Saturday, August 23, 2014

My 500 Words -- Week 1

As readers of this blog likely know (I've been whining about it enough), I've been having trouble with consistent productivity for a few months. I can't seem to churn out new words on a consistent basis, and that means I'm not finishing anything. That makes me depressed and the negative feedback loop gorges itself. Inspired by Dean Wesley Smith's Writing in Public and Lyn Perry's 21 Day Sprint, I decided to give "writing in public" a shot to see if having everyone watching me can kick start my creativity. Yes, I'm getting desperate. But how to go about it? And then came Jeff Goins' webinar on building a successful writing habit. It showed up in my email box just when I needed it. Kind of freaky when I think about it in retrospect.

Goins has some great commonsense ideas and he's also set up the My 500 Words community. The idea is to set aside some time every day for 31 days to write at least 500 words a day. Write fiction, blog posts, whatever, just write a significant amount every day. The idea is that after a month, you'll develop a habit that's sustainable.

I started on Thursday. So far, so good. Every week I'll post my progress. Hopefully, I'll have something to cheer about.

8/21Maidens of the Dance551
8/22Maidens of the Dance275
8/22Book Review: The Word Changers396
8/23Maidens of the Dance500
Total for the Week1941


  1. Every bit counts. Good way to keep you accountable. I'm a lazy writer which is why I need word goals and things like NaNo and BuNo to force me to produce.

  2. You do have something to cheer about!! There are so many things I want to share with you and hardly know how to start. :)
    I've gone through phases like this. What writer doesn't. And you're not alone in feeling the depression along with the lack of activity. There is something deep within a writer that when they're not writing, they're not breathing properly. It's tough. And the pressure of needing to do more only brings on more depression and weighs you down.
    I've posted my goals and achievements publicly at different times and loved the results. There's something about having people around you cheering your progress that gives you the boost you need. I posted mine on facebook and updated them each night as my writing session ended. Some weeks I reached my goal and some I didn't, but each time I felt like I was being productive and ending a dry season. I've also done this with editing. I'll post a page goal and keep people updated. Knowing that people are expecting something helps you work harder so you don't disappoint. I hope this works well for you.
    Also consider the pressure you might be putting on yourself. I'm not always consistent with following the blog so I'm not sure all the problems you've encountered. I know from my own past experiences that the more I expected, the harder it was to preform. The pressure was weighing me down because my outlook on writing was wrong. I couldn't look at what I did accomplish, but what I needed to finish and I always felt like a failure. And a failure couldn't get into the swing of writing. When I finally learned that couldn't do it all in one day and allowed myself to take it one word at a time, I was able to relax. And once I relaxed I was able to write and reach the goals I hadn't been able to. Take it easy on yourself. Don't try to write an entire page in one sitting, but rather start focusing on one word at a time. All you need this hour is to write one word. Then write one more... We put more pressure on ourselves when all we have to focus on is one word at a time. And celebrate everything you do accomplish and stop stressing over what is left to do. If you only write 200 words, celebrate! That's 200 closer to your over all goal. And when you write 700, celebrate! Writing is hard, and it only gets harder when we put unneeded pressure on ourselves.
    Also consider how you're spending your time before you sit down to write. For me, I can't read a fiction book before sitting down to write. If I do, my mind and desires will be hung up on the book I'm reading and I won't be able to focus on my work. I've had to put myself on a diet. :) I only read 1 fiction book a week and only after I spend time writing. Consider how you're spending your day and if the time you spend writing is the best time you have to offer. Clear away anything that steals your mind away.
    I hope you find the accomplishments you're looking for! I look forward to seeing hearing about your progress!