After five days of the 500 Word Challenge by Jeff Goins, I’ve already learned much more than I had planned. Here are a few things:
Writing begets writing. Progress in the number of words that I’m able to write has increased exponentially. In other words, it’s not five times harder to write 500 words than it is to write 100 words. In fact, it might even be easier once you get used to it.
Showing up is 90 percent of the battle. Once you get started, the words and sentences start to flow.
Pen and paper work just fine. Whatever I’m going to put out there for others to read needs to be edited anyway. I know that people do it, but it seems like writing straight to your blog is like posting nude pictures of yourself on the internet — I can think of a million reasons not to do it and not a single reason to do it.
I’ve written at least 3000 words this week. Multiplied by 50 weeks (I’m sure I’ll miss at least two somewhere in there), that’s 150,000 words for a year. So in terms of the number of words, there is a book in me somewhere.
There are some days when a good percentage of my 500 words will actually be usable. There are other days when very little of it will be usable.
You have to persevere through the days when writing is laborious and very little is useful to get to the high yield days.
The 30-40 minutes that it has been taking me to write the 500 words often seems like 2-3 minutes.
If I want to average 500 usable words each day, I’ll probably need to aim higher. On the other hand, if you have the words on paper (or in cyberspace) you can probably find some use for the words that you have written if you are willing to do some serious editing.