Reflections on a Year of Writing.

So this is it — my 365th essay on my website. I doubted my ability to write every day for a year. But, it has been a rewarding and difficult experience. I have gained valuable knowledge about writing and developed essential skills and habits.

Over the past 365 days, I have seen a significant improvement in my writing capabilities, having written approximately 500,000 words. This was not an intentional goal, but rather a result of my dedication to honing my craft.

I have come to understand that writing and thinking are intrinsically intertwined; in order to effectively communicate through writing, one must be able to organize and articulate thoughts in a concise and coherent manner.

Writing can be viewed as a way of refining one’s thought process. It can help to make thoughts more concrete and tangible, instead of them being nebulous and existing only in the mind. Writing can serve as a forcing function, allowing one to gain a clearer understanding of their own thoughts – even though it may seem like a strange concept, it is often the case that we do not truly know what we think.

One year ago, I held a pro-nuclear weapons stance. However, after engaging in extensive reading and writing, I underwent a complete shift in opinion. This transformation was only possible due to my dedication to critically analyzing my views and evaluating the evidence and logic behind them.

I have found that regular writing has enabled me to develop an intense desire to explore and gain a thorough understanding of all topics.

Recently, I read a chapter in the book Gemba Kaizen, which detailed the development of manufacturing methods in a mattress factory. Initially, I assumed this would be a dull topic, but I was surprised to find it incredibly engaging. This experience highlighted that many of the lessons learned from process improvements in a mattress factory can be applied to personal and professional life. Just as all living creatures share much of the same DNA, there are many commonalities between all aspects of life.

Everyone can teach you something; nothing is boring if you pay enough attention.

In my early twenties, I often found myself struggling to converse with people and failed to recognize the unique qualities of each individual. This resulted in missed opportunities to develop meaningful relationships and grow as a person.

I felt that everyone was boring, while in reality I was the boring one.

I have developed a habit of taking extensive notes, which range from brief reflections to more detailed musings. I store these notes in a text file on my MacBook, which I use for both short thoughts and essays.

Additionally, I have taken the time to reflect on my writing process this year, which typically involved jotting down bullet points and then writing in one sitting before publishing.

This approach is not suitable for in-depth analysis of complex topics. I began to formulate a systematic writing approach for extended essays, which I have discussed in detail in a separate essay, and will not elaborate on here.

Writing daily has enabled me to build discipline, which has had a positive impact on other areas of my life. Despite this progress, I still struggle with procrastination, a challenge that I have been attempting to overcome for the past two decades. Nevertheless, I have made significant progress this year in reducing this tendency.

I have developed my discipline by forcing myself to write even when I didn’t feel like it. I have come to understand that not being in the mood to write should not impede my progress, as I often find myself quickly enjoying the process once I begin.

I often find myself procrastinating on work-related tasks, resulting in a prolonged period of anxiety. Once I eventually get around to completing the task, I am often surprised by how quickly and easily it is accomplished, leaving me to ponder why I waited so long in the first place.

I will continue to think, to write, to be curious, and I look forward to another year of writing!

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