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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 750words.com. 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 750words.com and I missed some days. Then I thought that writing on 750words.com 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 🙂

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