Are You Just Following the Crowd?

Nanowrimo. 750Words. Healthmonth. Create every day. #reverb10.

Do these sound familiar? Maybe you even participated in one. Or three. But did you really want to, or did you just feel obligated? And was the experience what you expected it would be?

Projects like these have been floating around the internet lately – all designed to get us in the habit of doing a particular thing every day. There are badges, prizes and walls of shame. Form a sense of community with like-minded people to work toward a goal. Great idea, right? Well, maybe.

I admit I was tempted.

Some of it looked fun. And of course there’s the chance to be a part of something, to be part of the club, to get in on something that sounded pretty cool. But then I saw more and more of these do-something-every-day clubs popping up, and all of a sudden It didn’t seem so cool anymore.

Then I started noticing all the tweets and Facebook posts from people who were stressed to the max about having too much to do. About not keeping up with their writing. About missing a creative day. About blowing it, or spacing out, or whatever. About not being good enough.

Then it hit me.

Really? You’re a failure because you didn’t write 750 words today? Seriously? Who needs that kind of pressure? And how are you actually going to get anything else done if you’re spending all your energy stressing out about these contests?

Now don’t get me wrong – I have the utmost respect for those with the time and discipline to do things like this. I can see how Nanowrimo would be helpful for an aspiring novelist, but since I’m not, it wasn’t at the top of my priority list. 750words showed promise because I could use it to get my writing flowing more easily, but it was still time and energy spent away from work that actually pays the bills (I particularly like the honesty of this participant, by the way). And #reverb10 looked fun but I think by the time I found it I was too sick of “daily things” to even consider it.

We need a different kind of project.

I think there should be a “get shit done every day” month. A month where we make a point to get one Most Important Thing (MIT) done every day. That might be writing an article, working for one hour on your Next Big Thing, walking for 20 minutes, recording your expenses for the week, etc. And on some days, your MIT might be just getting out of bed. And that’s ok. It’s still important.

So I hereby designate the month of January as “get shit done every day” month. Feel free to join in if this is your thing. You will be required to get one MIT done every day. Keeping track is up to you, but you’re welcome to comment here or drop me a note if you need some accountability. There are no days off, no badges (unless I change my mind and create a few), no awards, and no wall of shame. Just the satisfaction that yes, you’re getting shit done and making progress toward your goals. We will use the Twitter hashtag #gsded freely and we won’t care if no one understands it.

So thanks for reading, and here’s to a super productive January! 🙂