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Vitor Paladini
Vitor Paladini

Posted on • Updated on • Originally published at

I Got the 16 Week Streak Badge. Here’s Everything I Learned About Consistency

Last week I got the 16 Week Streak badge 🥳

This is the longest I've been writing consistently. I'm sure that I couldn't have done it if it wasn't for this beautiful community.

I'm beyond grateful.

And to celebrate that here's my 16-week review. Today I'll be looking back to early June and sharing everything I've learned since then. Stick around if you struggle with consistency, some of my learnings might be useful.

Let's start from the beginning:

Why I started writing

I'll be honest you here, I began writing for pretty selfish reasons.

See, I'm a front-end developer, I've been doing it for quite a while now and I love it. But, simply put, I don't feel like doing it full-time for the rest of my life.

I look forward to another decade or so of slinging divs and pushing pixels. After that, I want to quit the grind and be an educator much like Wes Bos, Kent C. Dodds, and so many others.

So yeah, I started writing here because I need to build an audience. This was another step in my career plan. But something interesting happened during these four months...

The more I kept publishing the more I realized that my work was actually helping quite a lot of people. And that felt very, very rewarding. Which in turn gave me even more strength to keep doing it.

So, for the first time in my career, I feel that I'm truly giving back to the community that helped me so much. And that's a very powerful feeling.

What I learned and how I kept writing

One thing that kept me here in the past few months is that DEV became a safe haven for me during this pandemic.

Instead of obsessing about how crappy this year has been, I could stick around and have pleasant conversations with the community. Writing stuff and engaging in the comments became some kind of therapy.

But hey, I have better advice than this personal anecdote!

Here are some consistency tips:

1. Have a clear writing goal

To be consistent you must first be aware of what consistency means for you. You have to have a clear goal in mind. My goal to publish an article every week, as long as I'm doing it I pass the consistency check.

One thing that helps is to have a somewhat flexible goal though. No matter how much you prepare, sometimes life happens so it is better to have some leeway.

For instance, my goal is to publish an article every Wednesday. I'm okay with publishing it Thursday or Friday if something happens. But Friday 11:59 PM is my absolute deadline.

2. Use your idle time to think about your content

Ideas need some time to ferment.

Using your free time to actively think about your content makes it easier to put it down when the time comes. Try to come up with core ideas first and let them bounce inside your head for a couple of days.

But don't push yourself too hard! You can do it whenever your mind is wandering, like when you're doing the dishes or taking a shower. You'll see how much easier is to write down a concept after you allowed it to mature.

3. Be ok with publishing imperfect work

There are weeks where I write excellent work and feel like a genius. Some other weeks I can't write anything that I'm happy with. In both cases, I publish what I wrote.

See, the single most important thing you need to do keep consistency is… to be consistent!

I know that this sounds obvious but you must keep momentum. It is much harder to go back to writing after you stopped, even if it was for a week only. So keep in mind that publishing imperfect is bad, but breaking your streak is much, much worse.

4. Engage with the community

Writing for the sake of writing will only get you so far.

Having a genuine interest in your reader makes the writing experience more satisfactory. Finding fun in the comments in one more incentive to keep you writing every week.

And here are some more general tips:

5. What seems obvious to you can be outstanding to beginners

I started my neat little tricks series focused on code newbies and I find great joy writing for that audience. And as long as there are beginners, there will be opportunities to teach, share, and learn.

6. Don't be put off by other peoples' work

Another good thing to keep in mind is that even if there are a million articles about a certain subject, you should still write yours.

But make it truly yours, let your personality shine and write it in a way that no one else could.

7. Try not taking yourself too seriously

One funny thing about this writing experience is that my most viewed articles are the ones I had the most fun writing.

Programming is a hard subject and adding a little bit of playfulness can make your content easier to digest.

What do I expect for week 32

Well, I'll still be around here writing, I'm sure about that.

Hopefully, in the next four months, my reach will increase even faster, so I'll be able to help more people. That's something I look forward too.

I also want to write more creative articles like "VS Code shortcuts that I would teach myself if I had a time machine with limited fuel". I had a blast writing this one and was very much surprised by how well it performed.

I'm not sure if I have the time for writing more than one article a week. But that definitely something that I look up to.

And I'll keep working on the "Extremely reusable components" and "Neat little tricks" series" as there's still quite a lot of good content to squeeze there!

But if 2020 has taught us something is that everything might change, so who knows? 😄

Thanks for reading! And thanks for skimming if you just scrolled around a little bit. That's ok, we all do that.

I hope that my learnings serve you well on your journey toward consistent writing. Leave a comment if you need any help with it, I'm far from an expert but I can help. We're all in the same boat here.

Hey, let's connect 👋

Follow me on Twitter and let me know you liked this article!

And if you really liked it, make sure to share it with your friends, that'll help me a lot 😄

Top comments (17)

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini • Edited

Also, if anyone from DEV Team pops in the comments, I have a question.

The badge description mentions some special quests. What does it mean exactly?

16 weeks! You've achieved the longest writing streak possible. This makes you eligible for special quests in the future. Keep up the amazing contributions to our community!

If it means the kind of quests I think it means lets just say that I play support characters and am a kick-ass Priest Healer. 😄😄😄

andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Wow congrats I did not even realise there was a badge for 16 weeks! You need to post at least once a week to maintain the streak right? I don't think I have missed a week since getting the 8 week badge so I should join the elite eventually on here. 😇

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini • Edited

There is! And it is the last one... (I hope that by the time I reach 32 weeks the team creates a new one)

And that's right, one post a week will get you the streak. My goal is pushing a new article every week so that's what I post, but I believe it can be any kind of post, from #discuss threads to #watercooler conversations.

Congrats on your 8-week badge, keep up the good work, I'm sure that your 16-week will come faster than you imagine 😄

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Yeah, I really like that troll-free aspect of DEV, I can say during these months 99% of the comments and conversations on my articles have been nothing but truly insightful and wholesome.

And congratulations on your badge! I look forward to your 16-week review post in a few months 😄

hussaini profile image
Hussaini Zulkifli • Edited

Beginner question, my head always bounce with idea to write. But whenever I start to write, it just going nowhere. Do you mind share how do you develop and plan your idea to writing?

rahul_ramfort profile image

This is a common problem for beginners. I had a tough time overcoming this as well. A lot of times I would just sit and force myself into writing something good and get frustrated. The idea and the words wouldn't sync up.

Instead, try writing when you're relaxed, don't put too much pressure to articulate well. It's okay for the first draft to be dull and boring. It will come good in multiple iterations.

You get the best version of the article only if you let go the thought of making it one.

Happy writing!

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Great advice, Rahul!

Your current mood influences a lot. It is very hard to be creative if you are stressed... or hungry 😄

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini • Edited

Hey, Hussani. Great question!

I have two strategies to overcome that feeling:

1 - I try not to think much and write everything that comes up in my head. The important thing here is to keep the rhythm, write as the ideas come up. The first draft will look chaotic and that's exactly what I want.

After writing down all the ideas I go back and edit it, working on the flow and making it more cohesive and readable.

2 - I draw a mind map of the article key points and how each idea connects to each other. That helps me understand the objective of my text and helps me focus on what I should be writing to reach that objective.

Also, even if you feel like its going nowhere, you should just keep going. Practice helps a lot, but even I feel like that sometimes.

It is also much easier to write about something you passionate about and try to have fun while writing.

paulohgs profile image
Paulo Henrique - {PH}

Thanks, this article helps me a lot. I'm starting now in this career and I'm seeing how much is very important the constancy. I'm pretending to start writing here, even as beginner, because I believe that will help somebody one day. Grateful for the article!

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Hey, Paulo. Glad I could help!

You're right, being consistent with something helps you achieve great things in the long run.

And yes, you should start writing. Generally speaking, your first articles will not be very good (mine weren't), but you should keep pushing forward.

And remember that writing increases your comprehension of the subject and improves your English, so even if you feel like you're not helping anyone you are helping yourself quite a lot.

Let me know if you need any help. I wrote another article with writing tips, you can find it here.

mccurcio profile image
Matt Curcio
  • Be ok with publishing imperfect work; Absolutely

"Perfect is the enemy of the good," Voltaire

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Yes! And just like with coding and side-projects, done is better than perfect.

canro91 profile image
Cesar Aguirre

Great tips! I'm working on my consistency too. I really liked tip 6. There are lots of articles, but your own tone and perspective make them unique

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Thank you, Cesar! That's right, I used to be like

"oh no, there's nothing new in front-end that I could write about, boo-hoo 😢"

but now I'm more like

"you know what, Imma write about some damn VS Code shortcuts and make people like it 😠"

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

Thanks, ☮️✝️☪️🕉☸️✡️☯️!

I can see that you've been posting quite a lot recently as well, let me know if I can help with something 🙂

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini

It kinda does yeah. But I'm sure you can do it, just focus on your weekly practice and week 16 will come soon enough 😄

eecolor profile image

Thank you for the article.

Half way down I forgot your wrote about writing articles. I realized most of these tips apply to programming as well.