birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Why standings and statistics?

In the last day or so each of you should have received an individualized link that will take you to your personal stats dashboard for 40 Days & 40 Writes. (If not, let me know.) Think of it like your Fitbit app for your writing practice. You are the first flocks of writers to get this individualized data during the program, so I'll be curious what you make of it.

Some of you might wonder... um, why translate words and ideas into means and averages? So I'll tell you: I created 40 Days & 40 Writes as a training program -- one that is structured the way a personal trainer would slowly increase a set of exercises to build muscle. At the gym, you can tell if you're getting stronger or faster: you can run faster, lift more weight, your heart rate goes down. Over the weeks ahead, especially if you're new to daily writing, you might discern similar gains in your ability to write with ease.

Some of you are already full-time writers who have no problem sitting down to write 500 words in 20 minutes. Good for you. But lots of us aren't there. We struggle with the 500 words. Or the 20 minutes. Or just the sitting down part. Me, I struggled with editing every sentence before I'd finished writing it. 40 Days & 40 Writes habitualizes the exercise of writing, knowing that strength will follow.

The Flock-level standings page have a different purpose: to remind you that you are not alone in this endeavor and maybe instill a bit of healthy competition. 

That's enough for now. I promise I'll get out of your way more in the weeks ahead.

Onward and upward!

— Robin


Practice vs. Homework

Answering a few of your questions