Whether she’s building life-sized models of dinosaurs with her adopted family, trying her hand at cooking at a private retreat, living in a barn, taking a road trip across Europe or climbing mountains in Asia, author Aidyl Ewoh (aka Lydia Howe) seems to have adventures follow her wherever she goes. Her first book, Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl was published by Answers in Genesis in 2013 and her second book is to be released by Master Books in 2015. Find out more about Aidyl at her Blog, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you want to be serious about writing, you need to get in the habit of writing every day. It was August, 2012 and I was at my first writing conference when I heard the advice. I wrote it down in my notebook and began thinking of ways to implement writing every day into my life.
It was the next week when I was reading the Go Teen Writers blog that I saw Stephanie had announced the first round of the 100/100 challenge. (Which is a writing exercise where you write a 100 words for a 100 days.) Realizing it would be the perfect opportunity to get into the habit, I signed up.
I’m happy to announce that I’ve been going ever since.
I just wrote my 100 words for the 730th day in a row. It’s a fantastic feeling.
I know it doesn’t work for everyone to write every day. Still, I think it’s beneficial to at least try it. Here are some tips I’ve found for making the 100 for 100 challenge easier:
Set an alarm.
I have a phone where I can set a timer that goes off every day. My alarm is set for each night. When the alarm sounds, if I haven’t already written my words, I snooze it until my words are written. And yes, I have had to get out of bed to write my words when I’ve forgotten to write them. I guess it would probably be smarter to get the words knocked out first thing in the morning, but I’m happy with my routine.
Keep track of it.
I started writing down what I did toward my writing dream back on January 1st, 2012. I’ve missed a few days, but I always go back and fill them in. Since I began keeping track, I’ve done at least one thing toward my writing goal every single day. It’s an amazing feeling to flip through a notebook and see how taking little steps each day for years can add up to a big dream coming true. (For instance, on 6-14-13 I wrote: 100/100, Blog post, publishing story, GTW FB, And... My first book is being released today!)
Be ok with mediocre words sometimes.
You can’t always spend the time you need to craft sensational sentences. Last month my best friend got married, and I was her maid of honor. For several days I didn’t have much time to spend on my writing, so I would think of how my character might respond to the situation I was in, and then write it from her perspective. That was great for me because - although I may never use those words - I still took the time to dive into my character’s head and get a clearer picture of her. Which ties into:
Develop your characters.
I discovered very quickly that sometimes I won’t be able to write more than 100 words per day (especially if I’m busy editing another manuscript). When that happens, I’ll work on character development, or write a snippet of description or dialog I might be able to use later on. That way I’m still writing constantly and making progress, but I don’t have to worry about choppy paragraphs where I jump from thought to thought.
Share your work.
If you have a blog, tell your readers about the challenge and give them updates every so often. If you don’t have a blog, try sharing it with a friend, family member, or fellow-writer. Or you can just comment about it on the Go Teen Writers blog or Facebook group. This year I began writing a story and sharing a segment of it on my blog every . My readers love it.
So, you’ve written every day for a week? Extra internet. Every day for a month? An ice cream cone. A year? Buy yourself that book you’ve been wanting. It doesn’t really matter what it is, just find some way to reward yourself. I’m a words of affirmation gal, so most of the time I just tell my family about my accomplishments and their praise is all the reward I need.
Whatever you end up doing, remember that your dream does matter and that it is worth spending extra time on!
Stephanie here: How awesome and encouraging is Aidyl's story? I'm amazed by her discipline and super proud of her. Have you taken steps recently to make writing a more serious part of your routine? If so, we'd love to hear it!
And there's still time to sign up for this round's 100 words for 100 days challenge! Today is DAY ONE of the challenge, and it's also the LAST day to register.