Photo: WBUR

I know that when I saw the SixTAY Days of Writing Challenge from ThePickyGamer, I chuckled to myself. “Two months of writing daily articles? That sounds excruciating.” At the time, my turnout for pieces was roughly one every two weeks, so having something written everyday for such an extended period of time seemed like a fool’s errand. Then I thought to myself, “Hey, this sounds like a marathon, the original fool’s errand. Maybe I should give it a try.”

At the moment, I’m several weeks into training for my second marathon, and I can tell you from personal experience that these races, both running and writing, are hard for the average person. They are hard, but they are doable. Heck, people make a living writing about this kind of stuff (*cough* Kotaku *cough* io9 *cough* occasionally Deadspin *cough*). In the end, it’s about pacing yourself, finding your groove, and knowing your limits.

For initial pacing work, check your schedule for periods of time to write. I know what you’re probably saying after reading that: “Duh, Sherlock.” Obviously, you need time to sit down and make an article, but perhaps you have enough time to write two? Three? If you do that, you’ll be able to schedule stories in advance and be published on days you know that you’ll have no free time. Plus, this gives you a rest day to recuperate and recharge for the next push.

To find your groove, find the topics you love and write the heck out of them. You love Doctor Who? Talk about how the companions should be allowed to die. You love tabletop games? Talk about the campaign your currently playing. You love Fallout? You and I can have a friendly back and forth about the series as it is kinda my thing. It doesn’t matter if you about the same topic again and again, as long as you bring a new perspective to it. I’m planning on having at least a week on Fallout, so brace yourselves for that. All you need to do is find what interests you, and the words will start to flow out.

Last, but not least, know your limits. If you are starting to feel the mental burn from the challenge, then stop and take a breather. In my first marathon, I was about a tenth of a mile from the 21st mile marker, and my hips were killing me. At that point, I hit the wall, and I hit it hard. I knew that I had to slow down, and while I didn’t get the time I wanted, I finished, with a respectable time for my first time, no less. If you know that you can’t make an article in time for one day or week, that’s ok! It’s not as if there’s a cash prize for everyone who fully completes it. It’s a challenge for yourself, to show yourself that you can do something you may have initially thought was impossible for you. Or at the very least, it’s a way to show your gumption. Now go forth, and write like a champ!