Not to be confused with the Ten Hundred Most Used Words (Science) Challenge, I have been participating in a 100 words in 100 days challenge. Writing friend Natalia opened this up to a group of fellow writers who are all trying to just get our butts in the chair and getting those new or revised words going on the manuscripts.
The purpose, of course, is to reinforce the idea of writing every day. For anyone who has followed my blog long enough, you’ll know that I won’t go on to say that Writing Every Day is a rule. For some, it’s a necessity. For others, it’s an impracticality. For me? It’s definitely helpful.
More specifically, doing a challenge like this is key to keeping me in the story. It ties me to the writing itself so that I don’t let it fall away from my daily routine. January tends to be a pretty busy month and it is so easy to say to my writing, “I don’t have time”. But my One Word Resolution for 2018 is BELIEVE and part of fulfilling that resolution is believing in my writing – the process, the story, the road to publication, all of it. In order to believe, I must give it the time it deserves. Some days that’s difficult, but 100 words? I can do that.
Is it working?
Days 1-14 were great. I mean, I was easily getting in at least 100 words each day. A few days I was going beyond, which of course is the hope, but even when I wasn’t, I was feeling engaged in two active manuscripts.
Then I got sick and uuuggghhhh, those three days were challenging, but hey, 103, 114, 102. I DID IT.
On Day 25, I was tired. And kind of stressed out about getting some other things done. I sure would have been happy to just let the 100 words go that day. Did I really want to spend time pounding my head against the table to come up with a few measly words to add to my WIP? I finished a scene the day before and it sounded like a lot of energy to start in on a new one. Or just add unnecessary ones to an old scene because no one said the 100 words had to be GOOD. Or kept forever.
I almost simply counted the words in the above paragraph. I’ve allowed myself blog post words to count, since I’m trying to revive this aspect of my writing, too. Instead, I jumped to another scene that has kind of been all over the map and wrote an unexpected character reaction. 137 words of it. Phew.
On Day 26 I analyzed whether or not this challenge really was working. Sure, I’ve been s-l-o-w-l-y getting scenes written (two weeks on a single scene, really?), but am I truly engaging with my characters and the story? Am I making effective headway? Is it working if I’m literally stopping at word 100, 101, or 104? And is it worth it if I am stressed out about it?
And then that same day I kept going past 103 and got to 471 in a single sitting. I have yet to break 500 words in a day, but February opens up a bit and there’s hope.
I’m digging in.
It is working because yep, some days are a struggle, but I’m always glad I got the words in and even though that one scene took two freaking weeks, it’s a pretty good scene. The persistence paid off.
The few of us doing this challenge together are cheering each other on, and that helps. And if I skip a day, I know I’ll be bummed. On the other hand, the whole point is to just start right back up again because 100 words? I can do that. Who cares when I achieve that goal because the true goal is just to KEEP WRITING.
I can do that.
Almost one month into the new year is often when those resolutions slip away – what keeps you motivated to start again?
And I will write 100 words
And I will write 100 more….