Day 15 – I Finished the Book!
Sean McCabe | July 15, 2016
“Finished” probably isn’t the right word. What I mean to say is the first draft of the book is complete! So basically, it’s a mini celebration, followed by a lot more work!
I still want to expand and rework a lot of areas in addition to general editing, so I’ll be keeping plenty busy.
You probably didn’t notice that Day 14 was missing from my journal. Don’t worry, I want to forget about that day too.
Yesterday was not pretty.
Day 13 – Don’t Squander the Early Morning
Sean McCabe | July 13, 2016
This has been one of the best days yet. I don’t know if it was the getting up at 4:30am, the running, the 5,000 words, the awesome story I wrote that made me smile, or the fact that there are only two chapters left.
It was a good day.
Day 12 – Writing a Book Twice as Fast
Sean McCabe | July 12, 2016
Today was a great day. I made so much progress and have a lot of clarity now after a meeting with Cory. I have a much better arrangement for the book and have everything completely mapped out now. Before today, there were still a few loose ends. The content part is actually the easy part. Continue Reading »
Day 11 – Tracking Time Usage
Sean McCabe | July 11, 2016
I got up at 4:30am, ran and felt SUPER good all day. Note to future self: you always feel good later when you wake up and run.
Monday still got the best of me though.
My total words were not high today, but I made some good progress that isn’t measured in word count.
Day 10 – It’s Starting to Feel Like My Life
Sean McCabe | July 10, 2016
It’s day 10 and it’s definitely starting to feel like this is my life. Writing this book is just a thing I do now.
This month has been a blur. One third of July is already gone.
If I’m able to hit my new goal of 100,000 words in 19 days, that means right now I’m officially in the second half: 10 days in, 9 days out.
Day 9 – A Deadline and a Reward
Sean McCabe | July 9, 2016
Today is Saturday, and I tried an experiment. I decided to allow myself to sleep in a little more and have a leisurely weekend morning.
I would then see what I could accomplish in less time with greater focus.
I really surprised myself.
Over a period of 5.5 hours, I managed to crank out 5,348 words.
Day 8 – How to Make Money
Sean McCabe | July 8, 2016
It’s hard to believe it’s already Day 8 of writing a book in a month.
I’m back to running today! 4:30am wake time and a run feels so good. Not the waking up early and the running parts of course, but having done both makes me feel really good about the day. It feels like I own the day.
Cory came over at 4:30am to shoot some footage for a special project. More on that to come.
Day 7 – Writing Comes Easy When…
Sean McCabe | July 7, 2016
Last night, I couldn’t seem to sleep. I kept waking up in the middle of the night, I don’t know why.
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get up early because of lack of sleep, so I changed my alarm to 7:30am.
After nearly a week of 6-hour nights, this was the first night I was in bed for a total of 9 hours. Sleep quality was only 63% so it wasn’t great sleep, but it felt nice to be in bed a little longer.
I’m definitely waking up at 4:30am tomorrow no matter what though because Cory needs to get some footage for a special project.
I’m thinking about graphing this data to see if I can spot any correlations between wake time, running or not running, total sleep, and word count.
Day 6 – Don’t Break the Chain
Sean McCabe | July 6, 2016
I am so excited. Today was phenomenally productive!
I got woken up a couple times in the night, so my sleep quality was low and I wasn’t able to get up early enough to run (changed the alarm). I thought that would be a downer on the day, but it wasn’t enough to keep me down.
Today, it felt like something was unlocked.
Day 5 – Writing a 100,000-Word Book in 15 Days?
Sean McCabe | July 5, 2016
Today was a weird day.
I thought I set my alarm for 4:30am, but I must have accidentally dragged the hour to the number 5 because that’s when it went off. At any rate, I woke up at 5:36am after getting 7 hours of sleep, which actually felt great.
I wondered why I felt great getting 7 hours because it doesn’t line up with the 90-minute duration of a typical sleep cycle. When I looked at the graph, I counted four sleep cycles, but instead of being the usual 90 minutes, each was 105 minutes—totaling exactly 7 hours. I guess that’s why I felt good.
I didn’t run today because of the later start. I hope to get back on that tomorrow.
Day 4 – Nope, It’s Just One Book
Sean McCabe | July 4, 2016
The process is messy.
When we look back on things, we alter the story. We smooth it out. We tell it in a way that makes sense in hindsight, but rarely how it actually played out.
We see the past through rose-colored glasses. We don’t remember ourselves for who we were or the things we did as they happened but rather see them through the lens of our current reality.
The only way to preserve the past as it truly happened is to document things as as they happen.
Had I not been sharing the journey as I went, I would have told this story a different way. I would have told it in a way that was much smoother and made sense.
But that’s not how it went down.
Day 3 – It Really Does Get Easier
Sean McCabe | July 3, 2016
I was in bed by 10pm last night. The lights were off by 10:30pm, but I can tell from my SleepCycle app that I didn’t fall asleep until 11pm.
Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is an awesome app. You go through several different sleep phases when you’re asleep: light sleep, deep sleep, and REM sleep (which is the dream state). A full sleep cycle lasts about 90 minutes. It varies from person to person, but not by much—maybe only a few minutes. Generally, sleep cycles last 90 minutes and are repeated several times in the night. Your movements will vary depending on which phase you’re in, and this is something that can be tracked using your phone’s accelerometer.
You can configure Sleep Cycle to wake you within a window of time at the optimal moment. I have mine set to 30 minutes. It’s weird at first when you’re used to getting up at an exact time. Having an alarm window of 30 minutes sounds like a strange concept, but once you use it, it’s fantastic. If you wake up in the middle of a sleep cycle, that’s the worst. Ideally, you want to plan your wake time to land in between sleep cycles. This means, it’s best to get either 6 hours, 7.5 hours, or 9 hours of sleep. If you get 7 hours or 8 hours exactly, you’re going to be waking in the middle of a sleep cycle and that is why you feel groggy.
This is not an exact science because everyone’s average sleep cycle varies by some minutes (possibly from person to person, or even differing for a single person from night to night), but that is why you have the 30-minute window.
Day 2 – The Second Hardest Day
Sean McCabe | July 2, 2016
Yesterday, I pushed myself too much with setting up live streaming and writing a big Day 1 journal entry along with an intense first day of writing.
As a result, I ended up going to bed later and that really threw things off. I got up at 6:00am instead of 4:30am and even still I was really tired.
Note to self: DO NOT mess with the night time routine. Don’t do it!
A successful day starts the night before and I pushed myself too much trying to do all of the things. I am glad I had live streaming set up now though because it’s much easier to do my nightly recap. There’s very little setup to do and I’m really enjoying it as a fast way to create content.
Oh, good news! My wrist did not hurt this morning. I’m very grateful for that.
Day 1 – Getting Started Is the Hardest Part
Sean McCabe | July 1, 2016
8 months ago, I decided I was going to write 3 books in a month.
Today was the first of my quest. It was strangest thing… I write about two million words a year now, but for some reason I was just really apprehensive about getting started.
Sure, I hadn’t written a book before and I decided to write three in a month (which might have something to do with it), but I have everything it takes, right? Why was I anxious?
Writing a Book in a Month
Sean McCabe | June 30, 2016
It’s the day before my month-long journey of writing three books.
In October of 2015, I publicly committed to three books in 2016.
At the end of the year, I met with my team to map the entirety of 2016. I scheduled the entire month of month of July to write the three books. I am taking off from all of my other normal commitments.
Learn Lettering Celebrates 10,000 Students!
Sean McCabe | October 13, 2015
The year was 2013. Things were going very well. I was charging 5-figure rates with clients for my hand lettering and selling physical products with my designs every day.
But we need to roll back the clock a little bit further.
The year was 2010. I was designing websites for 8 to 10 hours a day. During my nights and weekends, I practiced hand lettering for 6 to 8 hours outside my day job. I did this every single day for years.
Yes, I really did spend 6 to 8 hours every day practicing hand lettering in addition to having a day job. No, I didn’t do anything else. I sacrificed everything. I dedicated my life to the craft because I enjoyed it. It wasn’t making me any money, but I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of pursuing it.
I created lettering for two years. Nearly every day I posted, nobody noticed in the first two years. Nobody cared.
Until they did.