We start today, Feb 28. Pick this up by 5p Mexico City Time today if you’re in!

Write 1k a Day: Own Your Mistakes

with Gwen Bell

One of the questions I get most often is ‘how can I have your life, Gwen Bell?’ I’m always stumped by it. But really, I shouldn’t be. The answer is simple: I keep making mistakes. I keep fucking things up. I keep starting at zero and building from scratch and day in and day out doing the work.

But this isn’t about me. It’s about you and we both know it. Do you know why most writing you read, and maybe even the writing you do, most of the time feels flat? I’m sure you know, but I’ll tell you anyway. People almost never admit wrongdoing. Oh, they might say ‘mistakes were made’ but that is the weakest shit phrase on the planet. One of the most popular pieces I’ve ever written was on the mistakes I’ve made. I couldn’t believe people cared that much about my fuckups! So much so that when I blank slated my site some of you asked, ‘where’s your mistakes page?!’

Nobody wanted to know all my mistakes. They wanted to know how to be brave enough to write about their own mistakes! Why? When you own your mistakes you get a piece of yourself back. When you write about the mistakes you’ve owned, you earn the respect and trust of people with less guts than you. Which, in my experience, is basically everyone.


Write 1k a Day on Your Own

Write 1k a Day: Own Your Mistakes for 31 Days on Your Own, Just the Prompts. Freestyle.


Write 1k a Day and Commit with Git

Write 1k a Day: Own Your Mistakes for 31 Days with Gwen Bell using Git. I set up your repo, you show up to the page each day.


Write 1k PLUS 4 Payphone Confessionals

The two of us talk four times during the month of March. Choose your favorite (or least favorite!) prompt each week, then come clean with me holding the (payphone) line. I’ll be present for you one on one, over the phone and the command line.

You need to buy this before February 28th at 5p Mexico City Time if you’re in it. We start writing on March 1, the next day.

Why would anyone want to hear about your mistakes? Because it takes haYUGE cajones to throw yourself under the bus. So few people talk about their mistakes, let alone own them, because they want to seem perfect.

When you watch a movie and nobody does anything wrong and there are no catastrophes. If there’s no climax because of character mistakes (in the most recent movie I watched one character trusted another character too much and it almost cost him his life). There’s no movie without mistakes. That’s why the writing you’re reading or doing is flat. Start writing about your mistakes, you’ll start finding juicy bits.

Own your mistakes in 1k a day.

You don’t have to tell anybody else your mistakes. You only have to tell me. From your command line to mine and back again, daily, for the entire month of March.

I thought about doing a higher priced, non-git based, email option for this but I pushed off this launch for a week to decide against it. If you don’t learn the bare minimum of git – just enough to push and pull with me – you’ll be making an ongoing mistake I can’t be responsible for letting you continue to make. I’m saying that I won’t be a participant in your mistake of not learning git.

Moreover, I’ll help you correct the mistake you’ve been making by not learning git by setting up your repo for you and answering all your git-related questions before the start date, March 1, 2015.

That’s coming up soon.

Make the best decision of your year to date: write on and own your mistakes, turn them into mulch for the rest of this year and do it with panache. Own your mistakes. That way they won’t own you.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. - George Bernard Shaw

I'm Gwen Bell, an expat writer and programmer based in Mexico City. I spend as much time as possible in bed. When not in bed I do pulls on git repos, scribble on notecards and walk around la ciudad.