blog posts, articles, book reviews, marketing plans, synopses, journalling, etc. I still plan to keep track of all that work, but for a day to count as a writing day, it must include at least 250 words of fiction.
After four years of building this habit, I'm not willing to let myself slack off. My expectations for myself will continue to rise.
But right now, I'm just breathing a moment of satisfaction, sticking out my chin and spreading my prideful feathers. Look how far we've come!
…I think I'll celebrate by adding 250 words to my newest novel.