At the beginning of the year, I signed up for Sally Quilford’s 100K words in 100 days Challenge, starting January 1st, and ending April 10th. Even without a calculator, I can work out that means averaging 1,000 words a day. That’s less than NaNoWriMo, where the aim is 50K in 30 days. I managed that in November 2011, although I then had to spend about six months revising and editing the story (it will be released next month, all being well).
For the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I found I had to turn off my ‘inner editor’, and allow myself to write sentences, phrases and words I wasn’t happy with, in order to reach the target. I succeeded, all the time telling myself I could go back and revise later. However, it wasn’t an experience I wanted to repeat, so I didn’t sign up again in 2012.
So why have I signed up for the 100K in 100 days?
One of the main reasons was that it included any kind of creative writing, not just novels, but short stories, poems, articles, and blog posts. I’d already guessed that my usual ‘output’ per day on my current WIP was about 500 words, and I wasn’t sure I could increase that without writing a whole load of stuff that would probably need deleting, or at least, complete rewriting later.
Instead, I decided to ‘up’ my words per day by giving more attention to my blog. I had neglected it in the latter part of last year, apart from Six Sentence Sunday. After learning that this blog hop is ending at the end of this month, I realised I’d have to find some way to inject new life into my blog. As a result, I’ve re-established my links with two Facebook ‘blogging’ groups, The Writers’ Post and GBE2: Blogging On, both of which post a blog ‘prompt’ once a week. I’m making a determined effort to write something on the suggested topics, and so far I’ve managed ‘I’m Grateful For …’, ‘Past Lives’, ‘Fame’, ‘Masterpiece’, and ‘Music’.
The other challenge I gave myself was one in Sally’s list of prompts – to click on ‘Random Article’ in Wikipedia, and write something on whatever article came up. Sally suggested we could keep clicking to find an article we liked, but I decided I could probably spend all day doing that! Instead, I use the very first article that comes up, whatever it is (yes, I like making things harder for myself!) – and I also try to find some way to link it to writing. So far I’ve had articles on Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, Eagle County Colorado, and HMS Eastbourne! If you want to see what I managed to write about these, check out my Thursday posts on my blog! This week’s ‘random article’ is Lick Prairie Precinct, Illinois – and at the moment, I haven’t a clue what I’m going to write about but I’ll let it roll around my head until this evening.
Using these blog prompts has been an interesting exercise, sometimes taking me out of my comfort zone, which is no bad thing.
I haven’t managed 1,000 words each day, but I have written something every day. My highest total was 1653, my lowest 424, but over 21 days, I’ve written 21,796 words (someone has designed a spreadsheet so we can keep track of our daily and cumulative totals), so I’ve actually averaged just over 1,000 a day. Without the challenge, I probably wouldn’t have achieved anything like that total, and at the same time I’ve breathed new life into my blog.
And now that I’ve written 610 words for this blog, it’s time to return to my WIP, to add some more to that!