I didn’t have a solid daily writing practice before doing the Hugo 30/30 Writing Challenge in 2014, but I aspired to have one, and because of Hugo 30/30 I got to experience how it felt to spend thirty minutes writing something, sometime during the day, every day, no matter what.
For me, the writing habit unfolded not in the practice of writing for a particular amount of time at a particular time of day in a particular location, but in the mental habit of prioritizing how I was going to get my writing done that day, given the day’s other constraints. I learned that it was ideal if I could get my thirty minutes in before leaving for work, because it made me a happier person the rest of the day. But I also learned that it was OK to write in the car by headlamp at 11 p.m. in a campground in a rainstorm on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, if that’s what it took to fulfill my commitment for the day.
That daily commitment kept me feeling like a writer all month long. It’s all too easy for me to skip writing in the midst of the other demands of daily life, and it doesn’t take many days of that to make me feel as though I had never written and never would. At least for the month of October, I experienced an unbroken string of days linked by the activity I care about most. It was a powerful experience, one I’m happy to repeat again this year.
Last Year’s Writing
When I started the Hugo 30/30 2014 challenge, I promised my donors that I would post my writing start and end times on Twitter every day—to keep myself accountable and to allow them to follow my progress. In the middle of the month, I went on a two-week road trip from Seattle to the Grand Canyon. I kept up my Hugo 30/30 practice by writing my impressions of my travels in my journal and tweeting excerpts from the road. You can check it out by clicking the graphic below.
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