This article has been deprecated. That's a fancy geek term for outdated and shelfed. As fun as it was to great the iPad graphics and post them on my site, I just found it easier to use the new iPhone app, Lift. It's free, and its built for daily check-ins for habits you're trying to create or break. Read more about it here: Six Ways to Give NaNoWriMo Loafers a Lift.
Like the 25 Words Per Day Challenge and the 100 Words Per Day Challenge, the goal of the Distracted Writers Club 50 Words Per Day Challenge is simple: to train distracted and busy writers to write daily.
I was inspired by two things: the Inkygirl Wordcount Challenge and NaNoWriMo. One was like a fresh breath of air in a stuffy room and the other felt like a vacuum opened up into space sucking the very life out of me. My problem wasn't being motivated to write. I could write plenty. My problem was that my life was not organized around writing.
Maybe you can relate. You're a writer with good intentions and high enthusiasm who writes around the edges of your busy life. You've started projects like NaNoWriMo and found that although you were emotionally committed to the daily effort, your time schedule was not. Soon you found work, family, responsibilities, life, etc. interfering with your goals. If you were like me you began to fall behind, even feeling guilty, alone, and bereft of human kindness. Your children mocked you, your wife left you for the postman who always delivered, and the neighborhood watch pelted you with rancid fruit.
Or maybe that was just me.
Writing 1667 words per day for NaNoWriMo is a fantastic goal, but it's one thing to make a goal and another to achieve it. If your life isn't structured to make room for the goal, you'll likely never achieve it. I found failing NaNoWriMo despite my enthusiasm very disheartening and stressful. 50,000 words in one month was too big a mouthful to swallow for me.
Hence, the 50 Words a Day Challenge.
50 words per day may seem like a pitifully small number, but not if you forget to make it part of your daily schedule. In my case, I could write 500 one day, 1000 the next, then nothing for several days in a row. I was writing in spurts, then not writing at all. I needed to train my family as much as I needed to train myself for daily writing. Starting small helped us all get used to how important this goal was to me.
What are the rules?
- Try to write 50 words a day (pick one of these goals), at least six days a week. You're obviously not limited to such a small amount. Write 50,000 words in one day if you want. Just make sure you write at least another 50 words the next day. And the day after.
- Keep at the daily goal for one month. That's 30 days of steady practice. If you make it for 30 days, step up your daily goal.
- Go ahead and post the badge as soon as you've written your first 50 words. Just be honest with yourself. You are your only watchman.
- Display your badge proudly. You know how big a deal it is. I'm lucky I remember to eat, never mind write, so I know the challenge represents more than a word count. It represents a change in lifestyle. Link back here so others can join in on the fun. Click on one of the badges above for more info.