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Thread: May Challenge - Write Every Day

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

    This is a thread open to anyone who wants to start, maintain, or reinforce a writing habit. (It can also be about revision, editing, research -- all writing habits welcome!)

    The basic idea is that repeating something daily, even if only for a short time, will build a habit that becomes stronger over time.

    It's entirely up to you how much and in what way you participate. Post your goals if you like, or just check in when you can!

    Here are some tips:


    • Set achievable goals – I can't stress enough how important this is. To build a habit, doing something is more important than quantity or quality.
    • Keep up the habit as many days in the week as possible – even if it's just a few sentences or a bit of editing. It reinforces the habit and makes it easier to get started.
    • 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.
    • 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, tricks, and support! And sometimes, it's okay to just take a break for a day or two, or have scheduled days "off". Whatever works for you!


    Good luck, and see you on May 1st!
    I'm on Twitter and Patreon.

  2. #2
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Woooweeee! As usual, I'm back in for the challenge. And thank you Magnus for for starting the challenge and keeping it going

    My goal is to Write and Take Care of Life (because in the past, when Life got challenging (and when isn't it?) Writing went out the window).

    I have been breaking it down in to 3 categories - work on my WIP, one action of self-care/responsibility, one action to increase my income, but my categories are not so neat any more - I'm not sure how to figure them - I'll keep the 3 for now, but I might be fiddling with it.
    すべての武器を楽器に
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  3. #3
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin AllyBlue's Avatar
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    Hi guys! This is a great idea and sounds like something that might help keep me motivated. The last 2-3 years have been particularly rough, and in the past few months I've been sliding. So right now I'm going to make a very simple goal: to enage in some way (writing actual words, editing, plotting) with one of my works in progress (I have three right now...) every day. That's it. I haven't even touched them on my Day Job days for ages, so I need to work on that. But even on off days, I haven't done the work I need to be doing. So here's me trying

    Thanks for this challenge Magnus!

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW WGough's Avatar
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    Last month, I worked on my WIP every day, but didn't post much. So, hi everybody!

    Goals this month:

    Finish WIP longhand draft.
    Post more often.

    Have a great May, folks!
    "Your first draft does not require your faith in it...The work doesn’t need your confidence. The work just needs the work." -- Chuck Wendig

  5. #5
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    New goal is to keep up the habit of writing and not focus on a word count end goal. Last month I ended up worrying too much and stopped going anywhere with my outline and writing. In conclusion, instead of a nanowrimo like work cycle, I want to write build and write as I go.

    They way to go about it will take some use to. The mindset is: it’s an ordinary task. The same as cooking lunch or something else.

    I’ve tried this out with another stressful task and it seems to stop stress. The last few days I’ve had some sparks of excitement+imagination. Hopefully, this all works.

  6. #6
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hi everyone! I’m looking to return to writing after a long period where it was on the backburner in favour of other things. Hopefully this month will be the kick in the pants I need.

    My goals:

    1. Write 250 words a day on my current WIP.
    2. Plot some of my next project every day.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW starrystorm's Avatar
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    Honestly I have no idea how May is going to go. I think...I think I might actually finish self-editing my Futuristic Urban Fantasy in May and start looking for professional editors. *Gulp* But let's not get too excited here.

    Still, I'll try to post onto here as much as I can if I made any progress with my sci-fi WIP. See you in May.
    [COLOR="#0000FF"](YA futuristic urban fantasy) The Door in My Hand= (Trunked)/COLOR]
    (Ya sci-fi) Puppet People= first draft

  8. #8
    Miss Behave StoryG27's Avatar
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    I really need this. I’ve been preparing to self publish and all the anxiety and endless research has made my muse comatose. My goal is going to be a simple one: write at least ten minutes every day. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but with all I’m juggling, it’s at least doable and hopefully a few of those ten minute sessions will naturally lengthen.

  9. #9
    Writer, historian Cindyt's Avatar
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    Thanks, Magnus!

    1. Write every day, inspiration be damned.
    2. Revise, revise, revise crime novel
    3. Hammer out the beginnings of the western novel
    4 Word count whatever
    5. Don't beat myself up if I fall below my targets.

    Welcome back Gough!
    Books in progress: Dress Her in Chameleon, A Deadly Spill of Scarlet, & Nothing Like a Birth to Start a Feud (Unless It's a Funeral)

    Articles in progress: 2 per month for Growing Up Buford

    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

    GROWING UP BUFORD
    OUR TOWN
    BRANDON LEE

  10. #10
    Happy Beeps April Swanson's Avatar
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    Hallo peeps, old and new (hey WGough!). Thank you, Magnus, for starting. My goal as always is to simply show up. Oh, and stick with this longhand malark! If I can get words down on this new project then that will be an added bonus.

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Hey guys, back again for May.

    Three key targets for myself.

    1. Write every day.
    2. Average 500 words a day over the month. Total of 15,500.
    3. Post my daily finishing totals here so I can keep an accurate track.

    Here we go!

    Day 1 starting total: 16,097
    Current writing my debut novel - Recall (self-publishing in 2019). Always looking for feedback

    Follow me on: Twitter ¦ Instagram

  12. #12
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    Hi all!

    I've joined this thread in the past and it's been helpful, so I'm trying again. I was going to join in April, but I blinked and the month was gone.

    Goal: Add words to the WIP every day, not worrying about the amount.
    Doing the backstroke in the beer moat.

    Try it, you might like it. Blogging life in the big city with Mrs Fringe.

  13. #13
    Miss Behave StoryG27's Avatar
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    everyone!



    Day 1 - The landscape is barren and vast but the travelers seem in good spirits and oblivious to the rumors of violent cannibals in the area.

    Okay, okay, it's not the bleak.
    Yet.

    So I hit my ten minute goal today. I only got in 150 words, but at least that's more than what I had when I woke up. I'm definitely struggling to get the muse talking again.

  14. #14
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin AllyBlue's Avatar
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    Okay, so my May goal is to engage somehow or another with one of my WIPs every day. Today I had an absolute brainwave on one of them, and I've gotten 875 words so far. For me lately, that is a very good day. Hopefully I can get some more before the day's out, but if I don't I'm still satisfied b/c not only did I get a good many words written (good ones, even), but I think I solved the problem that was keeping me from finishing this one. So, yay

    Sending everyone else good vibes!!

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW Magnus's Avatar
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    Day 1

    At the risk of this being a "I reported cause I had a good day", I'll try to get myself started on a good note this month and hope I can keep it up!

    Today I forced myself to keep working on some background material that has been giving me a headache, mostly because it's all in such a disarray that I can barely wrap my head around it. But this has been a problem for me many times before and I need to learn to power through it and get my notes sorted out. So today was a victory. And as I was heading home, I got an email from the publication that's going to publish a short story of mine but has been incommunicado for a long time; they've a new editor and are getting caught up, and my story should see the light of day later this year. Very good to hear!

    Layla -- My solution is more often to keep things as simple as possible; when I start making complicated schemes around my writing and self-care I tend to get tangled up in them and end up spending more energy thinking about the structure of my plans than actually doing things. In the end, I know what I need to do for the day to be a success.

    StoryG27 -- That's the spirit: start out with something small and achievable and work your way up. Writing a little is more than not writing at all! I find one of the big hurdles a writer needs to pass is to learn to write when the muse isn't talking. Back when I wrote only when inspiration struck I finished about one short story every five years, so yeah...

    Welcome everyone, old and new, to the writing challenge!
    Last edited by Magnus; 05-02-2019 at 05:27 PM.
    I'm on Twitter and Patreon.

  16. #16
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    I love reading everyone's goals, they can be challenging and simple at the same time.

    My goal for May is: 20k I'll keep it simple.

    Day 1: 1650

    Best of luck to everyone!

  17. #17
    Just keep swimming Keithy's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard new recruits to the good ship May Challenge

    I have no idea what to aim for this month so I will do "something". Perhaps sort out a plot instead of winging it?

    keep on swimming
    I'm like a galleon under full sail or a wagon with all its wheels broken

  18. #18
    fighting evil by monitorlight lilyWhite's Avatar
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    I'll join in. My motivation has been...lacking as of late, and I want to hold my feet to the flames and keep myself accountable.

    Two simple goals: Finish my current draft of Papillon and write at least 500 words a day for Plume (or whatever I end up calling it).

    So far today, 727 words. Might add more.

  19. #19
    practical experience, FTW WGough's Avatar
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    Day 1
    Two scenes longhand. Two pages, roughly 600 words? Reading Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan.

    April: Same! Cherishing our, at times uncanny, psychic connection. Finally watched Colette. Thanks for the rec. I demand a French country house! Sans the deliciously douchey husband.

    Cindyt: Great goals, as usual. Looking forward to being blown away by your progress!

    AshlynnHeart: I like the way you think!

    aurora borealis:

    starrystorm: Too late. I'm already too excited for you.

    StoryG27: Every little bit. Way to meet that goal! You might check out Holly Lisle's Create A Plot Clinic. Some interesting suggestions for wrangling that muse.

    dansimmonds: Welcome back!

    ap123: So good to see you here again!

    Random_Coffee: And nice word count!

    Keithy: Hey, Swimmy. Looking forward to your updates.

    lilyWhite: Nice word count. Papillon and Plume. Such good words.

    A year ago this month, I joined AW looking for beta readers and found the Monthly Challenge thread. Still haven't queried betas, but y'all have been an invaluable motivating force. So, thanks for showing up. I'll endeavor to do the same.
    Last edited by WGough; 05-02-2019 at 04:10 AM.
    "Your first draft does not require your faith in it...The work doesn’t need your confidence. The work just needs the work." -- Chuck Wendig

  20. #20
    Miss Behave StoryG27's Avatar
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    AllyBlue, breakthroughs and a nice word count. That’s a good day.

    Magnus, fleshing our and sorting is a great accomplishment. And congrats on your short story!

    RandomCoffee, that’s a nice start to your goal!

    WGough, I struggle with longhand. When I get rolling really fast, I can’t read my own handwriting. I’ll have to check out that clinic.

  21. #21
    Seashell Seller Layla Nahar's Avatar
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    Wow - so many new faces - I mean avatars, and familiar one's too

    Hwy Magnus - that's great to hear from a publisher
    WTG Story on getting that 10 minutes in mos def better than the blank page
    W00t caffee! way to knock it out of the park!
    Hi Keithy!
    nice work lily!
    Gough! WTG on the 600!


    Day 1 -

    WIP - 1/4 page (handwritten), typed some of my wip into the computer. (I'm feeling a lot of resistance to writing in the e-doc.)
    R/SC - home biz work
    $$ - got my indy biz site to a state where I can share it with potential clients - speaking of which - my colleague who was a test customer told me 'next time I'm going to pay you'. Some work on my audio production setup.
    すべての武器を楽器に
    Of all instruments of war, make instruments of music

  22. #22
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Day 1.

    I only managed to write 161 words, but they're good words (for a first draft, anyways). I'm blaming work - after 8 hours of running around like a headless chicken I came home and had a nap before dinner.

    Planning-wise, I sketched out the bare-bones plot of my next project today. I'm looking forward to this one.

  23. #23
    Writer, historian Cindyt's Avatar
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    Day 1

    Draft - 8 from polish

    Polish - 14 chapters and 6 scenes

    Gough - Welcome back!

    Layla - WTG on ¼ page.
    Books in progress: Dress Her in Chameleon, A Deadly Spill of Scarlet, & Nothing Like a Birth to Start a Feud (Unless It's a Funeral)

    Articles in progress: 2 per month for Growing Up Buford

    The only thing you can't fix is a blank page.--Bonnie Hearn Hill

    GROWING UP BUFORD
    OUR TOWN
    BRANDON LEE

  24. #24
    Happy Beeps April Swanson's Avatar
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    Story: It can take a long time to wake the Muse up again, but I think setting small, achievable daily goals is the perfect approach. Good luck!

    Ally: Awesome! Brainwaves are the best. If you have any spare, please feel free to share :P

    Magnus: Congratulations on the publication! I used to be so fixated with making the perfect schedule and routine that I became obsessive and almost drove myself mad. I’m still a work in progress, but FWIW, I find writing in timed sprints and using a qualitative method to record my day’s progress (if you want to record at all) is the easiest, simplest and most flexible way to maintain structure.

    Random: Wooft, great start!

    Keithy: Our goals are very much alike

    lilyWhite: Welcome! Great start to the month

    WGough: Ooh, yeah, I remember that film! I still feel that if I had a fine French house my Muse would show up.

    Layla: Hmm, do you know where that resistance is coming from? (Yay 1/4 page!)

    aurora: Yay, great start!

    Cindyt: Bloody hell, nice polishin’!

    I’m honestly struggling to concentrate because I can’t stop thinking about GoT (yeah I’m that sad), BUT I did brainstorm some bad things that could happen in the plot, and delved a little deeper into some of my characters. With this project, I know there’s a story in there somewhere, but I’m having a hard time dragging it out ...

    Day 1: Wee bit; 7.5 miles; valar morghulis

  25. #25
    Twitching ap123's Avatar
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    Looks like everyone is off to a solid start, congrats!

    Decided I will post each day's totals the following morning, so as not to feel the day is lost if I haven't written by noon (I'm generally a morning writer).

    Day 1: 532 words
    Doing the backstroke in the beer moat.

    Try it, you might like it. Blogging life in the big city with Mrs Fringe.

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