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I used to write 750 words everyday. I slowly came down to 500. And then I didn’t write for some days. I then wrote again but couldn’t reach 750 words. I even struggled to reach 500 words.

It’s funny, but at first, I started with 1000 words in mind. I had read ‘On Writing‘, a book by Steven King. He suggests everyone who wants to progress at writing to write 1000 words everyday. I thought I needed to do the same.

I started writing 1000 words. I felt like I could write that everyday. The reason I could write 1000 words in the initial stage was because I was inspired and motivated by Steven’s book. But I didn’t realize that inspiration and motivation would fade away eventually.

That’s the biggest mistake I make while stepping on any goal. First I read a book, I get inspired and motivated to work, I work on it, and eventually all the motivation and inspiration wears out. And I leave working on it.

What I really learned is that you need to either inspire yourself or work without inspiration. Latter is more difficult but better compared to the former.

It’s easier to inspire yourself. If you’re reading this, you probably have an internet connection. If you have internet connection than you have access to millions and billions of information + resources in this world, present in the internet. And you can use it to inspire yourself. You can watch YouTube videos, or read inspirational blog posts or consume podcasts. There are endless resources. So, you can use it to inspire and motivate yourself.

The bad side of this is that you need to inspire yourself time and again. And it’s not practical to do that everyday.

The more difficult and better option is working when you aren’t inspired. I think this is what all the great artists and successful people do. I wasn’t inspired or motivated to write this post. I just wrote it. And now, I’m already in the middle of this blog post.

One thing I’ve realized from this is that inspiration doesn’t hit you when you want it to, it hits you only when you start working.

I’m inspired and motivated to write automatically after I write. I’m inspired and motivated to program automatically after I program. But if don’t start programming or writing in the first place, then I’ll never get inspired to work on it. And then, I’ll have to rely on external inspiration from other resources.

Do your work when you don’t feel like doing and you’ll start to get motivated and inspired automatically.

If I were to choose employees, then I’d make them work when they didn’t feel like working. It’s because that’s the better indication of how they’ll work in the long run. If you need to be inspired everyday then there’s very less chance you’ll work hard and get things done.

Another mistake I made was thinking that there was a perfect one step solution for writing. For example, I started writing on notepad. And when I found it little intimidating I switched to I was writing 1000 words in notepad but I switched to 750words because I thought my writings would be more manageable and neat in the long run. But another reason was that I just had to write 750 words and not 1000 words.

I was actually procrastinating by fooling myself that it’s better in the long run. After some weeks, I went out of internet and couldn’t access and I missed some days. Then I thought that writing on was a bad idea because I needed to have internet every time.

So I thought of making a switch and writing on text editor. I started to write 750 words on my text editor. Slowly, I was going out of things to write, so I started writing about random things. I didn’t like it, so I thought it’s better to write high quality posts, rather than thinking about the quantity.

And then I tried writing only high quality posts with less words. It would be anywhere from 300 words to 500 words.

I hadn’t realized that I was procrastinating even at that point. I was still fooling myself. I was going downhill. I started from 1000 words and then came down to 300. And sometimes, I even don’t write anything.

What I learned from this is that, while you make any decision in life think of how you started in the first place. What goals did you have when you first started?

My goal was to improve my writing skill by writing 1000 words everyday. But I started to search for a perfect writing tool and then focused on quality. It was all because I didn’t want to write. I wanted to write less or, if possible, not write anything. I succeeded at fooling myself.

So, always think about your initial goal when you’re about to make a switch on what you’re doing.

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    • After going through article, I just realized it was the exact blog post that made me stop writing 1000 words.

      I totally forgot about that.

      Maybe the advice to write 1000 words everyday is really a bad idea if you have to complete your writing project. My case is totally different. I’m not trying to complete my writing project, I’m only trying to improve my writing.

      The article mainly focus on deadline writings and hacking big projects. I’m not trying to finish my writing project since I don’t have one.

      All I want to do is improve my writing. So, I need to write something everyday. Just like how Steven Pressfield explains in ‘The War of Art’.

      A good quote Niall posted below in comment by W. Somerset Maugham: “I write only when inspiration strikes. Fortunately it strikes every morning at nine o’clock sharp.”

      • That’s a smart way of looking at it. There should be a distinction.

        I’ve tried to write 1k words a day and post twice a week on my blog for a long time now. I’ve often failed at the former but have kept the latter up without fail for 3+ years.

        Now I think I’m at the point where sticking to such a rigid writing schedule isn’t a good thing, but I’m definitely glad I did it for so long because it absolutely helped me improve my writing skills. Nobody complimented me on my writing three years ago, but they do all the time now.

        • I’m definitely a proponent of writing for a project. Otherwise, you’ll fall into the habit of writing about random stuff (which was mentioned in the post).

          Unless you’re writing with a specific prompt in mind, writing any word count is pointless.

          I also hate the 1k words a day. Some things can be said in 200 words, some in 2000.

          Write whatever feels right to you–in response to a specific prompt, whether that be a project or an SAT essay.

  1. So true! Motivation is fleeting. It’s something you need to continuously pursue. Also, I’ve found starting small and building up to your goals is VERY, VERY, effective in establishing new habits. Definitely something worth trying!

    • Instead of pursuing, it’s better to work without motivation. I know it’s necessary but we don’t always get it when we want.

      However, it’s always a good idea to motivate ourselves when we can.

      Yes, I’ve also worked on many goals by starting small, and it seems to work every time (I might be wrong though).

  2. Hey, Heart touching post man :).
    I happened to me alot, that the Goals were properly planned but after some time they just drifeted apart. The major reason I analyse is the traveling I do with no back up plans on how to support my goals while travelling. Goals like reading,writing, triathlon, one has to comeup with a plan to make these goals happen in any situation 🙂


  • Long time since I last wrote a post. Lots of activities can occur within a tiny second. People die and babies are born. And I’ve been lost for nearly a month.
    I just fell. I fell short on my blogging goal.
    Looking back, January has been my worst month blogging, I’ve always blogged at least once a week, which amounts to 4 blogs per month on average. But I let it go this month.
    For the excuse, I was sick, I was distracted and I was focused entirely on something else.
    Even if I was focused on something else, I used to write blog posts, but I couldn’t this time. Or I didn’t.
    The good news is that I’m back. And I’m posting on a regular schedule.
    However, even though I didn’t write a blog post or send you e-mail newsletters, I didn’t stop writing altogether. I always wrote private journals (I can’t imagine not writing that).
    It took lots of time for me to come back to this writing position. I don’t know what happened. Why I stopped writing blog posts.
    You’ve probably been in this type of situation where you can’t explain yourself what happened. You might have some project you’ve wanted to do, but you fell short on your goal.
    The same happened to me and I’m conscious about it.
    I fell down and now I’m making sure that I’ll stand up.
    It’s not bad to fall. Just make sure that if you fall seven times, you stand up eight times. It’s a Japanese proverb which reminds me to stand up every time I fall.
    Fall seven times, stand up eight is all about the ‘never say die’ attitude. It means getting back up every time you get knocked down, fall down, or otherwise end up feeling down. Even if you start feeling like one of those inflatable punching bags the little kids use, you have to get back up.
    It also infers that the only way you can lose is to not get back up. If you go down and stay there, that is the only path to a sure defeat. While you are still able to get back up, there is still hope, however slim it might seem.
    And that’s what it’s about. Getting back up, no matter what. Over and over and over again. Until you win. Until the procrastination side of you gets tired of swinging, or loses interest and wanders off. You just don’t stop until you have what you set out to achieve.

  • I fell behind on my writing schedule. It used to come at me naturally to write a blog post, but now it doesn’t. It happened because I failed to keep the momentum going.
    Once you fall, it’s very difficult to go back. I used to have something in my mind everyday for next day’s post. However, since it’s been a long time I haven’t written any post, it doesn’t come to me naturally.
    It used to be difficult for me to not write a post everyday in the morning because that’s what I used to do everyday. It used to feel like I missed something.
    I never brushed my teeth at night few years back. It was my habit to not brush my teeth. Whenever I felt the importance of brushing my teeth at night, I’d find it very difficult to do so. I would skip or simply procrastinate. And I never brushed my teeth at night.
    I simply struggled to brush every night. I would do it for some days and then leave it. I would have different excuses every time: “Today the water is cold and my throat is paining.”, “I’m sick and I need to get to the bed early”, “I have important assignment to complete and I can’t afford to waste any time.”, “I don’t have energy.”
    I went through a series of pain period where I would brush my teeth even if I didn’t want to. Even if there were legitimate excuses.
    I used a trigger to form the habit of brushing my teeth at night. As soon as I’d finish eating dinner, I made a rule to brush my teeth. Without brushing, I wasn’t allowed to move to my bedroom.
    It sucked at first. I didn’t want to do it. However, with time it became a habit.
    I feel weird if I don’t brush my teeth at night. I actually can’t go to bed without brushing my teeth at night. I feel like something’s missing.
    Just like how I make time for eating, breathing, drinking, listening, sleeping, I make time for brushing.
    This is how brushing at night became a habit.
    Now, currently I’m facing the same problem with writing posts. I haven’t stopped writing entirely. I write private journals daily. However, I’ve gone downhill in writing posts on my blog.
    So, I can do the same thing with blogging as I did with brushing. I can make a rule to not allow myself to surf net on my laptop unless I publish a blog post. If I can do that, it’ll be a habit with time.
    What’s one area of your life that you’ve been going downhill on? What are the rules you can make for it to become a habit?

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