100 Days Challenge

Last week, I mentioned that I’m easing back into writing. I’m rather enjoying this no-deadline thing (not so fond of the no-money part, but what can you do?), but the down side is that without a deadline, there’s no push to get me into the chair. With other activities rushing to fill the space that used to be spent writing, it was become terrifyingly easy to say, well, it can wait until tomorrow.

But as with exercise and so many other activities, the longer you go without writing, the less likely you are to pick it up again. I didn’t want that. So to keep me on the straight and narrow without scaring myself off with too-ambitious goals, I decided it was time for a 100 Day Challenge.

The premise is simple: for 100 days straight, I will write 100 words. Can I write more? Absolutely. Do I have to? Nope. As long as I write one hundred measly words on the story, I get to count the day as a writing success. And yes, this means coloring in a box on a spreadsheet AND putting a sticker on a calendar. Obviously I am still stuck in second grade.

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Now, one hundred words doesn’t take a long time to write. I can do that in five minutes if I focus. The beauty of this challenge, though, is that it gets me through the hardest part of the process – sitting down and opening the file. It’s a lot easier to motivate myself to get to the computer if I know it’s only for five or ten minutes.

turtleThe other beauty, of course, is that once I’ve started, it’s easier to keep going. I’ve been at this for two weeks as of this writing, and I’ve actually done at least 250 words/day every day. That’s still nothing compared to what I was doing last year, but slow and steady wins the race and all that jazz.

And if, by taking the turtle route, I’m able to regain my love of writing and coax another book out of myself – well, that will be the ultimate win.