Today will be my 25th post in my 100 day challenge to write 100 words a day. I decided I would review my progress every 25 days.
So far I’ve made good progress, managing to publish at least 100 words a day. I’ve written almost every day, excluding Sundays when I take a day off which means for the 21 days I’ve actually been writing my average daily word count has been 410 words.
However, that only includes published posts. I had a look at draft posts I’ve added, but not published – there are 24 of those – and taking those into account I’ve written an average of 600 words a day.
Total words written and published: 8617
Total words written inc draft: 12,753
All this in a little over three weeks which is encouraging as one of the reasons I wanted to restart this blog was to get into a daily habit of writing.
I haven’t been keeping track of time spent writing though. I timed myself last night and estimate from that that I’m spending 15 minutes writing and editing every 100 words. If that is accurate, I’ve spent 31 hours writing on this blog over those 21 days.
That’s not great. Ultimately I want to spend the bulk of my writing time working on my next novel and if I only need to spend 15 minutes on this blog each day, that means I’m losing 75 minutes that could be towards my novel word count. I only posted two posts during this time that were exactly 100 words long.
Over the next 25 days I should make an effort to time myself while writing and make sure that I’m prioritising time to work towards my longer term writing goals.
It’s worth my noting what impact my blog is having.
I’ve had one blog post which has been highly relevant to a lot of people and am still seeing people turning to it for information. However, the rest of my posts are falling into a vacuum:
Ultimately I want to build up a readership, but will have to do some research into what people actually want to read.
It might make sense to focus on posting flash fiction to draw readers who may want to buy my novels, but if so, I need to find a way to do that. If I’m going to market myself and advertise, it would make more sense to advertise my novels directly.
That’s enough for now… If you have any feedback on this blog, do let me know.
One of the immediate thoughts I had after setting a goal of writing 100 words a day over 100 days was that this would make a great method for completing two non-fiction books I’ve had on the backburner for a few years.
On my previous blog I started writing 100 Crazy Ideas to Fix the Economy. I stalled after 30 posts, not because I was out of ideas – I had almost 100 crazy ideas written down, but because I didn’t know how to tackle some of the most controversial issues I posted about. When I got bad feedback – I mean, really bad feedback – I ended up abandoning the blog completely. For over two years!
I still intend to complete 100 Crazy Ideas. I still need to work out how controversial I want to be. I still need to decide how to go about releasing it… How to market it…
But, I’m fairly sure that what I need to do next is finish the book. Complete what I want to say before I make any other decisions. Once I have a full and complete first draft, then I can decide what and whether to edit and make decisions about publishing (for free on this blog and for sale elsewhere) and marketing.
It occurred to me that I need to have each chapter sharp and snappy. committing to a 100 word chapter may help me find that focus. 100 X 100 words is 10,000 words. Not a great length for a book, but maybe a very easy read. Something that anyone can quickly get through. Of course, looking at my word count for this post I’m already up to 250 words… Can I and should I limit myself to only 100 words a day for my challenge?
Do you ever find your mind is faster at coming up with suggestions than you’re physically capable of acting on?
It happens to me all the time. This morning I had the brain wave that it might be cool to set myself a goal of blogging 100 words a day for 100 days. Fits in nicely with the theme of the blog: My 100 Goals, and may actually be a useful primer to get myself blogging again.
I’ve some form with 100 words a day goals. After reading 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself back in 2008, I set myself the task of completing my first novel Fallen Warriors within four years by writing a minimum of 100 words a day. Nine years later… Fallen Warriors has been published and quite a lot of those 100 words made it into the final draft.
I know I can write 100 words a day. In fact, I suspect anyone can write 100 words a day. It’s a tiny amount. Just three short paragraphs. In fact – my word count is showing I’m already at 167 words and counting just for this post alone!
The difficulty is not in writing 100 words a day, but in the consistency of the habit. It’s the maintaining the discipline over a long period of time.
And that is one reason I’d really like to take this challenge on – Anything that helps me to build positive habits into my life is a good thing.
When I set out to complete Fallen Warriors back in 2008, I wasn’t able to maintain that daily habit past a couple of months. Yet, I stuck with the writing and am pleased with the result. Even better, readers seem almost as excited as I was with the story!
Why do I want to write 100 words a day for 100 days?
It will get me into the habit of regular blogging.
It will train me to write daily.
It will give me something to Tweet and post on my Facebook page!
It will allow me to start sharing my thoughts again.
It’s a goal connected with 100, which I just love…
What will I need for the journey?
As I kept thinking about 100 words in 100 days, it occurred to me that it would be easier if I broke down that huge number into manageable chunks. Say 10 blog posts on a topic.
Some topic ideas that quickly occurred to me were:
Blogging about goals
Thoughts about God and Jesus and faith
Here are a few more I’ve just thrown in there…
The Great Scottish Land Grab
100 Crazy Ideas to Fix the Economy
Thoughts about our crazy political world
With only a few minutes work, I’ve created a broad outline plan for how I can complete my goal. All I need to do is blog daily on one of these ten topics for 100 words and I’ll complete my goal.
Ideas are mostly fairly easy for me, but the fact is that I can also dry up completely. Perhaps that is writer’s block. It is more likely to happen when I’m over-tired, working too hard, stressed, not exercising…
Setting a 100 day commitment is a commitment to a marathon!
Still, I can jot down ideas as they occur and if on a given day, I’m blank, I can review my high level topics in the hope an idea will occur. And maybe, just maybe, what I really need to do that day is record how I’m feeling and try and work out why.
I know I can commit to and achieve long term goals. I’ve been doing so my whole adult life. What I often struggle with is the daily grind. The temptation to slack off, to leave things for a day which turns into a week, a month, a year. I can’t do that with my day job, but when I’m not being held accountable for achieving goals, it is difficult to maintain that focus and commitment.
I will commit to this goal.
Your support would make a great deal of difference. Commenting on my posts, letting me know what you think would help a lot.
However, I need to be really careful here. My most important supporters are my family and while I’m writing this post in April – I don’t think I should make a commitment to following through with it until late May. Members of my family are going through end of year exams over the next three weeks and so I need to be supporting them, not asking for their support!
So, I’ll make a commitment to starting this goal on 22 May 2017. 100 days later will be 29 August 2017.
I’m not going to write on Sundays. I need a day off each week. So, I’ll aim to write twice as much every Saturday!
And that’s it. I’m going to schedule this to post a week before I’m due to start. I’m going to start jotting down notes and ideas. It would be great to have you join me on the journey and if you’re up for it, join me in taking the 100 words, 100 days challenge too!