A year of writing

· 3 min read
A year of writing

Writing is hard. I’ve never been great at it and I’ve never particularly enjoyed doing it.

But, especially now as a founder, there’s a nagging voice (deep, deep down) that I need to write. Being able to articulate thoughts in a concise, easy to understand way is a practiced skill. The only way I’m going to get better at it is by doing it.

In 2018, between both Andrew and I, we wrote 8 blog posts.

I'm ashamed

I need to put that embarrassing number out there so I can make sure that doesn’t happen this year.

Here are some things I’m doing to be a better writer this year. If you’re a founder also struggling to create content, maybe this will help you too!

Set a reasonable goal

I didn’t set writing goals last year. No wonder I barely did any writing!

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

– Wayne Gretzky

The goal I’m setting this year is to write every day. Every (work) day that I don’t write is a day I should be disappointed in myself.

But going from barely writing to writing every day is a huge step. It feels impossible.

So it’s important that you set a goal that feels difficult but within reach.

To make it more defined and reasonable, this is my revised goal:
I am going to write at least 200 words every work day.

Framing it this way makes it feel achievable which will help me stay motivated.

Stop making excuses

Excuses were a big blocker for me. The moment I thought about writing something, I’d also think:

  • It takes me forever to write something good
  • I don’t know what to write about
  • Is this relevant to our target audience?
  • Is this the most important thing for me to be doing?
  • I think Andrew needs my help with something

The most challenging part for me is to stop overthinking things.

Who cares if it’s not my best writing?
Who cares if it’s not a super interesting topic?
Who cares if our target audience won’t read it?

These things, while important to think about, stand in the way of my goal.

No more excuses!

Of course, there will always be something else I can do instead of write. So I need to put my foot down and say that writing is a priority.

I’ve joined the 200 Words a Day community to keep me accountable. You can see if I’m sticking to my goal on my profile.

200 Words a Day

I’ve also set 200 Words a Day as my new tab screen so I don’t forget to write.

Remove distractions

When you’re in the zone, do what it takes to stay there! Distractions are not allowed in the zone.

Literally, as I’m writing this, Andrew’s pinging me with questions:

Distracting messages

All important things, I’m sure. But not as important as staying in the zone right now.

I just full-screened my Dropbox Paper tab. Sorry Andrew!

Other things that help me get into the zone:

  • Noise-canceling headphones + a good, instrumental playlist.
  • I used to start writing in Hemingway so I could edit as I go. Instead, I’m writing now and editing later.
  • Getting out of the house. I looove being in pajamas but I’m not productive at home. Find the space that works for you.

Here we go

Simple as that. Set a goal, and set yourself up for success.

If all goes well, at this time next year, I should have written at least over 50,000 words. Expect to hear from me more this year.

Sarah Hum

Hey there, I'm one of the co-founders of Canny. As a founder, I dabble in pretty much everything but my expertise is in product design. Outside work, I enjoy digital illustration, a cappella, and hanging out with our dog, Emmy.

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