What Kind of Progress?
The simplest advice often seems the most novel when you really internalize it for the ﬁrst time. Everybody knows that the more you practice something, the better you get. But for every college student, the concept of “do something every day and you’ll be good at it” ends up seeming like earth-shattering brilliance. So far in 2020, I’ve been quite disciplined about writing every day, even if it’s only a page. And I’ve been seeing results. Every day the writing gets a little easier, a little better. But any creative progress I’ve made has been offset by some of the personal self-discovery I’ve been covering on here. The realization that the opinions I used to hold with such certainty might not be true gave me cause to revisit my “write every day” lifestyle.
I’m not saying the advice is wrong, per se, because it isn’t. I was deﬁnitely making progress, but what kind of progress was it? What’s the beneﬁt of developing a writing style that serves a naive viewpoint you’re trying to outgrow? It’s like being a tree that’s growing on a diagonal and will never reach the sky. Even though it gets bigger every day, it’s still getting farther and farther away from where it wants to be. So I took a break. I haven’t written anything creative for over ten days, and I’m not sure when I’ll start again. I have to wait until I’m in a place where I know I’ll be proud of what I do.
I feel like a hypocrite, because I’m 90% certain that I’ve written a Daily Fuel called “do it every day.” But any self-respecting adult should have learned a long time ago that there are better places to get actual advice than this blog. So no, you don’t have to do it EVERY day. Most days, sure, but you don’t want to make negative progress. Sometimes the best thing you can do is stop the bleeding.