Reading Time: 6 minutes
So I’ve not done an official word count check yet but I started this journey on December the 5th – but this was the status update that I wrote.
I quickly checked the last 6 blog posts I’ve written and here is the word count:
#35 – 1400
#36 – 1800
#37 – 1300
#38 – 1180
#39 – 1350
#40 – 1270
The average across all of those is 1383 – which when multiplied by 40 is 55k words.
Assuming I’ve slowly started writing more as I’ve moved along I’ve used the number 50k just to be safe
I’m pleasantly surprised to have realised that I’ve written 50,000 words in 30 calendar days.
Outside this, I’m still running my agency, in the process of launching multiple apps, I’ve signed a deal with Pitchground to launch Word Pigeon, hired a new intern and am potentially embarking on a brand-new adventure with entrepreneur and investor Eric Watson
Now writing these 50,000 words wasn’t planned.
Before posting that status update on the 6th of December I had no idea that I’d be writing this so there was no planning or anything of that sort.
My writing process has, in fact, totally evolved over the period. I’ve just had a new idea that I think is going to drive a big shift in me from today!
I’ll wake up at 430am, as usual, each morning – but then by 5:30 am, my mobile phone HAS to be switched off until 930am – a total of 4 hours.
In that one hour, I’ll have the opportunity to do what I want but beyond that, I’ll have a 4-hour period dedicated to creativity, learning and development without the phone as a distraction.
I tried it today for the first time and it’s been difficult but the clarity of thought that I get is incredible, so I’m going to stick with it for a 30-day period and see where I end up – hopefully with this as a permanent habit.
So here’s my process:
I had the idea on the 5th of December and to make sure I committed to it I immediately posted it on Facebook and brainstormed some ideas as to the things I could write about.
Immediately when the post went up and I got 68 comments, 1 share on Facebook – which cemented the reality that I need to get this done.
In parallel with that as I have my 430am starts, I’ve typically reserved ‘pre-work activities’ to be things like this.
The idea was that I’d write 1,000 words a day about one thing and do this seven days a week.
Ultimately – I took some days off but as moments of inspiration occur like today – I’m now writing my third day in one morning of multiple sittings
During those days off I focused on getting a quick landing page built in Leadpages – here’s the ‘first’ iteration:
This page went up on day 3 or 4 and then I iterated and improved upon it by around day 10.
It wasn’t until day 35 when my designer Madalena came back from holidays that she was able to improve it further still.
Here’s version 2 (and the current version):
https://deepakshukla.lpages.co/52k-words/ (a significant improvement)
Whilst you’re reading this in your email inbox I needed, of course, to get it into a letter provider – so I connected Leadpages to Send In Blue via Zapier and then set up a list there.
It was at this stage that between writing this in Google Docs and then needing to get it into Send In Blue – I managed to put up the first 5 or 6 ourselves.
But – I found getting my own images, formatting and putting it all together very time-consuming – so then I passed several things onto Lydia
Once per day she checks for general grammar issues, adds images, and builds the whole thing out so it’s fit for scan reading (i.e making use of bolds, italics and underlines)
Every day she’s also messaging 10-20 people within my Facebook network with a link to my landing page (sorry if you got spammed haha)
Outside of this, she’ll also link the landing page to anyone who likes a status update of mine on social media.
My VA Khizzer is following a similar process with the inbound connection requests I get on LinkedIn (which run at around 50 a week)
In this way, I’m passively signing up people to my letter 🙂
Later on during the process, I also recruited the services of my head of internal content Mel – her remit is to read them and correct the grammar further still as well as tidy up the content where it’s needed without distorting my ‘voice’.
Once this is all finished I’ll then sweep back through all of them and make improvements to every post by fact, narrative, evidence and anything else ‘checking’ to make the whole thing really solid.
The process of writing is generally pretty rapid.
I started today at 530am and it’s been an exceptional day given I’ve written two days already (that’ll be number three).
On the surface, it might seem exceptional but this ‘increase/growth’ is pretty typical.
I’ve reinforced the habit and it was the first week which was the true challenge in forging the new habit and from day 14 onward the habit begins to take care of itself.
Especially if it’s something you enjoy.
Broadly speaking I’m considering running ads to this letter, and I was meant to start several weeks ago but the ad guys I’ve asked are taking their time.
My ad accounts have been banned else I’d do it myself.
I hope this has given you some insights into my process at a practical level about getting things done and how my process is continually evolving and shifting as it becomes more and more refined over what has only been 30 days.
Now I’ll walk through some wider insights into how I stay productive:
I try to limit the gap between thinking and doing.
e.g I’ve since posted on Facebook:
That’s a new goal I’ve just arbitrarily set for myself and I did this on a whim.
I thought ‘that’s a good idea’ and I just did it.
This for me has been a great way to get things going
Outside this I try to learn from those who are better than me, so I read Blinkist, listen to Audible books and try and gain insights from the world around me.
For example yesterday I realised a Netflix TV show I”m enjoying called ‘Messiah’ tends to end each episode on a cliffhanger which compels you to watch the next episode.
That lead me to immediately sign up for 3 Udemy courses on script-writing to improve my stories even more (let’s see if they work in time).
I am confident I have a higher threshold for pain and ‘doing hard things’ than other business owners and entrepreneurs (on average).
This comes from my experience in endurance sports and forcing myself to put myself through a bit of pain over extended periods of time.
This is what’ll get me up at 430 or slightly later on a weekend when most people I presume would opt to stay in bed.
The main thing I believe is reducing the thinking>doing gap.
I’m often given good advice also about doing certain things – whether that’s from reducing my cow’s milk, pork and beef intake by 90% after watching just 15 minutes of Earthling.
Or it’s my dentist telling me I had Gingivitis (bleeding gums) 9 months ago. This led me to get a specially designed mouthwash for this case, a tongue scraper, a tongue brash and a £250 electric toothbrush.
My teeth have since been in the best shape they’ve ever been.
There are definitely many things I’ve done wrong/incorrectly/not in quite the right order – but I’d like to think the net effect has been extremely positive.
If someone gives you good advice.
Don’t sit on it.
Act on it.