Thursday, January 3, 2013

Every Day

One of the principles that I have seen proved time and time again is the power of doing something every day. Almost anything in life worth doing well requires applying the power of this principle. Whether it be mastering a musical instrument, being a skilled athlete, or even just acing a test, working in incremental steps each and every day seems to be the best way to generate success. It should be no surprise, then, that this principle is particularly true when you want to be a successful writer.

In a recent post, author David Farland said that it takes most writers at least a million words before they discover their true talent for writing. Now, at first glance, that number seems impossibly large. If someone told me that I had to sit down and write a million words before I could become a published author, my reaction would be to never even try. A million words sounds like an absurd goal to achieve if that's what it takes just to develop natural talent into real success.

But now apply the principle of writing every day. How many words would you have to write a day if you wanted to write a million words in a year? For those who can't do large division in your head, the answer is around 2740. For comparison, a successful NaNoWriMo requires approximately 1700 words a day. So, instead, let's divide that million word goal over two years. Now we're talking just over 1370 words a day. Still a formidable goal, but one that might actually be in reach. Just imagine. If you could discipline yourself to write 1400 words a day for two years, at the end of that time you'd have written over a million words. What an accomplishment! And it's only possible because of the power of every day.

Back in September last year, I set a personal goal for myself to write 30,000 words that month. Life was busy and work crazy, but somehow I managed the discipline to sit down and write at least 1000 words every day that month. And here's how things looked at the end of that month:

That's what I accomplished when I applied the principle of every day. What about you? What could you accomplish if you put this powerful principle to work in your life? What impossible goal could you achieve? I'd love to hear your thoughts or stories in the comments below.

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