Day 0: An Essay a Day

Last month Alex Charchar set himself a task of writing a short essay every day for 31 days (read them here), a method of improving work habits that Steven Pressfield wrote about in The War of Art and Turning Pro. The idea is to transition from an amateur to a professional by turning your passion into routine, into real work that you do on a set time every day. Inspired by Alex’s project I’m going to do the same here on this blog.

The Rules

No rules other than that I’m going to post a short essay every day for the rest of August. I’m not going to set word limits because that will either constrain the essay or needlessly inflate it. As Nietzsche put it, “Even the most honest writer lets slip a word too many when he wants to round off a period.”

The Purpose

The point of this is simple: force me to write as a routine, and by write I mean the whole process of delegating time to think and read and research as well. I don’t have to announce this, I can just do it, but posting this out here knowing that even if only a single person is reading it commits me to the task.

Posting things regularly and forcing an essay is not a formula for good writing, but that doesn’t matter because the writings I will post here are not the point, what matters it the routine they help build, the routine of setting aside an hour or so every day just for writing, come of it what may. The purpose is to develop a habit that will allow me to produce more work, work from which the good can be selected and the bad discarded. If it’s all bad, then all can be discarded, but nothing can be discarded from nothing.

Follow along

If you’d like to follow my experiment, sign up for RSS or Email updates if you haven’t already. You can also follow me on Twitter at @dfadeyev, where I will be posting all blog updates. Special thanks to Alex Charchar (@retinart) for the inspiration to do this.

August 2012