A few days ago I mentioned my December Writing Challenge. Unlike NaNoWriMo, the idea is not to reach a certain word count by the end of the month, but to commit to finding time to write every day. We all know how hectic this time of year can get, with holidays and other things vying for our attention, but if you want to be a writer, it’s important to make writing you priority.
Is it necessary to write daily to be a successful writer? Of course not. There are plenty of folks out there who do just fine writing on some other schedule. But the truth of the matter is that there’s a certain simplicity to doing something every day. It becomes ingrained in your life, a habit, as routine as brushing your teeth or checking your e-mail. You no longer need to decide if you’re going to write on a given day, because that decision has already been made. Of course you’re going to write, because you always write.
Finding the time is more of a challenge, but I have faith in your creative abilities, both as writers and as architects of your day. Write over breakfast or during your coffee break; get up a few minutes earlier in the morning; if you use public transportation, take a pen and notebook or your laptop on your commute. If necessary, steal small segments of time. You’ll be surprised how much you can achieve in just fifteen minutes if your brain is already primed to produce something each day.
So that’s the goal: Write something every day, preferably for half an hour or more, but at least for 15 minutes. Don’t worry about quality or number of words. Don’t worry about editing. You can work on one project or several, but please don’t count assignments for your day job or whining blog posts or anything of that nature. I’m talking creative endeavors; novels, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction, book projects, etc. The things you want to work on but struggle to fit into your day. And because I know life gets in the way, I’m giving you two freebies over the course of the month. Aim to write every single day but know that you have two days you can take off at will. You decide when to use them.
I’ll be posting encouragement here and on Twitter all month long, both by way of cheerleading and through a few fun writing prompts to get you over the hump if you’re having a dry spell. So be sure to check back and see what goodies spark your interest.
For those of you who already have a handle on daily production, I invite you to play along, anyway. Set your own goals to modify the challenge, and please feel free to come check out the prompts here over the month.
So that’s the challenge. I wish you a wonderfully productive December. Now go write!