Streaking with Seinfeld

Bet that got your attention. I’m not talking about that kind of streaking. I’m talking about being on a streak, doing something every day, day after day.

It’s Jerry Seinfeld’s secret to success, by the way. Or at least that’s what he told programmer Brad Isaac. Seinfeld gets a big wall calendar every January and marks it every day he writes new material. That helps him build momentum. Every day you skip it becomes easier to skip the next time. Pretty soon your habit is lost.

The converse is true. Every day you do something, no matter how hard, no matter how much or little, the price of skipping becomes higher (who wants to break a hundred day streak? A year long streak?) and the habit becomes more ingrained.

Week before last I had a family crisis. Nothing life threatening and it wasn’t my crisis so I won’t go into it. The point is I had a rough couple days as far as writing goes. Didn’t get much done.

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How did I cope. It’s right there in the graph. It’s a whopping 104 words. Barely a couple paragraphs worth. I’ve written more than that in this blog post already.

What’s so important about those words? It’s that I wrote. It was a few rushed words before midnight, but I wrote. I didn’t break the streak. I kept going. What happened? The graph shows, within a couple days I was back on track, at or near my typical word count. That’s the value of streaking. And heck, it worked for Seinfeld.

Meanwhile you can pick up my new sci-fi serial now.

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