Writer’s block. No time. Procrastination. Fatigue. Whatever. I have plenty of excuses for not writing. I even wrote an entire post about them. They’ve served me well. I’ve had this story in my head for at least a decade and still have nothing to show for it.
I’ve finally accepted what my problem is. At a very basic level, it’s fear. I’m afraid to write garbage. I keep thinking that when my writing improves, then I’ll do my story justice. But no one can improve his or her writing without, well, writing.
So, what’s the best way to get over this fear? In the past, public accountability has spurred me into action. A few years ago, I successfully completed the NaNoWriMo challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this term, November is National Novel Writing Month. Na(tional) No(vel) Wri(ting) Mo(nth). During the month of November, authors from around the world gather to participate in a writing challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the 30 days of November. There’s a website (http://nanowrimo.org) where you can sign up and participate in the challenge.
I didn’t sign up for the official challenge, but a friend and I decided to write 50,000 words in one month. I picked a simple story idea and allowed myself to write garbage. I completed this challenge by posting my daily totals on Facebook. So, even though I had a baby, I still found time to write 1,667 words a day. Because I didn’t want to fail in front of my friends.
As a writer, there is nothing more empowering then completing an entire manuscript. I loved watching my word counts grow each day. Because I’m a nerd, I created a spreadsheet to track my progress. It was an amazing experience that I would definitely recommend to any aspiring author.
I don’t think I’ll be able to complete that challenge this year. But, I’d like to complete a variation of it. So, I’m going to publicly commit to writing for 15 minutes a day for the next 30 days. It starts today (September 25th).
Here are my “Rules:”
I must post something on this blog every day, starting today, September 25, 2015. (You guys have to keep me accountable!)
I must write at least 100 words. (NOTE: I’ll aim for more, but wanted a low minimum in case I try to write poetry.)
I must write for a MINIMUM of 15 minutes. More time is obviously better.
Any topic is fair game. The more ridiculous the topic, the better.
Each post can be about a different topic. My goal is NOT a manuscript this time.
That’s it! I’m hoping that if I completely free myself from any of my self-imposed constraints, my creative juices will flow. So, please wish me luck! Thank you!
TO ANYONE READING: Does anyone want to join me in this challenge? It doesn’t have to follow the same “rules,” but maybe your own 30-day writing challenge? Please let me know! I’d love it if we could help each other meet our writing goals.