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 231

231.jpgDay 231 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Drop your character in a portal to a mystery location.

Shannon: Everything on the other side of the portal was so vibrant and breathtaking. And that was before I realized most of it was alive. The colorful leaves on the trees were actually butterflies that fluttered off the bare branches as we walked past. They filled the sky like a cloud above our heads and then they settled back on the tree. Turns out after you see one strange thing move, you start to notice everything else that’s moving too.

Erin: The fall was dark and long. At the end though there was light, almost blinding. When I could see however the beauty nearly brought me to tears.

Take your character places.

Writing Prompt: Day 227

227.jpgDay 227 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Give your character a chance to be young again.

Shannon: “So what are you saying, it’s like some kind of summer camp for adults?” I shrugged a shoulder.

“Basically, but instead the summer is all about team bonding. That’s all you guys have to worry about, just have fun and get to know each other again. None of you are allowed to quit until you finish this program. It’s in your contracts,” our manager Kim, explained, revealing more information about our real destination.

“It’s not going to work,” Elise shook her head and stared out the window, “Why do we have to drag this out?”

I pressed my lips to the side for a second, not knowing myself if this could solve anything, but then we pulled up to a sign and I heard the shock in the other three before I felt it myself.

“Camp Borrelli,” Jade whispered under her breath. It was the same camp where we had first met as kids.

“So will you give it a chance,” Kim smirked, already knowing eveyone’s answer.

Erin: Waking up in tiny bed under the roof of parents is an unsettling feeling. Not just because when I went to bed I was thirty and woke up thirteen, but because it seems wrong. Waking up to my mom slaving over the stove to make me pancakes was wrong. Saturday morning cartoons instead of the news was wrong. No alarm was wrong. Being taken care of instead of taking care of everything was wrong.

Or was it? Maybe this magical week or, day, or whatever it was could be a blessing in disguise. I decided I would cherish it.

Give your character more youth.

Writing Prompt: Day 225

225.pngDay 225 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: What is your character’s favorite season?

Shannon: I love the summer. There’s nothing better than realizing you no longer have to snuggle into a warm jacket. Then when your skin is exposed, the world becomes your own personal heater. Plus the water warm up too, and you can swim, another one of the many perks of summer life.

Erin: I’m one of those weird people who loves winter more than any other season. The beauty of a city blanketed in white, glistening powder makes up for the life-threatening driving situation. My warm morning drinks tasted so much more satisfying. If I could spend my life wrapped in sweaters and blankets I would. I can’t get enough ice-skating and skiing. To me it truly is a wonderland that time of year.

What time of year does your character love most?

Writing Prompt: Day 223

223.jpgDay 223 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Other than wisdom, what comes with age?

Shannon: As I’ve gotten older I’ve grown a better understanding of the people around me. There are so many different types of people in this world from my friends to my family, and they all take on life in different ways. Their differences and similarities never cease to amaze me. Though I’ve gained understanding, I’m still learning from each path I cross.

Erin: I’m looking forward to getting older. Sure, there are down sides like wrinkles and increased health issues. There are also fun things too though. With age comes less concern for what others think, retirement, freedom, and more experience to tackle life with on top of it.

What do the years bring?