All Streaks End - It's What You Do Next That Matters Most


On September 20, 1998, Cal Ripken Jr. ended his record streak of 2,632 games played. In 1999, he had the highest batting average of his 21-year career.

On July 17, 1941, Joe DiMaggio ended his record streak of 56 consecutive games with a hit. He went on to win the 1941 World Series and American League MVP award.

On October 4, 1988, Orel Hershiser gave up his first run in 67 consecutive innings (regular season and playoffs). He went on to win the 1988 World Series and the Cy Young, NLCS MVP, and World Series MVP awards.

On September 4, 2021, I ended my Ship 30 for 30 writing streak at 20.

What am I going to do next?

  • I’m not going to beat myself up. I just finished a stress-packed house moving project. Almost nothing about the process was smooth, and by the time I sat down on the night of September 4, my brain was toast. And it hasn’t really started functioning again until this morning.
  • I’m going to keep writing. I already have a great idea for tomorrow’s atomic essay. It might be my best one yet.
  • I’m going to stay focused on my trajectory. In the last 25 days (including today), I’ve published 21 times. If I repeat that performance, it will be 42 days of 50. Then 63 days of 75.
  • I’m going to find ways to improve. I now know what a project like moving can do to my writer’s brain. How can I manage future projects better? Should I queue up extra essays on the easier days? Should I alter my writing schedule (usually late afternoon) to compensate for project tasks?

Above all, I’m going to stay focused on my identity. I am a writer. Writers write. They don’t make excuses.