I recently took an intentional break from Duolingo. I had an 867 day streak that I simply could not give up, and it worried me. Every time that bird popped up on my phone, I felt a sense of existential dread: It was time to practice French. I felt like the guy in the old Dunkin Donuts ads:
I felt almost superstitious about my streak, as if breaking it would send my motivation down the drain. I don’t like feeling compulsive, so I decided I would let the streak go. And do you know what happened?
Not much. I still practice French. That streak didn’t matter as much as I thought.
Many of you have signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo or are pursuing writing streaks and schedules of your own. That’s great! But for some of us, perfection helps us start strong but eventually gets in our way. When we miss a day, we feel that we have let ourselves down, and then we don’t write the next day, either. Or the one after that.
But the truth is that sometimes life happens. We face interruptions or holidays or guests or kitchen renovations or illness and we just have to let our streak go. That doesn’t have to be a problem...as long as we get right back to doing what we need to be doing.
Perfection isn’t as important as persistence.
So if you’ve missed a day on your writing challenge—or a week, or a month—don’t worry! Just get right back to it.
PS: It’s not too late to join the July Camp NaNoWriMo challenge!