How to have unexpected wins. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could guarantee a way to get unexpected wins?
We can. But we have to be consistent.
No one ever talks about the unexpected wins that come with being consistent.
We’re bombarded with success stories with before and after photos. Months of work condensed down into two images.
Writers like Stephen King struggled to make it for years but this get’s summarised to a paragraph.
In the movie the social network, we don’t see Mark Zuckerberg’s code not compiling. Everything becomes a montage.
It’s hard to get a real view of people being consistent because it’s boring. It doesn’t sell tickets.
I’ve been a mediocre writer for six years
I’ve been writing for around six years now with a mixture of freelance work, funny travel pieces, and blog posts.
In that time, I’ve never been serious about it. I wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t want to write.
I did one year of an English degree (because my girlfriend at the time was a straight up babe) before switching to Software Engineering when I realised how stupid I was being.
I’ve got paid for my writing a few times. As a writer for a dyslexic barber, a ghostwriter for a 100 page ebook and other random pieces on Upwork.
My dissertation was a monster in a university, but no one will ever read it.
Over the last seven months I wrote 500 pages of a book on consistency but decided I need more life experience before I can finish it.
I need to test my ideas on the battlefield, and I need to focus on my startup Streakoid.
I am a hobby writer nothing more. I’ve never tried to improve until now. I’m trying to get better at.
My aim is to see if writing each day for a fixed amount of time (45 minutes) and releasing something in that time can lead to massive results.
Instead of having gaps of months between my writing, what happens if I release one blog post every day?
43 blog posts in
Well, its day 43 of my experiment, which means I’m 43 blog posts deep. A few things have happened. My writing is improving. I think. But that’s not what has surprised me.
What surprised me is that because I keep showing up no matter how I feel I keep getting unexpected wins that I’ve never had before.
These wins come out of nowhere. The cost seems to be you have to show up each day.
The first win was when the editor of Better programming reached out on one of my articles to post it through their Medium publication.
This was weird. Because just a few days before I was reading their sister publication Better Humans and thought “how cool would it be if I could get into that.” Thinking to myself “in two months I’ll try”.
I read their style guide, and it blew my mind I was like these people are the real deal.
Better Programming accepted and published the article.
Better programming publishing my posts
I looked at my stats.
Was this just because of a publication? Then I looked them up, and they are big in the programming space.
I was like well I have a bunch of other posts that I’ve built up over the last 43 days of writing related to programming so I might as well submit them.
I submitted through their Google form and went to sleep.
That was yesterday.
Today I woke up and the editor said I can just publish through Medium and if they like it they’ll accept it.
So I published four. They accepted three of the four.
Another unexpected win. Which has just shot my readership up.
I’ve gone from no one reading my medium to four published articles in two day.
Past me is in shock
Now my readership level isn’t massive compared to others. But this isn’t about others. We know that successful writers exist.
But compared to past me I’m smashing it. That guy is crying in a corner.
My secret – I just keep posting. No matter what.
In the past I quit writing because I forget about it, schoolwork got in the way or I didn’t get enough views.
Throughout this streak there have been many things I’ve written that no one has read. Many posts on LinkedIn that don’t get a single like. But I kept going. I didn’t let other people’s reactions determine if I should keep going.
I have a simple rule. One blog post no matter what, when it’s done track it on Streakoid.
For the last 43 days I haven’t got many views.
If I was to stop on the 42nd day I would have told myself blogging is a joke it only works for famous authors. But here I am laughing at my past self.
Get your ticket for the lottery
Every time we show up to do our daily activities, we get given a lottery ticket. We don’t know what the lottery’s for. The lottery might not even start for a long time. But you get your ticket.
Some day you get a call from an unknown person who will tell you you’ve won something you didn’t even know existed.
Just before I started typing this I wanted to stare at awe of my Medium stats when I noticed I had another notification.
Medium curators selected my article for startups and programming.
This is something I thought would take months to happen. Nope. It’s already happened.
Here I am. No tactics or tricks I just keep showing up and letting the opportunities roll in.
I’ve written in these posts how I need an editor. The problem is, I can’t afford an editor. But I never realised that these publications provide copy editing if you publish through them. So just from showing up, I now have a way to get my work edited for free.
Problems are being solved without me trying to fix anything.
The small wins just keep coming.
After these consecutive small wins, it might be weeks or months until the next batch. But that doesn’t matter. Because they are nice additions.
The only aim is to show up. If I show up and write a blog post, I’ve won. Everything else is a bonus.
I trust in the process even if it doesn’t seem like it’s working. Many times it feels like I’m going nowhere.
I will keep up my writing streak on Streakoid and look forward to the next round of small wins.
** UPDATE FROM YESTERDAY **
I had two more posts chosen by Medium so my stats now look like this. Unexpected wins came much quicker than expected.