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Thread: January Challenge - Write Every Day!

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Magnus's Avatar
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    January Challenge - Write Every Day!

    Hello and welcome! This is a thread open to anyone who wants to start, maintain, or reinforce a writing habit.


    The basis for the idea is that repeating something daily, even in small amounts, will build a habit that becomes stronger over time. You can read more in this blog post I wrote.

    It's entirely up to you how much and in what way you participate, but feel free to introduce yourself and tell us your goals!


    Here are some tips:


    • Set achievable goals – I can't stress enough how important this is. Habits build over time, so look at your current writing habit and set a goal to increase it a little bit, in word count, time, and/or frequency. (For example, I did a lot better with a small daily goal than with a big, looming, monthly one).
    • Write every day – even if it's just a few sentences. It reinforces the habit.
    • Mix it up – Try different types of goals, different times of the day, different tricks to reward or motivate yourself. A good habit is what works for you, not someone else. For example, some people find it works best with a set time. Others – like me – prefer a conditional habit.
    • Be patient – It takes a long time to build a strong habit and you'll always be facing new challenges. Get used to constantly adapting and you'll be better prepared for whatever problem comes up next.
    • Don't give up because you didn't hit your goal – When you fail to hit your target, your job is figuring out why it happened. That way, you can find ways to get around your roadblocks (and don't be scared of lowering the bar - doing something is better than doing nothing). If you share your stumbles in the thread, others might be able to help out with tips and tricks!


    Good luck, and see you on the 1st of January!
    You can find my stories on Patreon.
    I'm also on Twitter and the Book of Faces.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW Magnus's Avatar
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    I had started getting my ducks in a row but then -- holidays. Things are calming down now, though. I'm going to get back to this with a 300 words per day goal because that's still what worked the best for me so far, and I think it's time I push myself a bit!

    Happy New Year everyone, let's make 2018 a great writing year!
    You can find my stories on Patreon.
    I'm also on Twitter and the Book of Faces.

  3. #3
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Hey Magnus! Thanks for the January thread - here's to a wordful New Year for all of us!

    My goal will be the same - every day:
    1) write something
    2) take some action to help increase my income
    3) do an action of self-care or responsibility

    As I've said in the previous threads - whenever I've had stress, it has always been enough just to take care of the urgent thing - so I'm on a quest to stop stressful things from depriving me of writing & other good things
    すべての武器を楽器に
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  4. #4
    This & That Esmae Tyler's Avatar
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    Hey Magnus! Hi Layla!

    New year, new goals! I have a couple of big ones for the whole year for my MS but this ain't the place for that. January gets bitty, baby steps:

    1 - Write a little every day. That's it! My whole goal! I just want to stay in the habit so I don't fall off the wagon I worked so hard to get on in November/December. It's going to be a little hard today because I don't have a project fixed mentally yet, but what can you do?

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Jan74's Avatar
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    Happy New Year,

    My goal is to leave chapter one alone and write at least 5x week.

    "You fail only if you stop writing" ~Ray Bradbury~
    "The road to hell is paved with adverbs" ~Stephen King~
    WIP Dark Romance
    "If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word." ~Margaret Atwood~
    "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." ~Mary Angelou~


  6. #6
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Hi, folks. I'm going to give this a try, and see if it works for me.

    My goal is to write something every day. I'll start with alotting myself half an hour every morning, which is not very much time, but that way it won't be too daunting. And hopefully, once I get into it, I'll keep writing for longer.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Magnus's Avatar
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    Day 1
    I'll give myself a pass today. I got about 200 words, but the important thing is I sat down to write. I'll do better tomorrow, and today was good overall as I am slipping back into a lot of other habits with considerably more ease than I had expected. So all the work is with building routines is paying off, slowly but surely.

    Layla & Esmae, nice to see you both here again! I'll make an effort to be more present again.
    Jan74 and oneblindmouse, welcome to the challenge and good luck!
    You can find my stories on Patreon.
    I'm also on Twitter and the Book of Faces.

  8. #8
    Business Lumberjack
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    Magnus, long time no see! Welcome back, and thanks for the new thread!!

    It's 2018, so I've got some long-term goals (finish this current WIP #2, finish editing other WIP #1) but since those are largely the same I'm going to do only a little refinement on my daily goals. I won't be able to achieve anything until after my family leaves on January 5, as it's taking all my free time each day to take them around the city, but once that rolls around, we are back in business!

    Goal #1: Write 500 words per day.
    Goal #2: Edit 5 pages per day.

    Goal #2 may be a stretch, but I was managing it alright on the days I really committed, so it'll be one I have to work more for. Writing I can do in the train, but not editing.

    Oneblindmouse and Jan, welcome to the thread! Esmae and Layla, good to see you again! Let's all do our best as 2018 starts.
    Author website & blog
    Roanoke (2008) | The Life Siphon (2017)
    Ibuki (F/F fantasy novella) [coming from NineStar Press Jan. 29th, 2018!]
    George (Take III): [34,877 words]

  9. #9
    partial to Tigers in shorts ajaye's Avatar
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    Hi all.

    My Jan goals:

    1. write the last 3 stories for the countdown challenge, one a day, starting today.
    2. write one short story a week (perhaps using the weekly flash prompt as the prompt). That means finish 4 stories this week. :O
    3. finish reading the unread (by me) stories in the countdown challenge.
    4. ponder a premise for a bigger project (I always write small).

    Good luck everyone.


  10. #10
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Welcome Jan & mouse
    Magnus, Esmae, Katy, AJ - good to see everyone!

    Nice work, Magnus, congrats on getting back into the swing of things

    Day 1
    15 lines across two WIPs; did a simple self-care chore; did more work on my new resume (this one is a functional resume) - maybe I'll do more before the evening is over, but I'm feeling ready to check in now.
    すべての武器を楽器に
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  11. #11
    This & That Esmae Tyler's Avatar
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    Day 1 - No specific WC, but I wrote some notes on paper about my Sekrit Solstice story. Still kicking around ideas there, trying to come up with something that feels good. This is my writing project for January so I can't dawdle too long or I won't get anything written!

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW thereeness's Avatar
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    I think I'm gonna bow out of the challenge this month. I think I'm going through burnout and need some time to recharge my batteries. Good luck to everyone though!
    Laurine's Literary Lookout: http://laurinebruder.tumblr.com
    Updates every Tuesday with writing tips, slices of author life, and thoughts on books and writing in general.

  13. #13
    Destroying something beautiful OctoberLee's Avatar
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    I like heykatydid's, and I'm going to borrow from it (with a somewhat weaker attempt)

    Goal #1: Write 200 words per day.
    Goal #2: Edit one day per week
    ~Octoberly Blog ~ Octoberly Tweet ~

    MS0: everything that came before & trunk
    MS1: YA fantasy, trunk-ish
    MS2: YA contemporary, querying/rejectionville
    MS3: YA fantasy, draft zero, 12/85k
    MS4: YA fantasy, drafting 3k/dragons​

  14. #14
    Whittling Away My Writer's Block D.L. Shepherd's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone!! Thanks for starting a new thread, Magnus.

    The New Year is here, and I'm ready to finish the first draft of my WIP once in for all.

    I only have about 5,000 more words/one major scene to go, so I am just about there. But after I reach that goal, I have LOTS of editing ahead of me, so I hope to use this thread to keep me accountable for finishing the first draft and then for the editing too.

  15. #15
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    2018 Writing Goals Continue building up consistency and habit.
    Goal 1: Get at least one story up a week, better 2 for kindle.
    Goal 2: Have 3 solid writing days a week. 5,000 word +
    Goal 3: Have 2 editing/publishing/website management/ submission work days.
    Goal 4: Submit stories for Anthologies.


    p.s. Odd question. I did the email thing to ask for the password to enter the erotica writers sections and never got an email or password? It's my genre, so I'd rather crit that style of story. What do I do?

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW Magnus's Avatar
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    Day 2
    I did some heavy revision of a story that's been nagging me for ages and forced myself to make some difficult choices. I think I only added a couple of hundred words, but it's definitely a pass today for the effort I put in as it brought me over a road bump.

    heykatydid & DL - Good to see you both here again! You're sticking with it better than I am, it seems!

    ajaye, thereenees, OctoberLee, Willow Bern - Nice to see you all here, welcome!
    You can find my stories on Patreon.
    I'm also on Twitter and the Book of Faces.

  17. #17
    Get back to writing. NOW. Pterofan's Avatar
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    I think I'll be bowing out too this month, although I'll still be writing. During the period that one scene was blocking me, I went ahead and wrote other scenes, both on screen and on paper. Now that I'm past the roadblock, most of what I'll be doing this month is rewriting existing work, not writing new stuff. My goal is to get the story done and off to market by the end of January. That means I'll be starting a new story in February. If someone starts a February thread, I may come back for that.

    Good luck everybody, and I hope you all enjoy success (and big sales!) in the new year!

  18. #18
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    DAY 1 I've written sporadically, but a total of about 2 hours, which is much more than aimed for or expected (maybe it pays to have small achieveable goals!). I edited four short pieces that are finally coalescing, and worked on my latest WIP, both editing and adding to it. At least I'm back on track.

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

  19. #19
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin Maria Ale Barrios's Avatar
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    As the procrastination queen, I love this thread.

    Today I have worked on some rewrites for a story I've been editing since 2016 (SO MANY DRAFTS), and I have sent some submissions around.

    Tomorrow I'm going on a day trip, but I hope to a least write something.

    Such great progress everybody. Keep it up!

    Thank you, Magnus, for the thread.

  20. #20
    This & That Esmae Tyler's Avatar
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    Day 2 - Dumped the idea I was working on yesterday in favor of a new one. Wrote a whole page longhand of New Idea, then shifted it to Scrivener, then realized I needed to do some research and oops down the rabbit hole I went.


    And ooooh so many people here now! It got so quiet by the end of the December thread I thought we might have to start burning pages from old WIPs to stay motivated. Let me see here...


    Thereeness - Mental breaks are super important. It really is important to know when you need some time off, and when you're ready to get back in the saddle. I'm sure most of us will still be here when you get back!

    OctoberLee - Those are solid goals. Good luck with them!

    D.L. - Welcome back! You're so close to hitting The End! Are you going to jump straight into revisions, or fiddle with something else for a bit first? I'm perpetually curious about Other People's Processes, especially when the part of the process they're working on is the same one I'm stuck in. Which will be revisions soon enough...

    Willow - Wow, those are some serious goals! I'm afraid I have no answers about that section of the forum though.

    Magnus - Quality often trumps quantity. Especially in the revision phase.

    Ptero - Aww, we'll miss you! But again, most of us will probably still be here in February.

    Oneblindmouse - Busy day for you! That sounds like quite a bit to have gotten done in a relatively short time.

    Maria - Welcome! I might have to contest you for the title of procrastination queen though. .... Eventually.

  21. #21
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hey.

    Im a newbie but ive been writing the same story for the last couple weeks. Im on just over 20,000 words and now with Christmas out of the way, together with a sober January, I have time to really get into it.
    Plan is to write everyday. Id love to do 1000 words a day, pretty much an hour or two a day. If I make the effort I could prob do it. But I think Im gonna aim for 500 words a day for the first week. On the days I do more its a bonus, but thats the minimum I want each day for the next 7 days. Then Ill reassess next Tuesday

  22. #22
    Whittling Away My Writer's Block D.L. Shepherd's Avatar
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    Willow Bern: Good luck meeting all of your goals! I don't know the answer either, unfortunately. Maybe ask a moderator?

    Magnus: Hey, sounds like you had a pretty good writing session. Nice way to start the month! I don't know about me sticking to it though. Last month I only managed about 6,000 words or so. The month before I wrote double! I really need to knuckle down more.

    Pterofan: Glad you got everything worked out. Have fun with the editing!! I can't wait to get to that part myself. Maybe we'll see you in February.

    oneblindmouse: Two hours of work is a nice session!

    Hello Maria! This is a great place for procrastinators...I'm one of them too.

    Esmae: It's *awesome* that you stuck it out and finished your last one in time to meet your goal! It must be fun to figure out what you want to write now. Lots of new shinys to choose from now, I bet! As for me, normally, I'd take a break before jumping in to the edits, but I wrote a really bare bones draft and I did kind of take a break for the holidays, so I'm going to roll my sleeves up and jump right in. But after my second draft is done, I'll probably set it aside for a bit before going through it again.

    discodowney: Welcome aboard! You'd be surprised how those ~500 count days add up over time.

    Today I managed 550+ words. Not too shabby, since I only had an hour to work on it. My goal is to finish this draft by Jan. 12th

  23. #23
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    reeness, ptero - totes understand. Hope to see you when the well is full!
    Welcome October, Willow, discodowney
    Nice work Magnus - choices are hard - I always prefer it when the story just feeds you what you need to know - which happened exactly twice for me. (and one of the stories was only 400 words long)
    Congrats on the work, mouse!
    Welcome Maria
    Esmae - sometimes we gotta clean the pipes first, to get the flow
    DL - congrats on the 500


    Day 2: 20 lines in two WIPs; emailed 3 housemate candidates (one wrote back) and ran errands (in the COLD on my bike - gotta bundle up good); got back to the job letter, and then - I managed to get to some Javascript - and to start the design of the mobile version of my portfolio w00t!
    3/3!
    すべての武器を楽器に
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  24. #24
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Got 1000+ last night. came flying out, took only about 40 minutes. My condo building doesnt let me into the function room, which is a pain cos I was going to do work in there where its really quiet when not in use. Last night I had the place to myself but I wont most nights.

  25. #25
    The new me oneblindmouse's Avatar
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    Jan 3

    Today I've written 500+ words, yippee! But I fear they're a bit off-topic (one of my sisters suggested we write a memoir about our shared childhood, so there are strict topics the three of us are supposed to stick to), so I may have to re-write them at a later date. But at least I've sat down and put words on a page!

    "Strange Destinies" by Guillermo Rubio Arias-Paz, translated from the Spanish and out now on Amazon and the Endless Bookcase.

    Goodreads

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