I read about Jerry Seinfeld's productivity technique: to mark a big red X on the calendar for every day he wrote new material. After you get a lot of Xs going, you don't want to break the chain. I knew that simply saying "I want to write more" wouldn't be enough. Hell, I've tried it and it hasn't worked. The idea of being able to mark something off, however, appealed to me. I make To Do lists with petty little things on them, just to get the satisfaction of crossing them out. So I printed off the 365 day calendar, hung it next to my desk, and vowed to write three pages a day. Three pages of anything.
My first attempt resulted in red Xs over only twelve days. I missed days thirteen through fifteen and sat down to catch up retroactively, but there was no inspiration. I was frustrated I had already messed up the "every day" aspect of it, so I gave up.
I took a break until reached a point where I was ready to start again. I used a black marker on this second attempt. When I crossed out block 13, I felt a sense of pride. I probably didn't miss a day until I was well into the fifties. Too far to give up and still have the desire to start over someday soon. So I kept going. It might not legitimately be writing every day, but I am still producing three pages for every day. I even kept up really well while traveling for three weeks back in June.
Sometimes I skip a day. Not on purpose, but because I'd prefer getting a little more sleep or reading a few more chapters than feeling obligated to write. I don't beat myself up about it. It's life - you get tired and sometimes your creative endeavors suffer so you can, you know, sleep and socialize and be human. But I'm ok with that.
Honestly, I don't think it's possible for me to write every day in the way I envisioned when I started this project. I'm not at the point where I can dedicate myself to writing without there being many, many days of feeling empty yet obligated, and that doesn't produce anything pleasant. I plan to keep up daily writing well beyond the initial year, so hopefully I will get to the point where I can churn out three or more pages every day without feeling like it's something I have to do. As for right now, I'm writing way more than I have in quite some time, and I'm well on my way to establishing a creative habit. That's reward enough.