By Terry C. Misfeldt
One week into July 2020 I decided to challenge myself on writing. I believed I could write 1,000 words a day, so I established that as my realistic goal. My rationale was two-fold:
1) If I wrote 1,000 words a day I could craft a 90,000 word novel within 90 days; and,
2) I could hold myself accountable by documenting how many words I wrote in my daily journal. I did not intend to count the journal words in the daily total.
Through the first 18 days of my challenge I have written 22,336 words for an average of 1,241. There was only one day when I did not write anything, and some days when I fell short of the 1,000 word goal. The most words in a day were 2,995. The key, in my estimation, has been accountability.
There have been days when I was motivated to sit down at the keyboard early and crank on the sequel to my novel, Shevivor. And there was at least one day where I did not want to go to bed without sitting down and cranking out something.
How did I determine what to write?
If I was working on the sequel, I went to bed thinking about the next few paragraphs and where I wanted to take the story. If I hit a snag or blockage, I worked on a chapter of my memoirs and found it easy to craft 1,000 words about one of my life’s experiences. In other words, I always had something to write about. And there were days when I wrote in two different stints when I was motivated to write.
Enough about me.
Challenging yourself to write involves setting a goal. It is less important to establish how much you want to write as it is to maintain a regimen that keeps you focused. If you can accomplish writing 500 words a day, make that your objective. If you find it difficult to commit to a daily schedule and believe you can write 2,000 words a week, that should be your goal.
You must set your own standard because, ultimately, you must hold yourself accountable.
Keep track of your achievements. It is how you measure progress.
A lesson learned long ago is that goals must be written, or they are never attained. They must also be realistic, so even if it is 100 words a day and that can be achieved, you can accomplish it.
Goals need to be timely as well. I have been focused on mine for 18 days out of at least 90 planned, so I need to infuse persistence into my regimen to complete what I have in mind.
You can do it, too!
Writing this piece alone generated 461 words toward today’s goal.