My 500 Words: I’m In!

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.

My 500 words: An exciting new challenge from Jeff Goins, which encourages writers to write every day for 31 days.

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!

Comments

  1. I’m resonating with you in a major way. It’s been just over 20 years for me too. And discipline? So not there for a long time. I only could write from the heart, on a feeling. That’s why my major in journalism was challenging, but not impossible. In fact, I did well but was so burnt out after college, that I had a long dry spell for a few years with nearly NO writing and/or photography. That’s just sad. Blogging has brought me back and I never intend to let it happen again.

    • Whoa! I can definitely see why you resonated! We are very similar with writing, photography and journalism. I decided on journalism partly for the challenge but also because it seemed more practical for my style and interests in writing. Like you though, blogging has helped in a major way and has quite possibly led me into a new career. Still waiting to see if blogging is something I can do as a career (assuming I work at it of course) but it could also be something else. I’m in no rush. Just enjoying my time as best as possible and working on building my platform while still in school. :)

  2. Writing every single day is intense, but I can see how it teaches you to be more disciplined (something I need very much). Good luck with your goal!

    • Thanks, Mindy! Glad you stopped by! Yes, the writing will be intense but I think it will be a great exercise for me, especially before I go back to class later in the month.

  3. I love the idea of 500 words a day. I have accepted the challenge as well – good luck!

    • Congrats on joining the challenge! How exciting! I wish you the best of luck on this challenge. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure. LOL

  4. What a wonderful challenge! Sounds like a great way to start the year!

  5. Sounds like a challenge that will be really beneficial for you, Kim. I’ve never considered myself a writer, but I’ve come to love it over the past year. I need to set aside time to just write – maybe I’ll give myself the 30 minutes a day challenge. The key for me is turning off internet and blocking out all other distractions, but I owe it to myself to give it a try. Good luck with your challenge!

    • Thanks, Dana! I really hope it will be beneficial for me. Downside though is that it doesn’t occur to me to write my 500 words until 10 pm when I’m tired! LOL. I also agree with you about blocking out distractions. Sometimes those are our worst enemy and biggest creativity killer. It doesn’t always help but it’s at least a good start.

  6. I feel like you’re talking about me! I can go so long without writing because I don’t have the discipline to sit down and work through a lack of inspiration or a bad mood or a busy day. And I really don’t want to be that person. I feel like I’ve got so many words in me to get out. I’m going to try this challenge too and see if I can spark that discipline I’ve been lacking!

    • I love, love, love that this connected with you the way it did. Get those words out, Trish! I definitely can relate to not having the discipline to sit down and just get to it because of being tired, moody or just busy. It’s so freaking hard at times but it can be done. I wish you all the best with this challenge!

  7. I love the idea behind a 500 word min. I’m new to the whole blogging thing so it hadn’t crossed my mind. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    • Welcome to the blogging world! Glad you stopped by and enjoy the 500 word idea! Try it out and see how it works for you. :)

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  1. […] count for the first six days of My 500 Words: 4,100. Day 1 and day 3 were both blog posts (read here and here) and the other four days were written on (or is it in? shit. I dunno) a Word […]

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