My word for 2014 probably should have been challenge simply because I am challenging myself to so many new ideas, new projects. Not so many I feel overwhelmed or stressed, but enough that I feel, hmm, what’s the word? Confident! Ahh yes, confidence and challenge seem to go hand in hand, at least for me they do.
When I learned about the My 500 Words challenge via James Prescott, a fellow writer I follow in a Facebook group we’re a part of, I had to look into this a bit more. The challenge comes from Jeff Goins, a talented writer who encourages others to stop saying they’re going to write and to start writing. Period.
The challenge seems simple enough: Write 500 words per day for 31 days. More is encouraged, of course, but the goal is to reach that 500 words and develop a daily writing habit in the process. In the grand scheme of things 500 words isn’t that much. Most of my posts are about that length, give or take 50-100 words. But do this every day for 31 days? This could get interesting.
All About Discipline
I have been writing for, um, oh crap. As of this year it’ll be 20 years. I picked up a pen (or was it a pencil?) 20 years ago and began my love affair with writing as a young teenager. I churned out crappy poems filled with teen angst. Diary entries full of embarassing moments and even a few attempts at writing fiction.
Years later, I began to dabble in journalism and found I enjoyed interviewing, reporting and chasing down leads. A few years after that, I became a copywriter for a tourism-based company here in Las Vegas. Then, I was a business plan writer for a brief period of time.
As I recall, I’ve never had much discipline when writing. I wrote when I felt like it and if the mood or inspiration was not there, forget it. I didn’t write. This led to a two year hiatus from 2008 to 2010. I may have scribbled a few notes or had a false start here and there, but I didn’t write as much as I do today. For whatever reason, aside from a lack of discipline, I walked away from something I loved. It might have had something to do with confidence. Or rather, a lack of it.
Discipline is still something I need to work on, at least as far as writing is concerned. Enter the My 500 Words challenge. I need discipline. And hell, a good challenge is something I love when it’s a challenge that helps me with something I am passionate about.
Blogging About My 500 Words
Odds are high I will not post each day like I did with NaBloPoMo. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I want my own wiggle room without the pressure. Opening up Microsoft Word and spending 30-60 minutes freewriting is easy enough. Putting it all out there on the blog knowing quite a bit of my ramblings will suck is something I am not up for doing, not when there are other topics to share on the blog plus my once a week Project 365 post.
I will publish a few posts here and there, maybe once or twice a week just to stay accountable. Writing a note or two in my bloggy notebook will help too (get on that, Kim), at least I hope it will.
This year is about building confidence and even taking a few more risks than I did last year. I’m up for the challenge and can’t wait to see where this takes me and my writing.
If you want to learn more about the challenge, check it out here. Happy writing!