Everybody craves a challenge, something to motivate themselves to do the best they can do. Sometimes it is set personally, other times by someone else or by a group of some kind. The Olympics, for example, challenge athletes from around the world to prove that they are the best in the world. Climbing Mount Everest is a personal challenge of many people to see if they have what it take mentally and physically to make it to the top of the world. For writers, there is this little thing called NanoWrimo where wannabe novelists aim to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I personally have participated for three years and have won twice. I plan to go again this year, but just like every challenge, you need to prepare beforehand. Enter the 90 day challenge, a personal challenge I have set for myself in order to mentally prepare for November.
The 90 Day Writing Challenge
In order to break through the an intense writing block period, I have decided to challenge myself to write everyday for 90 days in an effort to train myself to write everyday.
Writing Everyday for 90 Days
I have always loved the art of creative writing. I feel like it is a unique type of therapy an stress reliever that is not only private, but requires minimum supplies. All you really need is a pen an paper or an electronic device such as a computer or tablet. I started getting into creative writing when I was in 9th grade. Since then, I have participated in writing clubs, my college's newspaper, competitions, coffee house readings, and in recent years, NanoWrimo. NanoWrimo stands for National Novel Writing Month and occurs every year on November 1st. People all around the world take part in a crazy thirty day to see if they have what it takes to write 50,000 words (around 2,000 words a day) - about the size of a novella. The community is fantastic and super supportive and there is most likely a writing group getting together for sit ins somewhere near you.
Recently, I have hit a rough patch in my writing path. The dreaded writer's block monster has struck another victim and it has not been pretty. I personally get quite anxious when I find myself running dry for too long, and this has been by far the longest I have gone without continuously putting pen to paper. I know I want to win NanoWrimo again this year, but like any competitor, you don't just cold turkey it.
For ninety days, starting tomorrow, I plan to write every single day. The ninety day mark will put my far beyond Nanowrimo - December 17th to be exact - but that is actually part of my plan. I don't want to see NanoWrimo as a clutch, I want to keep my brain going beyond it. Hopefully I'll continue way beyond the ninety day mark and set other personal bests in the process.
I don't want to set unattainable goals that will discourage me from the get go so I plan to start small. Two hundred words a day for the first week, three hundred for the second, and so on until November 1st. It will be quite a jump once that day comes but it will be better than going from zero to 2,000 in a single bound.
The Livescribe pen
Writing on the go
A few months ago, my wonderful husband bought me m very first smart pen, the Livescribe 3. My computer's keyboard has been having some issues on and off so I saw that as the perfect excuse to justify to myself why I wasn't writing. My husband was not having any of that, so he decided to splurge on this magnificent device to get me out of my funk. The Livescribe pen, for those who are unfamiliar, is a computerized pen that reads whatever you write when you use their special dotted paper and sends it to your computer or mobile device. It can even convert handwriting to text if you have neat enough handwriting. It is a pretty neat little device and I have found that it works well enough for writing on the go. I plan to use it during work hours when I have a spare minute, not just in the days leading up to NanoWrimo, but during the month of November as well. I will leave a link down below to the Livescribe site for those curious about it. The company has all sorts of different notepads to choose from, but I prefer the Moleskin notepad as I love the portability of it (and what self proclaimed writer doesn't love a good Moleskin?)
If you are like myself and desperately need to get back into the writing game, or are joining for the first time, I encourage you to try and challenge yourself as well. I find that writing down m goals really works as a great accountability partner. I will be using my Passion Planner to make sure that I stay on the right and narrow but feel free to do what works best for you. Partner up with a friend, tell your family your goals, join a writing group. Just make sure you write!
If you want to follow my progress this November, please keep watching my blog for updates or follow me at http://nanowrimo.org/participants/germanmickey
Livescribe Pens and Accessories
National Novel Writing Month site