We’re a little over halfway through the SixTAY Days of Writing challenge and I can’t believe I’ve actually written every single day! I honestly didn’t think I could do it. My life during this challenge has been especially volatile with a move happening and various life crises popping up....but here I am! So I figured I’d write a list of things I’ve learned and thought a lot about while writing all my posts:
1) Writing really does come more easily the more you do it. This is a staple of any writing advice, but it’s the first time I’ve really felt it. This is the first time I’ve ever seriously written daily for this long outside of a journal/diary. I’m surprised at how easily I get ideas for writing when each day I’ve started off thinking “I have no idea what I’m going to write today!”. As the days go on and as I’ve gotten used to writing I’ve just been able to pull an idea out of the ether and write it. Some ideas are better than others and some days I have more time to write/edit than others, but the ideas are always there now that I’ve built up a habit of writing.
2) Don’t worry and just write! Related to the first point but if I have any idea, why not just write it? The best part about being on a voluntary blog like this is that there’s no pressure, we’re not being paid, there’s no business, we’re just writing for fun! So write whatever!
3) Writing is therapeutic as helllllll! As I mentioned the past couple months have been tough. One of the most important things for positive mental health is structure. Daily writing not only places structure in my life but it also gives me a creative outlet to channel positive energy, stay motivated, and focused. As someone who routinely deals with depression, motivation is really hard for me, and forcing myself to follow the challenge has really helped me keep my mental state healthy the last month.
4) Writing with others is way less pressure. I haven’t been able to read everyone’s posts but even just being able to read some, seeing others are writing, even if it’s online and we’re not working together in person, is a huge motivator. Being part of the same challenge, writing on the same blog, being part of the same community really makes the writing easier.
5) It’s good to push yourself hard sometimes, but not all the time. By the end of these two months I know I’m going to want a break. Writing on top of a full time job, life stress, moving, etc. is A LOT. But the best part about things like this is they have an end. One of the scariest things in life is a lack of structure. We don’t live in a society where we think deeply about the future. People feel trapped in endless shitty jobs, endless unhealthy relationships, etc. That hopeless feeling of an overwhelming endless future is a MASSIVE source of unhappiness for people. Even positive things can turn on their heads and becomes sources of anxiety with no goals and no framework. What’s great about something like SixTAY Days of Writing is that I know the beginning, I know the end, I know exactly what I need to do. When it’s all done I’ll want a break from writing, I’d never want to commit to writing every day with no end unless it was my full time job. But now that I know I can do it, it’s pushed me to write more often. Putting structure into my TAY writing going forward will definitely be a thing. Having that end in sight, gauging your workload, and knowing you can take a break when it’s over is great. Structure is life!
6) I really love video games. Seriously. They’re awesome.