As part of my New Years resolution, I decided to try and write every day. I'll admit it: I'm not a disciplined writer. I try my best to get work done, but between school and work, it was hard to make time. Now, I've got a lot of time on my hands, and there's really no excuse. I applaud those of you who can write 3,000+ words a day while balancing kids and jobs and what have you. That's amazing. As for me, I decided to take one small step at a time, and start with a simple 500 words a day.
Jeff Goins, whom I love and admire, created this program called My 500 Words. It's a 31 day challenge where you simply write 500 words a day. As Jeff says, "It takes me anywhere from 30-60 minutes to write 500 words. And if I keep up with that pace, I’ve got a book in 90 days." Above, you can see a glimpse of my writing calendar. As you can see, vacation kind of got in the way, but I'm not punishing myself. I just picked up where I left off. And that's good!
My writing calendar is based off of word count, and I've got the system down. The idea came from writer Laini Taylor, who recently posted her methods on her blog. I'm the kind of person that does well with visuals, so seeing my progress in front of me really kickstarts my writing.
Here's how my system works:
1. Word Count Colors. I found this little marker/stamp at Target that has three colors: magenta, yellow and orange. If I write my 5oo words, then I get a magenta dot. Yellow is for 1,000 and Orange is for 1,500. I write the exact number of words on the day, so I can tally my words for the week.
2. Cupcakes. Math lesson: 500 words a day for 7 days equals 3,500 words for the week. If I reach that 3,500, I get a cupcake sticker. Pretty cute, huh?
3. Congratulations banner. Not pictured above, if I reach 14,000 words for the month, then I get a "congratulations" sticker for the month.
There's no "right" way to make a writing calendar, but it helps to make it fun! The main ingredients are writing and reward. Celebrate your work! You deserve it!
Do you have a writing calendar? How has it improved your writing time? Comment below!