100 Words for 100 DaysOn Tuesday Trish had some great suggestions for mini-challenges, such as setting a timer for a fifteen-minute writing session or engaging a friend in a writing duel.
The only rule is to do what works, so I’m going to tell you about a recent challenge that worked for me.
It’s called the 100 Words for 100 Days Challenge and it was introduced to my RWA Chapter, Central Florida Romance Writers, last February by our fantastic program chairman. The idea of the challenge was to write at least 100 words each day for a period of 100 days. That’s it.
The purpose of the challenge is two-fold. First is to move your manuscript forward by adding a minimum of 10,000 words during the period of the challenge. The second is to aid the writer in building the habit of writing every day.
The jury is still out on the need for a writer to write every day. I think it’s important to do something toward the completion of your manuscript each day, whether it is actual writing, plot doctoring, character building or simply visualizing how wonderful it will be to type the end. It’s the not thinking about it at all that’s deadly. BUT, if you’re writing every day you can’t help thinking about your story and that is what moves your project forward. If you’re writing at least 100 words a day your story can’t help but move forward.
To say I loved the 100 Words challenge is putting it mildly. There was a day I wrote only 102 words and there was a day I wrote over 3,000 words, but I wrote every day. Not only did I write 100 days; at the end of the challenge I continued to write, stopping only when I was felled by an attack of seasonal allergies on day 185. I finished the rough draft of my WIP by adding 30,220 words, then went on to another story I had plotted several months before and wrote 21,144 more.
So, what’s not to like?
Because I used to be a Girl Scout and I think I should throw a disclaimer in here. 100 Words is a deceptively simple challenge. Write 100 words. Easy-peasy. Anyone can write 100 words.
If you know where your story is going you can write 100 words in five minutes—you can knock them out in less time than it takes your computer to boot up and then power down again, and therein lies the deceptive part. If you don’t know where your story is going, some time, some where in those 100 days, you’re going to get bogged down in deep, dare I say it, doo-doo.
That’s where planning comes in. Again, if you know where your story is going you can’t help moving forward. If you’re like me, most of your stories spring full-blown into your head anyway, so the actual writing is like filling in the blank spots. If you run into a block, jump over it and write what comes next. Just keep writing. It’s a rush you’ll want to experience over and over again, or at least every day for 100 days.
So, what do you think? 100 Words for 100 Days. Where could your story be at the end of it?