We have reached the end, my friends. After two full months, this outrageous grind has finally reached its terminus. Today is day number sixty.
This challenge was far harder than I ever imagined it would be. On paper, writing an article every day for sixty days seemed pretty doable. Back at the beginning of June I was overflowing with ideas and felt that up until that point I had simply lacked the motivation to transmute them into words. I slowly realized as the weeks went by that there were quite a few more roadblocks than just willpower. I’ll discuss those difficulties in a bit, but first I’d like to go into why I committed to this challenge in the first place.
Back in February, for my first ever article for TAY, I wrote about how the game Celeste inspired me to take the plunge and finally write something for this website. I’d been wanting to on and off for years, but one line from the unassuming indie platformer finally pushed me over the edge: “I’m done breaking promises to myself.” Though for the life of me I can’t find that quote in the game anymore. Regardless, it’s an excellent sentiment. It’s just so unbelievably relatable. Breaking a promise you make to yourself is easy. It doesn’t hurt anyone but you. Problem is, if you do it enough times all of that hurt starts to add up. This challenge was a chance to prove to myself that I could keep one of those promises. A chance to tell myself that I could do something and, for once, to be right. And here we are, on my sixtieth article. I managed to keep that fragile promise.
I will say that I doubt I could have done it alone. This amazing community gave me both the accountability and encouragement to keep myself in line. Seeing everyone else putting out such amazing content every day inspired me to try to keep up, to try and match that level of commitment and talent. I’d like to say, to everyone that has been reading and writing on TAY for the last two months, thank you. Thank you for being such incredible people.
With the sappy stuff out of the way, lets get into some of the lessons I learned over the course of this thing. I say “lessons,” but they’re really just aspects of my personality as a writer that I discovered while trying to write so consistently. I’ll be brief, since I’m running out of time (nothing like procrastinating on the very last article, huh?). Bullet points seem like an appropriate organizational tool for this occasion:
· I can’t write on a subject unless its fresh in my mind. I tried several times to expand on article ideas that were one or two weeks old, and I could not muster the motivation to write even a paragraph. Once I have an idea, I’d better write quickly. Stockpiling ideas does not work.
· Little details are my worst enemy. A lot of times I’d find myself obsessing over the particular wording of a sentence when I absolutely did not have the time to. The time restriction forced me to move on and accept that not everything needs to come out the way I envisioned it in my head.
· Foresight is not my strong suit. I got into several situations where, if I had thought ahead even a little bit, I would have been much better off. I actually missed a midnight deadline last week because I failed to foresee how long my work day would be. If I had been writing each article the night before it would be posted (like I was at the beginning of the challenge), then I would not have been late. I did make the deadline in my own time zone though, so I’m still giving myself the sixty-day streak.
· I love writing. I thought I knew this before, but this experience has really cemented it for me. This was a difficult, exhausting, and oftentimes painful endeavor. There were plenty of days where I absolutely did not want to sit at my computer and write another damn article. But every time, without fail, I would enjoy myself once the words started flowing. I feel like this is most significant thing that I got out of this challenge. I have found something that I truly, unquestionably love to do. The only logical course of action now is to keep doing it.
This summer will be one of my most memorable for years to come, all because of a silly online writing challenge. I really feel like I was a part of something special here. More than anything, I’m very excited to see what else I’m capable of after such a feat. Thanks again to everyone who participated, particularly to ThePickyGamer for starting this whole thing. All that’s left to do is to admire this beautiful sight: