“Write every day” they say. “At least write a page a day” they say. This will get you in the habit of never missing a day and it will improve your writing. I do think these things are true, but I also have never quite put them into practice. Self-discipline isn’t my strong suit. I don’t know about you guys, but ever since NaNoWriMo 2015 I’ve been in a little bit of a writing slump… I tell myself I took the hiatus on purpose, but I didn’t really want to and yet somehow managed to not work on my novel since November.
All that’s going to change. For 2016 I’ve made myself busier than ever. Sometimes, I quite hate myself for the schedule I’ve given myself, but most of the time I know doing all of these things are what going to eventually lead me to the life I’ve always dreamed of having.
In addition to all my other activities, I’ve decided to take up Jeff Goin’s 31 day, “My 500 Words” writing challenge. He started this challenge a while back to help those writers who lacked self-discipline, like myself, get in the habit of writing everyday.
Jeff meant for the challenge to be a 31 day thing, but writers and bloggers everywhere took up the challenge and grew an entire community around Jeff’s idea. The challenge went from having a shelf life of 31 days, to having years now under it’s belt with over 3,000 people pledged to improve their writing by partaking the in challenge. I have become one of those 3,000.
The novel I’m writing, Reap Life, is the first one I’ve tried to write where I haven’t been hating it during the writing process. Which shouldn’t be confused with the difference the writing process and I have. Honestly, though, I’ve written the 50,000+ words for NaNoWriMo and the story isn’t done. (Even though finishing your novel in 50,000 words is half the challenge of NaNoWriMo.) I have so much more I want to the story to be and say. I don’t know how many more words will see me to the end of the novel, but I’m more than determined and excited to see where the “My 500 Words” challenge takes the story and my abilities as a writer.
The heart of this challenge is to get you in the habit of writing. To learn where in your life, and time of day, you can fit in 500 words. No matter what type of writer you are or are trying to be you can count it towards this challenge. Everything goes… well not emailing, but poetry, noveling, blogging, and pretty much every form of writing can be counted towards this challenge.
Are you up for it? “I don’t have time” you say? You have a job, kids, a spouse, friends, other obligations… so do we all. Well, I don’t have the spouse and kids, but I have plenty of other obligations and responsibilities that demand my attention. But I want to be a writer and a good one. So no matter what else I’m doing, I’m going to find the time to put towards my craft. Maybe it’s finally time you do the same. What do you say?
I’m connected into the Facebook community and I’ll be on Twitter and this blog documenting my experience. I hope you join me. I hope you join us all.