The 500 Challenge

We are now a few days into 2016 and I’m considering what my resolutions will be. Last year it was to write a novel for children, which I have almost completed, and I was considering this year setting a resolution to get it published. But although I can submit it to agents and publishers, unless I self publish, the outcome is out of my hands. So instead I’ve decided to set myself a personal challenge.

Kristy Acevedo (kristyacevedo.com, @kristyace), the founder of the Monthly Twitter Writing Challenge, posted an interesting article on her website. She, like me, would love to participate in NaNoWriMo each November (a month when writers commit to writing a whole novel within 30 days). I thought about it in 2015, even followed their page on Facebook and Instagram, but things got in the way. Kristy, however, has come up with a more realistic challenge: write 500 words per day.

Now to some 500 words per day sounds like an impossible task, and to others 500 words per day would be nothing more than a warm up exercise. But we are talking about 500 words per day, every day. Now that’s another matter entirely. On a day, when the sun is shining and there is nothing in the diary, 500 words would be easy. But how about when the dogs get so muddy on their walk they take ages to clean up, then you get a call from the school saying your child is ill, or you have no food in the house so a trip to the supermarket is needed? How about those days? And what if you have a demanding day job and by the end of the day you can just about manage to flop on the sofa in front of the television?

I am currently in the process of finishing my first children’s novel. Its very nearly finished, I just need to improve the ending. But I’ve read it through so many times now and, to be honest, I’m a but fed up of looking at it. Today I thought “I can do this, I can write 500 words.” Guess what, I made it to about 300, then Twitter (and this blog) called, and off my attention went. But I did write 300 words and that’s better than no words at all (and if you include this blog entry then I must be over the 500, right?!).

Now, I probably won’t sign up formally to the Monthly Writing Challenge, but I will set myself a personal challenge for 2016: to write more and get into the habit of writing every day. It may not end up being a masterpiece and it may need rewriting and editing, but I will endeavour to set aside time and headspace to write every day.

Deborah

(Oh, and by the way, this blog entry is nearly 500 words!)

 

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