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Ideas Post

Nicola Fisher


How to write consistently - lessons learned from 380 days on NotePD

I'm currently taking part in #66write. The idea is to write an essay, tweet three times and share a photo of your work every day. Plus read ten pages of non-fiction. I'm using NotePD to start off my ideas (so this will be a list today and an essay tomorrow). I'm also thinking about what has kept me going on NotePD and how I can replicate that for #66write.

    1. Accountability to keep you on track

    Without doubt being accountable in front of other NotePD users and the streak leaderboard have been the two factors that have kept me going. When I started I was simply experimenting. I had no thoughts of creating or maintaining a streak. That just happened. Once I'd built a nice streak, I didn't want to break it. Even on days when I had a migraine, I still managed to cobble together a list. When we were travelling and I knew internet access might be difficult, I scheduled my lists. On busy days and late nights, I still managed to fit in a list, even if I wrote it in bed before dropping off! Every time I considered not bothering with a list today, I knew I would be cross with myself tomorrow.

    2. Be good enough not perfect

    Some of my lists are what I call tenuous. They're not my best lists. Some are very quick and dirty. But they're still lists. I've created lists of favourite YouTube videos or Spotify songs. I've posted ten photos I took today. They get the job done. A tick in the box.

    3. Routine to build a habit

    Although I'm not in my perfect NotePD routine right now, I do have a routine, even if it's writing my list last thing at night. I prefer to write in the morning but life and work sometimes get in the way. Right now I write my list sometime in the evening. I'm being more strategic and writing a list that will evolve into tomorrow's essay. I write that first thing in the morning. This strategy is working for me. I do my list, I write my essay. One thing feeds into the other.

    4. Lists to remind you every day

    In Twos I have my to do lists. In Today, there are four reminders:

    Write x1 article

    Write x3 tweets

    Take a picture of your work

    Read 10 pages of non-fiction

    They keep me on track. These reminders are also linked and synced to my Writing Google Calendar for an extra nudge.

    5. Obsidian as a place to write and store

    Each morning I export yesterday's list as a .txt file and copy it into a template in Obsidian. I add #plan and the note then appears as a Project. Here, I can see a list, a board and a calendar. I can quickly see what I've published (the published: true posts are highlighted). I can schedule ahead and also keep a record of what I've written. I have some draft posts which will be created at NotePD lists initially and then edited.

    6. Build a process that works

    My process might not be for you. I could map out my process to make it easy to see, step by step, what I need to do. That works for me. I've tried to make things as easy as possible. Get down some ideas and then reuse, repurpose and rewrite. Let's not reinvent the wheel too many times!

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