This is month two of 12 months of 30-day challenges, and September’s challenge started last Saturday.
Last month I challenged myself to write 1000 words a day, no matter what.
On some days, that was really easy.
On others, not so much.
In general, I found my highest word counts to be on weekends, which makes logical sense considering I have more time to dedicate to it on weekends.
I went on a trip for work as well, and the flight days generated many words (no internet makes distractions less available, though the lady in front of me was watching Avengers Infinity War on the way there, so I kept glancing up to watch the action.) But while at my destination I had to compromise on other things in order to meet my word count.
Like going to bed later, or opting to skip a workout. (My blood sugar also played a part in skipping the workout, sooo)
I think one of the biggest things that helped was having an idea bank of things to write about. I didn’t have to struggle each day to come up with something to focus on – I could just open my idea bank, pick a topic, and open Cold Turkey Writer.
Main lessons learned:
Writing 1000 words a day is hard.
- For someone used to just setting Cold Turkey Writer to 300 words and hitting it, meeting 1000 words at times felt like a major strain.
Writing 1000 words a day is easier than I thought it would be.
- Once I got into the flow of writing, meeting 1000 word felt easy! I just had to find the flow state.
I needed a solid way to track what I’d written, and how much left I had to write.
- Tracking is key, because how else am I supposed to know if I’ve hit 1000 words? Sometimes I’d write a lot in Cold Turkey Writer and think things like, “Man, I was writing a lot. That has to be at least 1000 words,” and once I do the word count it actually came out to about 600 words.
It’s less of a mental burden to stop tracking after I hit the first 1000 words.
- This was especially true on my flight to the East Coast when I met my word count goal and then wrote 6 emails for the new subscriber welcome sequence. I didn’t track those words because I’d already met my goal.
Sometimes the best thing to do is just open Cold Turkey Writer and write. No need to overthink it.
- The thing about freewriting is that it’s a stream of consciousness and not every word that is written has to be published someday. A couple days I ignored my idea bank and just wrote about what I was feeling or what I was doing, kind of like a journaling entry instead of the basis for a story or article.
It doesn’t need to be done all at once. Breaking it up between morning, afternoon, and evening also works.
- When morning schedules get cut short by too much time spent on Facebook, I felt secure in the knowledge that I hadn’t failed by not hitting 1000 words before going to work. The challenge was to hit 1000 words a DAY, not 1000 words a MORNING. At least once I put off the entire word count to the evening.
Since accountability is something that massively improves your chances of success (at pretty much anything) I posted every day on Facebook once I met my word count. It went something like this:
Doing this helped my momentum each day. If people are expecting to see all 30 days have accountability posts and I miss one, I’ve left myself open to someone asking if I actually met my word count.
I missed the daily post twice but put up one the next day saying “Accountability Post for Yesterday” or something like that, because I wanted to stay consistent. Having 30 accountability posts for 30 days’ worth of writing is what worked.
My friends even asked about it! Someone asked if I was writing a novella, another asked if I was going to stop writing after 30 days (lol nope) and one of my uncles asked if I was really going to write “write 1000 words a day” every day on Facebook.
The answer to that was yes.
Now I don’t know how well this accountability system will work for other 30-day challenges, so I’m thinking it’ll be more like a case-by-case basis.
My total tracked word count for August’s 30-Day Challenge?
September’s challenge is going to be a slightly different flavor. Instead of doing something every day no matter what, I’m going to endeavor to read 10 (or more) books in 30 days. This is exactly 1 book every 3 days, a rate that I usually only reach on trips (because I read a lot on flights).
I’ll have to set aside time each day to sink into the books I’ve chosen to read, and I’ll list them here:
- The Essential Habits Of 6-Figure Bloggers, by Sally Miller (167 pages)
- Lies My Doctor Told Me: Medical Myths That Can Harm Your Health, by Ken D. Berry, M.D (158 pages)
- Millionaire Women Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley (320 pages)
- The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick (290 pages)
- Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis (337 pages)
- Unhealthy Anonymous: Exposing the Greatest Threat to Your Health and Happiness, by Pete Sulack (210 pages)
- Unrepeatable: Cultivating the Unique Calling of Every Person, by Luke Burgis & Joshua Miller, Ph.D. (256 pages)
- Do You Realize? by Kevin Kuhn (416 pages)
- When God Says “Go”: Rising to the Challenge and Change Without Losing Your Confidence, Your Courage, or Your Cool, by Elizabeth Laing Thompson (224 pages)
- Glory Invasion: Walking Under an Open Heaven, by David Herzog (192 pages)
Math says, with a total of 2,570 pages, I have to read at least 86 pages a day.
Totally doable. (I’ve read more than 86 a day whenever I re-read the Harry Potter books.)
In fact, I’m going to add a few “stretch goal” books!
- Heaven & Hell: From God a Message of Faith: A Young Boy’s Experience of Heaven and Hell, by Retha & Aldo McPherson (304 pages)
- I Will Teach You To Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi (260 pages)
- The Hour of Peril, by Daniel Stashower (331 pages)
Those three would bring up my daily page rate to 116 pages per day! An extra 30 pages a day doesn’t sound…too…bad.
And considering today (publish date) is September 6th, I’m due to be finishing my second book of the month today.
Wish me luck!
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