I’m a system designer and developer, creating training simulations for over a decade. I’m an engineer, not a writer, not “artistic”. I’ve spent many years pursuing personal projects, hobbies and side businesses that all fizzled out.
It started with not knowing where I wanted to go.
I always liked the idea of writing: publishing articles and essays, maybe books of fiction and non-fiction. Like many things for years, I didn’t put any effort into accomplishing anything. I have many partially started projects and writings.
Becoming a writer seemed more like an aspirational idea over the work of actually doing it. I had all the usual blockers.
I got distracted by different ideas and bored with the things I worked on. In itself, this drove my imposter syndrome since I was beginning things again and again with no depth. I felt I needed to make something perfect before sharing it with anyone. In the end, I shared nothing. I completed nothing.
I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to get out of Ship 30 for 30 other than it seemed like with a well-defined objective, it was something I could anchor to. But I still had self-doubt and fears. How was I going to come up with ideas? Won’t I run out of things in my chosen niche? Do I want to spend my life in this niche?
I leapt and focused on what the course asked for.
I learned so many lessons from this experience that goes beyond simply writing daily. However, daily writing is something I’ve done without fail, now measuring in hundreds of essays.
I felt imprisoned by the niche I’d previously chosen for myself. I was freed after realizing I could write whatever I wanted in any subject.
I am the decision-maker in who and what I am.
Digital writing, more than any writing before, emphasizes that adaptation and change aren’t only possible. It’s an inevitable necessity. The freedom this gave me allowed me to experiment and explore. I could do things I always wanted to and revisit things I had previously abandoned.
Do you feel like you need permission to do something? That there is some grand judge to grant you a title? It turns out these are just stories we tell ourselves, preventing us from sharing our stories. Does the better question become what’s the worst that could happen? As unbelievable as you can imagine the worst outcome, you then realize how ridiculous it is, especially when you combine it with the other fear of “what if no one reads this?”. Indeed that’s the best time to publish anything and be at the worst of your writing skill.
We want to be seen but only at the right times.
By turning on the switch from worry to publish, something switched inside me in general. Our fears are largely unfounded, and even the ones that aren’t don’t matter as much as we think they will. It turns out the benefits outweigh any possible downsides.
In writing and exploring, I’ve made discoveries about themes and interests at a higher level than I couldn’t see before. I tried to find my niche before writing. You write to find your niche. Even that can change over time anyway.
I can’t remember being this stress-free and purposeful before.
6 Figure Side Effect
I didn’t expect the effects daily writing had on the rest of my life. I initially wanted it to focus on developing and creating things outside of my day job, maybe generate a side hustle income.
I started getting more organized and communicating better in my day job using the same principles and habits I’d developed. It may be no coincidence I broke through to 6 figures with my last raise after a daily writing habit.
A Hero’s Journey Begins
Having this foundation of a writing habit has had profound effects everywhere else. My entire life started becoming more structured. As I revisited subjects in my writing, I revisited interest areas in abandoned projects. Reinvigorated and able to make real practical progress.
Almost as an afterthought, I started a weekly newsletter that I’ve wanted to start for years. It’s been going for months now.
I started seriously working out, and I’ve more consistently exercised more than I ever have in my life before, all based on daily habits and routines that began with the writing.
I returned to making time for reading every day and getting through my backlog of books.
I published a horror fiction ebook from a single cohort experiment.
I’m building upon projects that will be released to the public in a short timescale, and this time I have confidence they will happen. Especially as now I have much of the content already created.
I’m organizing my entire life and life’s purpose thanks to a writing habit, and what’s fantastic is it’s an accelerating process because what happens in my life becomes fuel for the writing.
No hero can genuinely do things alone, and the community I joined has been nothing short of life-changing. Seeing others’ works inspires me to do greater things, and their support keeps me from slipping down.
It’s changed my entire interactions with social media and people in general. The increase in positivity and reduction in negativity in my life cannot be overstated. It’s helped me build up an immunity to events and interactions that would have overwhelmingly negatively impacted me previously.
I realized more than anything that now I am a writer. It doesn’t have to be my profession or become a NY Times bestseller.
I write therefore I am a writer, and digital writing isn’t a vocation. It’s a superpower.
If Andrew's story resonated with you, click here to hop aboard the next Ship 30 for 30 cohort.