Writing 500 Essays Without Trying
Writing my 500th essay slipped by without me even noticing. I was in an airport, waiting for my connecting flight. I had roughly two hours and thought it was the perfect time to write on some topics that I thought about that morning in the shower.
This is how essay topics usually come to me - when I’m doing other things. Like showering, talking with clients, or going about my daily life. I seldom sit down and brainstorm potential writing topics. In fact, I’ve written previous essays about my copious amount of essay ideas that I never get to (you can see my essay All the Essays I’ve Thought about Writing… But Didn’t).
I started writing essays regularly as a challenge to myself. I wanted to write 100 essays in 100 days. If you want to know more about this self-challenge, you can see my essay The Unanticipated Benefits of Writing 100 Essays in 100 Days.
I reached my goal of 100 essays and kept on writing. I decided to extend my challenge to writing 360 essays for my 36th year of life. Given I only had six months till my birthday, it meant I needed to write at a voracious pace. And voraciously I did - sometimes writing 2 essays in a day. You can read about that experience in my essay Dearest Little Essay Challenge of Mine.
After I hit 360 essays, I was pretty tired and took a bit of a break. It also coincided with a period of immense travel. I wrote only as I felt like it, which amounted to bursts of enthusiasm where I would write 2-4 essays a day and then drop off for a while. Overall, I wrote about 30 essays a month.
I kept track in my journal of my essay count, but I was no longer working toward any goal. I was just writing because it was a natural part of my life. I enjoyed the process of working through my thoughts. Furthermore, my essays became far more popular over time and it became exciting to share them on Medium.
This is why, 6 months after my birthday and my 360 writing challenge, I unceremoniously hit 500 essays. It doesn’t feel like an accomplishment or a milestone. It just feels like something I am doing. Like a vocation that has sunk its teeth into me.
Many times people on LinkedIn or Medium comment that I write prolifically. I don’t know what the standard for prolific is. I also know that as an autistic individual, neurotypical norms don’t apply very well to me.
Regardless of how I’m seen, I know how I feel. And I shall keep writing.
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