When a Streak Becomes A Pain

For Example… This Blogging Streak…

I really just want to go downstairs and watch a half hour of television before falling into bed. But nope, got to do a blog, even though my brain is mush and I have nothing that I even care about to say, let alone something anyone else would care about.

On August 1st, if I make it that long, this streak will be 3,650 days long without missing a blog.


Seriously, who does that?

So today is 3,575 days without missing, through power outages, computer failures (number of them) and web site failures (numbers of them). So here I am, talking about the streak because honestly, at 2:30 in the morning, I don’t much care about anything else.

Another placeholder blog, saying nothing, all because of the power of a streak. And wow streaks can be powerful. I suppose that is worth saying.

But almost ten years daily, without missing??? Seriously, who does that?

Now I am going to bed.


  • Anne Lown

    It might seem like a nothing post but for us writers who are still trying to get our act together with some sort of process to create as we hope to, the idea of maintaining a streak is profound. Showing up one day at a time has got to be more doable than worrying whether we can do this month after month. Almost ten years, that is quite an accomplishment, congratulations on your determined success.

    • dwsmith

      Yup, just one day at a time. That’s how it is done in this business, weirdly enough. Seems like it should take massive planning and so on, but even the writing is just one day at a time.

  • Warren Bluhm

    Seth Godin, for one, for what that’s worth. Some days my own streak, started on Aug. 1, 2020, coincidentally enough, is the only thing that gets me to produce words not related to the day job. Not a problem for you, of course, but it’s a good motivator for me. (I think Seth works well in advance to prevent moments like these.)

    • dwsmith

      Works in advance?? Yikes, that would mean I would have to care. (grin) I do this after everything every day, the very last thing I do. Often just an afterthought like last night. An annoyed afterthought. (grin)

  • Cora

    Wow, ten years! Congrats. I’ve just managed to drop a five and a half year daily streak on Duolingo. I hit 2001 days in a row but managed to lose it (long story). But I’m back at it and it’s still fun and I’m building up my streak again. And boy, have I got some much better language skills that will last. The streak will always be a huge success for me.

  • Rob Cornell

    Have you ever wondered what you would have if this had all been fiction? I don’t know if you have records (or would even want to know) of how many words you’ve racked up with the blog streak. Even the short ones like this all add up over time, right?

    I’ve noticed for myself when I make plans to do big daily word counts I usually end up making it all too important and hardly get anything done. Lately, I have tried lowering my expectations waaaay down. Interestingly, I am writing more now. And even started a small streak.

    • dwsmith

      Over the years these blogs have averaged between 110,000 words a year to a few years just under 150,000 words in a year. Just these blogs. Not counting any fiction or articles or nonfiction books or introductions or anything else. This helps me get over a million words per year regularly. All part of what I consider consumable words.

  • Anthony StClair

    I just read this post to my kids as an example for something we’ve been discussing. We’re ramping up our travels, and we’ve been talking about what the kids want to do with their daily music practice streaks. My 10yo is over 1,800 daily violin practices in a row, and my 7yo daughter is over 1,300. But as we do more travel, their violins aren’t coming.

    We’ve been discussing that a streak is powerful, and how it’s also okay to break one if you no longer consider the streak a priority. We talked about your post, and how sometimes a streak can be a pain. And how occasionally you just need to get it done for the day. I pointed out how there are days where hitting my minimum writing has been hard, and certainly not my best work, but showing up is easier than not.

    As long as I show up, after all, I never know what’s going to happen. Some of those hard starts turn into some of the best surprises. (And I like having my own daily writing streak, now on day 1,668.)

    My daughter is probably going to let her streak go this summer, and move on to other activities. My son is going to morph his music practice from violin playing into other areas of music—he worked out with us that we can change the form, but keep the streak.

    A streak can definitely be a pain. But it’s typically more joy and satisfaction, for sure.

    • dwsmith

      Wow, and I impressed on how you are helping your kids learn the value of persistence and practice and regular goals. Fantastic!!! I am in awe.

      • Anthony StClair

        Thanks Dean! I talk about you and Kris and things I’ve learned from you all the time, actually. Comes in pretty handy when they ask, say, why Superman and the Avengers haven’t teamed up, or why Miraculous Season 4 is only streaming on Disney Plus, or why a book they love isn’t available in ebook or hasn’t come out as a graphic novel too. They get to hear about IP, rights, and contracts. In limited doses, anyway. They’re still kids after all. But talking a little IP over a snack break works well—a spoonful of sugar still helps the medicine go down 🙂