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This writing challenge is one I’ve set for myself in 2020. It’s a little bit different from the popular NaNoWriMo.
In that challenge, people attempt to complete a 50,000 word manuscript between November 1 – 30 every year.
I tried that a few years ago and didn’t care for the undue pressure it put on me, which ended up stifling my creativity.
However, I have been terrible over the years with my writing schedule. I write off and on, as it comes to me.
I also hadn’t completed a full fiction project since 2015 so I buckled down in January when I was putting my 2020 vision board together. Peep it below:-
You can see a lot of my goals is geared towards reading, writing and getting published.
To follow through on that, I set a reading challenge 2020 HERE and a writing challenge 2020.
Writing Challenge 2020
What does my writing challenge involve?
1 hour of writing or at least 1,000 words every evening (I’m most productive at night). I increased that to 2,000 words beginning of March.
My writing challenge started in January and will go on till December.
By December, I hope to have completed 2 full-length novels, started/near to completing editing and found an agent.
Yeah, lofty goals but a man’s reach must exceed his grasp or what’s a heaven for (Robert Browning).
You can view my current WIP HERE.
I’ve put a few things in place to set myself up for success. Below are my best tips for succeeding at a writing challenge
10 Tips for Conquering a Writing Challenge
1. Choose Your Writing Time
Decide on the best time for your writing. I create best in the evening because I love absolute silence.
When I’m in silence and don’t have to wake up early, I can power through 5,000 words very easily.
2. Be Disciplined
Program your writing time into your phone and your laptop. If you use Apple devices, the time will ping up across all your devices. Annoying but effective.
3. Pick a Rest Day
No matter how much you love writing, you should have a down day. I take one day off (usually Sunday) every week from writing.
I read on Sunday or catch up on my other activities.
4. Don’t Skimp on Exercise
I’m writing an article about exercise and writers shortly. Exercise is a great way to stay focused on writing especially in the current isolation climate.
5. Just Do It
If you don’t feel like writing, sit in front of your laptop anyway. Start with gobbledegook if that’s all you got. It will come to you along the way.
6. Don’t Obsess
Don’t fixate on something if you get stuck. You can come back to fix it later. That’s what the second draft is for.
If you obsess over every little thing, you’ll never finish the first draft.
7. A Glass of Wine May Help
You can have a glass of wine or something else with you. It might help open the creative floodgates.
I like to sip on a glass of Salted Caramel Baileys here and there.
8. Dial Down Social Media
You have to leave social media alone. It can be very distracting and a huge time waster.
9. Liven Up Your Workspace
Motivate your workspace. My workspace has blue post-it notes full of motivational and inspirational thoughts on the wall. Blue is my favourite colour.
The wall also has a poster with the words, “Shoot for the Moon.”
10. Believe in Yourself
It’s nice to have support from family and friends but at the end of the day, the most important thing is this – believe in yourself and your story.
Believe in the beauty of your dreams.
How Long Does it Take to Write a 1,000 Words?
This varies from writer to writer and so many things are involved but personally, it takes me 1.5 hours to get a 1,000 words out.
It takes 1 hour when I’m not being lazy and just powering through. I started my current WIP 2nd week in January and I’m at 49,000 words as of March 6.
This is my capability. If it’s not and you force yourself to do it, you might end up getting burnt out or blocked.
Set a time and word count that’s comfortable for you and go on from there.
My ultimate goal – by the end of 2020, I would have built writing every day into my routine to the point where I feel odd when I don’t write.
Hopefully, I’ll also be an even better writer.
Do you write every day? How often do you write? Do you have a personal writing challenge? Share in the comments section.
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