Monday, November 30, 2015

Give it 30 Days

Post by Jenny

Today is November 30, which means that finally, at long last, it is…National Mousse Day. Though I will concede that writers who have been typing away furiously for the past four weeks may be more excited to have reached the end of NaNoWriMo. (No better way to celebrate than with a nice chocolate mousse, I say.)

If you took the plunge, congratulations! You may soon be wondering what to do with the hot mess of a half-baked novel that’s staring you in the face, but I hope you have the very satisfying feeling that comes from dedicating a significant chunk of your year to writing.

But if you’re feeling a little bit of writer’s regret because you didn’t give it a go this time around, you don’t have to wait until next November to set a month-long writing goal. 30 day challenges abound on the internet. 30 day diets, 30 day detoxes, 30 days to cleaner closets, 30 days without swearing, 30 days of photography or jokes or smiling at strangers on the sidewalk. It sounds almost trite at this point (30 days of clich├ęs!) but 30 days of effort really can change habits.

December probably isn’t the easiest time for most of us to jump in, but it is a great opportunity to start planning for Resolution Month, aka January. Take some time in the coming weeks to mull over where you are now and where you want to be at this time next year. Be honest and realistic. There’s no such thing as starting too small, either. If you’re new to writing, for example, or if you’re struggling with the things we writers struggle with, you might want to commit to just sitting in your writing space for fifteen minutes every day.

No expectations. No pressure. If you can’t resist the siren song of the internet, make your writing space gadget-free. Bring a notebook and a pen. Doodle. Write down the random stuff in your head. Daydream about the kind of writing life you want to shape for yourself. Drink some tea. But make sure you sit in your writer spot every day without fail.

Other possible daily challenges for writers include reading from your genre, learning a new word, journaling, studying the craft, blogging, writing prompts, building your platform, or revising a chapter from your soon-to-be-awesome work in progress.

And yes, I realize that this isn’t rocket science and I haven’t told you anything you don’t already know, but sometimes we all need to be reminded that small steps can lead to big progress.

What would you do for a 30 day writer challenge?

1 comment:

Patricia Stoltey said...

I've been doing one thing on your list: reading lots of books from my genre. Also lots of books from everyone else's genre.

Writing though? Not so much. I promise to mull over where I am now (which is sort of nowhere) and make a plan.

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