What I Learned From Writing And Publishing 365 Days

If you typed "https://dhck.today" and expected to find my daily blog here, I have to disappoint you. It has fulfilled it's purpose. This post explains why.

It has been a year since I started a daily blog and I committed to write and publish for at least 365 days in a row.

That has been fun for quite a while, but sometimes it also has been daunting. Sometimes I was sitting there at 11:45 PM and typed something on my phone, just to have something to publish. Other times the words came out of my fingers like magic.

For quite a while I am thinking about if and how I could continue this project. I have put a lot of thought into it and came to a conclusion.

But first I want to go through the good, the bad and the ugly about writing and publishing for 365 days in a row.

The Good

I guess the best thing for me as a professional procrastinator was, that the deadline of midnight always applied a high level of urgency to writing. The writing couldn't just be postponed to tomorrow or next week.

Through that period, especially in the middle of it, I learned that I can be creative no matter what. I can now always come up with something. Good or bad often didn't matter. The experiment taught me how to easily come up with new ideas.

Here are some tricks that always gave me stuff to write about:

  • by reading old articles
  • by checking stuff I liked on Twitter
  • by reading what other people write
  • by looking into my to-do list
  • by looking into notes of that day

Before this I was often waiting for the inspiration to hit me and when it didn't I tended to use it as an excuse for not writing, for not showing up.

That brings me to my next point. I have it engraved in my arm; "show up every day". And that I did, without a question. I showed up every day, for a year straight.

I lighted up a fire of discipline. To build and loose a habit takes 21 days. Seventeen times more than that I have written every day. For me, it's not a question anymore if I write. Writing is part of my life and will remain there. If there will come a day, where I don't write, probably I didn't wake up that day.

In the beginning as well as in the end it felt like a burden and sometimes it was. But since I made that commitment, I had to fulfil it. For me, this was like I swore an oath to myself and I felt that I couldn't just break it.

I wouldn't say that this was the hardest thing I have ever done. But I guess the longest commitment I ever had and that feels good. Every day when I hit that publish button, it felt good to get one step closer.

Of course not everything was just good, so let's take a look at the "not so nice" things.

The Bad

If you are writing stuff for the public as well, I guess you know that feeling. You are putting words on the screen, but something feels a little off. It just doesn't feel right.

Before that experiment I had one simple rule; Don't write and publish on the same day. With writing and publishing every day, that's just not possible. So, I ignored that and forced myself to hit that publish button anyhow, no matter how off it felt.

There will be always days in your life, where you are just not feeling like it, where the resistance really strikes. And then there is this challenge in the back of your head and you still have to write. So, what do you do? Right, just write to get something out there. These posts I can still easily identify, normally they end with something like "Let's leave it like that". Still, these days have taught me a lot, like you can read above.

Finally, there were so many things that I could have told, I am sure they would have made a great story but I couldn't. Either they are confidential, hurt somebody's feeling, or are just of a private nature. These things normally go into my journal, but where to draw the line for this?

Enough bad things, let's come to the hideous things, which are also the reason why I will end this daily blog.

The Ugly

Let's start with the worst things that I encountered about my challenge.

If you look at the dates, when I stopped to put out weekly articles on this blog and when I started dhck.today, you will notice a coherence. The blog was running quite well and now there is not that much going on anymore.

And now to my biggest issue; the blog acted as a proxy for anything related to productivity. I didn't even need to think about being productive. The opinion was already manifested in my head; I have written and published, so I was productive. But if I am looking at my real output and the quality of it, it was never that low.

The same goes for any other project that I wanted to do in that period of time. The daily writing took so much space in my head, I had a hard time focusing on any real project and I also didn't feel the urgency to do so. I was already productive, I told myself.

And as I regularly posted about productivity or leadership I also told myself that I shouldn't reuse those topics on my other blogs. That wouldn't be good, talking about the same topic twice, I told myself.

Learning

Even that I noticed those things, it was really hard for me to accept that this experiment has to find an end. It took some days until it finally clicked in my head.

Still, it was a good experiment and I shouldn't forget how it changed my relationship to writing and to creativity in general.

Being accountable to the public (✌️ to my 40 readers) can create wonders of motivation, that's also why I am thinking about keeping the domain to create like a statistics platform that just displays numbers like the written words every day. Maybe this will be a thing for a lazy Sunday.

Another things that I will take with me is, that I am definitely a better writer in the morning and the evening is better for editing and refining post ideas.

All in all, I can say, I am happy that I have done it, otherwise I wouldn't have learned so much. I also learned again a lot about myself.

And it's fascinating what is reachable with focus and dedication.

It was a nice experiment and I don't regret having it done.

Even if it's hard, that is the end of the daily blog, but now it's time to move on.

Daniel Hauck

Daniel Hauck