Day 294. Frequency Works

Just last week I wrote about the challenge I gave myself about ten months ago. Specifically, starting a blog, this one in fact, where I would write something new calendarflippingeveryday, for a year. At the time I had no purpose other than to see if I could do it. If I’d stick with it. If I’d be able to come up with an idea to write about each day.

Thinking about it now, I’m not sure why I thought daily writing was a challenge I needed. I’ve spent my entire career in the advertising industry. Where I wrote copy every day. Not that I do now that I freelance, though.

Even if I did, this (blog), of course, is somewhat different. It’s not copy I’m writing here. There are no clients involved. I’m not selling any products or services. But what’s really different is, with the blog I’m not writing in

a particular brand’s voice, like copywriters must do. I’m writing in my own voice. A very different kettle of fish.

What’s more, I’m not being ‘briefed’ the way agency creatives are. I just have to wake up every morning, turn my computer on, and write. About whatever pops into my head.

It’s not always easy. Sometimes the head is empty.

Don’t worry. I’m not about to rehash a story I’ve already told. I’m only bringing it up because of an interesting piece, “The Pace of Productivity and How to Master Your Creative Routine” in yesterday’s “Brain Pickings”. Written by Maria Popova, it’s about a new book I am definitely going to buy: “Manage Your Day-To-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus & Sharpen Your Creative Mind”.

Her article begins with the following quote, from Gretchen Rubin: “When you work regularly, inspiration strikes regularly.”

Speaking from my relatively new found experience authoring a daily blog, I have to agree.

Ideas come much more rapidly now. And much more easily. I feel my writing has improved. It’s less forced. Smoother. More natural. More conversational. I have settled into my voice. I’m comfortable with it. I’m satisfied with it. I like it. It feels, and sounds, like the ‘me’ I know.

None of which had occurred to me when I decided to start this blog. It never entered my head. Which, now I’ve read her article, seems very strange to me. You’d think I would have figured it out. It makes so much sense.

Anything you do regularly will improve the way you do it. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument, exercising, riding a bike, driving a car, cooking, sewing, you name it. Practice makes perfect.


Aristotle said “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence , then, is not an act, but a habit.”

So I should have known a daily blog would have a positive effect on my writing. But in all honesty while I’ve been somewhat aware of the changes in my writing and my writing style, it really only hit me yesterday, when I read Maria Popova’s article. The book she’s reviewing is edited by Behance’s 99U editor-in-chief Jocelyn Glei and “features contributions from twenty of today’s most celebrated thinkers and doers”.

One of the quotes that really resonated with me is from Seth Godin: “The notion that I do my work here, now, like this, even when I do not feel like it, and especially when I do not feel like it, is very important. Because lots and lots of people are creative when they feel like it, but you are only going to become professional if you do it when when you don’t feel like it. And that emotional waiver is why this is your work and not your hobby.”

Whether I was in the mood or not, I showed up each day at whichever ad agency I happened to be working for at the time, ready to get briefed and write copy. Without knowing it, without fully understanding why I was doing it, it turns out to be exactly what I’m doing here, with three hundred sixty five. And what I’m discovering is, the benefits, for a writer, are many.

16 thoughts on “Day 294. Frequency Works

  1. Frequency definitely works. Although I do not post daily, I can relate to and agree with every point you made above about regularity. Blogging has been one of the best things I’ve done for my writing. Thanks for the inspirational post – again!

    • Thank you. I think the key is ‘regular’. Daily writing isn’t possible for everyone. But being committed to writing regularly does make all the difference in the world.

  2. Aaaah, Brain Pickings excellent site!! Maria Popova, such an example of dedication! Gretchen Rubin, love her books šŸ™‚ i saw this book somewhere and I’m sure I pinned it… I had never given writing much consideration until I was alone with my thoughts and they were multiplying in my head like rabbits, whew, I needed to free up some space in there so my sister-friend recommended blogging, it turned out to be a god-sent… I learned that term “voice” reading about others’ writing, I looked for mine and, I am happy to report, I also found something I liked, finding out more of myself meanwhile… I can see how you had not really identified your own voice in all the writing you had done until now… Blogging is good šŸ™‚ read you soon, Alexandra

    • I love Brain Pickings. Always interesting reading. I also love discovering things about myself. Writing does that. Glad you’re blogging. I enjoy reading what you have to say.

  3. I always wanted to write but wasn’t encouraged as a child (education was soooo different then — nurse, schoolteacher, secretary — take your pick!). Eventually I ended up writing business policies and guidelines and “thou shalt not” memos. I wasn’t sure I would have enough inspiration when I started my blog but you are so right. Some days I am brimming with ideas and I don’t have headspace for anything else. Something that helped me tremendously was my years as a toastmaster. Impromptu speaking sure helps with impromptu writing! I love your posts, especially when you get all fired up about something! I hope you don’t give up after 365 days!

    • Thank you! But you have never given up on your writing dream because here you are! And I, for one, am very happy you are. As for me, I have no intention of stopping at Day 365. As Arnie famously said, “I’ll be back”.

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