Video: 100 Things Learned from 365 Days of Writing

Here’s a video that we put together based on our experience of writing every day for a year, and based off our post 100 Things Learned from 365 Days of Writing.

 

100 Things Learned from 365 Days of Writing

Writing Every Day

Last year was our year of 365 days of writing prompts. By writing every day we learned about the craft, reaching goals, and ourselves. We highly recommend the experience to anyone, but in case you don’t feel like taking on the challenge we thought we would share the top 100 things we gained from the year:

  1. When writing everyday is a given, it becomes a priority. If you want it to be a high priority, make it a given.
  2. Promises documented publicly are easier to keep. Try it, you’ll see.
  3. When every day matters there is intention given to each 1,440 minutes you get.
  4. Sometimes you’ll be surprised by what you can create by just getting words on the page.
  5. Other times when you feel like garbage, you’ll write garbage.
  6. You won’t know what you’re capable of until you try.
  7. Write outside of your genre, because who said you’ve actually found it? You might surprise yourself.
  8. Just because it’s not what you typically write, doesn’t mean it won’t help you grow.
  9. Answer questions you don’t know the answers to, halfway through babbling you might find them.
  10. The days not technically over until midnight, even one-word down is something Cinderella.
  11. Some days and weeks and months are easier, but it’s always possible.
  12. There is a fine balance between quality and quantity, create now and question which one you found after a night’s sleep.
  13. Sometimes all it takes is a sentence to spark a corner of your mind you didn’t know was there.
  14. Celebrate small victories, you earned them.
  15. People and life get in the way, don’t let them be dead ends, there is a detour somewhere.
  16. Writing is fun.
  17. Writing sucks.
  18. Writing is a way to understand.
  19. Don’t forget that writing gives back. Start and it can soothe you.
  20. When you add up a bunch of little days you get one massive product. Don’t forget the importance of the bottom block of your tower.
  21. Don’t waste your precious time with excuses. You can overcome them all.
  22. One day you’ll reach at least a portion of your goal and that day will be euphoric. The harder you work the better it will feel.
  23. When you love what you’re doing there is no way to fail.
  24. The light at the end of the tunnel may not be visible for 100 or 256 or 402 days. Trust it is there. If you do, there is a good chance you’ll see it.
  25. No fun, or sleep, or leaving the house if need be… until you do what your heart is telling you to do.
  26. The beach, airport, waiting room, what have you… are great places to write. Pen and paper is all you need, or a phone, or a computer. You have access to something. Writers are creative.
  27. Share your goals with those closest to you. Even if you can let yourself down, you don’t want to let them down.
  28. Don’t open Netflix or Hulu in the middle of trying to do something.
  29. The best way to get in the writing mood is to read.
  30. Appreciate milestones, they mean you’re closer.
  31. Small goals are obtainable. They make the ultimate result possible.
  32. Drink some caffeine and just do it. You’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
  33. At some point it gets easier, because it becomes a part of who you are and what you do.
  34. Everyone’s journey is unique and beautiful. Find yours.
  35. You will fail, because you are human, and that is okay.
  36. Be thankful for what and who you have on your journey. They make it easier at times, and that is a blessing.
  37. Don’t forget how much you want it. If you don’t anymore, find something you do want.
  38. Sometimes write and forget about editing.
  39. When you lose sight of what made you fall in love with what you are doing, revisit the roots of your passion.
  40. If you do everything you can there is no chance for regret.
  41. People will doubt you.
  42. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
  43. I guarantee there is someone in the world who has been waiting for what you have to say, don’t let that person down. They have great taste that only you can satisfy.
  44. Take a second to look back every now and then. Appreciate how much you have grown.
  45. Tackling something that scares you is exhilarating.
  46. Resilience and persistence are beautiful traits. Practice them.
  47. Believe, because even if it doesn’t get you where you planned on going, it will get you somewhere. It’s the mystery that’s exciting.
  48. Hard work is underrated.
  49. Let yourself shine through. It’s the only unique thing you have to offer this world.
  50. Sometimes the idea is the harder half of the battle, and writing is the easy part.
  51. To write a list like this you should write one each day, not bust them all out in a few sittings.
  52. When you are in a lull, start a project.
  53. Productive distractions are the best kind.
  54. Some people don’t have the courage or willingness to try. Don’t be one of those people.
  55. Save documents in multiple places.
  56. A lot changes in a year.
  57. You need to want it for yourself, because you are the only guaranteed constant in your lifetime.
  58. Don’t write lying down when you are tired.
  59. Look at the same story from a different angle and it will transform into a different story.
  60. Plan ahead for long nights.
  61. Sharing on social media can be the hardest part.
  62. There are seconds in everyday that are underutilized.
  63. Don’t stress about if it’s perfect, just getting it down on paper is enough sometimes.
  64. Writing every day gives you confidence in your writing, you spend less time being hesitant.
  65. Don’t Stop. It’s not an option, unless you make it one.
  66. Decide what you want to hold yourself accountable for.
  67. Don’t believe the lies. You’re a writer, if you write.
  68. It’s best to not procrastinate.
  69. Even if things go wrong like you’re computer is down, you lose power, or you don’t have a Wifi connection don’t let that stop you. Make it work.
  70. Nothing can overpower something you really want to accomplish.
  71. Don’t measure your success with anything that is out of your control. Example: Don’t have a goal to get published, have a goal to send your query to a certain amount of agents and try really hard.
  72. Never give up. Know the difference between changing course and giving up completely.
  73. If you’re going to write at your computer for hours into the night, take out your contact lenses. It’s not worth the trip to the eye doctor.
  74. Set the mood (Comfy spot, music, proper lighting, writing equipment, and being alone).
  75. Writing is a solitary activity. Sometimes you might have to reject plans to do what’s best for you.
  76. If you have someone holding you accountable, they will keep you in check.
  77. Come to think of it, a reminder on your phone might not be a bad idea.
  78. Writing is not like a haircut, it’s like weight loss. You can’t see the slow progress, but someone who hasn’t seen you for six months totally can.
  79. Lack of recognition DOES NOT take away from all you have accomplished.
  80. Just because no one is interested today, doesn’t mean no one will be there tomorrow.
  81. Sometimes all it takes is one person to recognize your potential.
  82. Sometimes that person is you.
  83. What people like to read is down to preference. Not one single person can tell you there is no value to what you created.
  84. Don’t be afraid to invite others in. Never take those special people for granted. Every comment, like, follow, and view is appreciated.
  85. Look for writing tools, websites, and apps to help you out if you need the extra push.
  86. Writing everyday makes editing easier.
  87. Switch up how you develop a story and see what you end up creating. For example, instead of starting with the plot, start with the title.
  88. Experiment with different point-of-views. It may help you find a unique voice.
  89. Things that seem like you’re doing them for practice and just for fun could lead their way into full novels.
  90. It’s always good to practice the element of surprise in your writing.
  91. Don’t be afraid to share what you are working on. It’s something to be proud of.
  92. There are no limits to creativity. You can always come up with something new to write about. It’s surprisingly easy.
  93. Every idea has been done, but it’s your interpretation that makes it unique.
  94. Spending time writing something random everyday gives you confidence in bigger projects. If you can do this, imagine what you can do with a novel.
  95. Your comfort zone is only as small as you allow it to be.
  96. Don’t let writer’s block paralyze you. There are plenty of resources out there that can get your wheels turning.
  97. When you write every day, you don’t have the option of writer’s block. You’ve just have to do it.
  98. You learn what you are capable of.
  99. You might not feel like writing until you are writing.
  100. If we can do it, you can do it. We’re not that great.

Thanks to everyone who has joined in on the journey and/or was supportive to us along the way. It was a great year and we’re looking forward to another one full of writing and adventures!

Writing Prompt: Day 211

Copy of 211 (1)Day 211 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a spy’s perspective.

Erin: When I found out that my assignment was to spy on my clients spouse I could feel my eyes wanting to roll all the way to the back of my head. When I got to school pickups though I felt her concern being solidified. One of the other child’s mothers got into her husband’s car. For a split second my heart thought she looked like or was my wife. I knew my kid didn’t go there and it was illogical, so within a minute I was assured. The second of rage stayed though and I was set on making things right for this guy’s wife.

Shannon: Whenever I’m sent out on one of these assignments I always try to detach. I pretend like I’m watching a movie, and not a real person, but sometimes it’s hard to look past the truth. When you spy on someone they’re not putting on some fake face they show the rest of the world. They don’t see your eyes, so they let their guard down, and you don’t just see what they’re doing wrong. You see every piece of their life from their pain to their kindest moments. After watching people for as long as I have, you’d think I’d be discouraged by all the bad things people do. Instead I’ve learned that it’s not that simple. No one is all good, or all bad. They’re complicated. They have their own motivations for everything they do, and you realize everyone is really just a person trying to get by.

What is your spy figuring out?

Writing Prompt: Day 209

209.jpgDay 209 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about hate at first sight.

Erin: “The only thing that could make you prettier is a smile,” the slim ball at the corner by my work called out to me.

“I can think of a whole bunch of things that could make you more pleasant,” I spat back.

“Care to elaborate,” he asked with what seemed like an almost cocky smile.

“No, I don’t care to speak to you for even a second longer,” I rushed across the street knowing I hated him already.

Shannon: “This isn’t going to work,” I shook my head, and retreated away from the dumb look on his face.

“What’s not going to work,” he followed, unable to comprehend that he was the one I was running from.

“Us,” I circled my finger. “I can already tell I don’t like you.”

His brow furrowed. “You just met me.”

“I know. I have a good intuition about people, and I already know you’re no good. Find someone else to help you,” I shooed him away.

He huffed, and stood there speechless for a few seconds. “You’re wrong,” he finally argued.

“Am I?” I gave him one last chance to realize the truth.

Dose your character believe in hate at first sight?

Writing Prompt: Day 207

207.jpgDay 207 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with the line, “This gives the ‘you are what you eat phrase a whole new meaning.”

Erin: “This gives the ‘you are what you eat’ phrase a whole new meaning,” my friend chuckled.

I just rolled my eyes and turned my body away.

“How does it feel to be a cannibal,” he just continued to chuckle.

“How does it feel to be an idiot,” I re-adjusted my work costume and grabbed the giant advertising sign.

“Shut-up and eat your pizza, Pizza Slice.”

Shannon: “This gives the you are what you eat phrase a whole new meaning,” my friend joked, happy to see her experiment working.

“What,” I scowled, with no control over my own facial muscles, “Are you saying I’m salty?” I felt a burning feeling throughout my body.

“Exactly, and if you eat this,” she handed me a cupcake. “You should be sweet.”

What is your character eating?

Writing Prompt: Day 205

205.jpgDay 205 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a passionate, but unpopular artist.

Erin: People always looked at me a certain way when I would show them my work. I could see their judgements: I was wasting my time, no one would ever pay me, and I should focus on my “real” job. That didn’t stop me though. My art was for the love of it, not for any other gain. I bleed onto my canvases, sharing my view of the world was my only goal and that is what I was doing.

Shannon: “Why do you always have to get so upset when people don’t understand your pieces? I know you think you’re this creative genius, but welcome to the world. People are allowed to have their opinions. Everybody gets criticized, you’re not the exception,” I blew up after he punched a hole through days of hard work.

“I know,” he snapped the wood panels over his leg a few times. “I know,” he repeated, throwing it to the ground. I’d never seen him this upset as he stopped down again and again until I forced him to stop. “I just want one person to get it,” he pleaded, begging me with his eyes.

“I get it,” I reminded him.

He shook his head, “No, I want someone who doesn’t know me. A person who doesn’t have a reason to get it,” he looked down. “Maybe it’s time to move on,” he shrugged and I saw the pain on his face right before he stormed off.

“What about your work,” I called after him. When he didn’t turn around, I took it upon myself to clean up. That’s when something strange happened. I picked up the canvas he destroyed, expecting the worse, but I saw the exact opposite. He had to see this.

Create a character that is creating something of their own.

Writing Prompt: Day 203

203.jpgDay 203 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character going somewhere late at night.

Erin: For my eighteenth birthday, my dad opened our water park up after dark. It was my favorite place and my favorite time. Going down the slides with only the stars and moon lighting the sky was a completely different experience. Water and darkness were my two biggest calming sources. Putting them together was the perfect present and a night I would never forget.

Shannon: Being outside late at night always puts me on edge. My senses heighten and I notice every sound, every movement, and it feels likes I’m in the wrong place. I’m my only defense and I’m not enough, not for all that’s awake at this time of night. Still I went to the woods. I wanted to be scared. I wanted to feel something else, and when you’re terrified that’s all you feel.

What is your character doing at that hour of the night?