Monday, May 14, 2018

How To Write Every Day And Why You Should

Today we are so fortunate to have community member Lydia Howe as our guest! Tomorrow, details for the 100-for-100 writing challenge and the sign up form will be posted. (Official writing doesn't begin until Thursday, May 24th.) 

Nobody has taken on the 100-for-100 writing challenge quite like Lydia has, and I think you'll find her experience very motivating. A disclaimer from Lydia herself, doing the challenge for over two thousand days isn't for everyone, and she wouldn't necessarily recommend following in her  footsteps to that extreme.


Lydia Howe is a twenty-something adventurer who grew up traversing the globe, first through the pages of books, and then in reality. Nowadays she's living the clich├ęd life of working at a coffee shop and writing. When she's not surrounding herself with words you can find her riding through the fields on Chadwin, her trusty lawnmower. She enjoys blogging and recently joined the worlds of Booktube and Bookstagram

September 12, 2012 was two thousand and seventy-two days ago, and also the kick-off for the first ever 100-for-100 challenge hosted by Go Teen Writers. It was also when I committed to writing at least 100 words on my story every day, and I haven't missed a single one yet.

So, from the perspective of someone who's written at least a 100 words on her WIP (work in progress) every day for over a fourth of her life, I thought I'd share some thoughts and tips with y'all as you get ready to embark on your 100-day adventure.

Tips for Writing Every Day

If you have a phone, set an alarm. Mine goes off at 10:17 every night so if I haven't had time to sit down and write that day, then I'm reminded to do so.

If you're feeling stuck in your book, take a break from the actual manuscript and write a scene, journal entry, or letter from the perspective of a different character. This will help you see the story from a new light and hopefully provide inspiration.

On days when you're not able to follow your normal writing routine carry around a notebook/phone/scrap of paper so you can write when you have a moment here or there. I've written on planes, trains, in cars, in waiting rooms, at stores, restaurants, and the list goes on.

Decide to commit, and then stick to it. Having the mindset that you will write every day until the end of the challenge will really help you stay consistent.

What Benefits Have I Gained From Writing Every Day?

1. I get to know my characters better
2. I understand my writing style more
3. Even on the busiest of days, I always take a moment to stop, breath, and remember that I'm a writer
4. And of course, adding to my WIP

Adding to your story is the main purpose of doing the 100-for-100 challenge and is highly effective. Just think about it: A few minutes here and there each day and you add at least 10,000 words to your WIP. But, during the last two thousand days, I haven't always been working on a new book. So, what then? Do I still write 100 words? Yes, but (shh!) I don't always write quality words. In fact, during busy seasons of life, I sometimes don't even keep the words I write.

Why write words I won't keep? Well, just like I didn't always keep my practice sheets in math as a kid, I don't always need to keep my practice words as a writer. I'm a student to the craft of writing, and consistently practicing the craft helps me improve.

I hope y'all have a very successful 100-for-100 challenge and have as much fun with the GTW Community as I have over the years. Cheers!


20 comments:

  1. Taking a break is always such a help to me. I also really resonated with sticking to my plan to commit and writing notes whenever ideas come to me. I will write on anything! Ha ha.

    Great advice, Lydia! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. I just got back from vacation (where I didn't take my computer!) and I'm about to sit down and write out my plan that I want to commit to for my summer of writing. ;)

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  2. Thank you so much, Lydia, for sharing with us! I love this line >>> I'm a student to the craft of writing, and consistently practicing the craft helps me improve.

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    1. Aww, thank you! It took me a while to wrap my mind around the concept, but I think it helped me a lot.

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  3. This is so awesome!!! I'm very excited about the 100-for-100 challenge--I'll probably be working on more than one project over that time, but it'll be awesome. ^_^ Thank you for sharing your expertise, Lydia!

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    1. Thanks, Florid! I'm excited for the challenge, too! This year will be the first time I've officially joined in a while!

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  4. Lydia, you are so inspiring! How wonderful it is to be in community with you!

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  5. I really need to crack down and get in the habit of writing every day, thanks Lydia for the reminder.

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    1. I hope that this writing challenge (or whatever you plan to do this summer), really helps you get in a good writing rhythm!

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  6. Every day since 2012--wow!

    Wonderful advice, Lydia! I can't wait to try the 100-for-100 challenge for the first time.

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    1. Yay, Megan! I'm glad you're joining the challenge! I just signed up for it, too. :) And thanks. :)

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  7. Love this! In a way I've written almost every day since I was eleven through journaling... I have over thirty journals full and have skipped only a handful of days (at one time I was counting and it was almost five. Now life has made me forget the exact number). The first challenge I participated in helped me finish my first manuscript! That 10k does help! And because of it, on of my best friends and I decided to do a weekly word count challenge that we still do... at first we wanted to do at least 200 words a day five days a week... but now we write so much we just send each other our word counts ;p

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    1. Wow, that's amazing Keturah! I have never been very good at journaling.

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    2. Thanks! I think my thing is I just love it too much. It's not so much as being good at it as it's been good to me ;D

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    3. That's fantastic, Keturah! One of my sister's did that for a looonnnggg time! She's getting married this summer and is super excited at being able to look back over her life through the eyes of her journal.

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  8. " Even on the busiest of days, I always take a moment to stop, breath, and remember that I'm a writer"

    I love this sentence! Thanks for the advice.

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    1. Aww, Marja! Thanks. Your comment made me smile. :)

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  9. Great idea about 100 words a day. It will really help me to complete my novel.

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    1. Way to go! I hope the novel is continuing to go well. :)

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