Making time to write has been on my mind lately. I recently completed a 30-day writing bootcamp where motivational writing goals arrived each morning in my inbox. I found this to be effective on a number of levels, not least of all because I am quite literal and will usually respond to written instructions!
Below are some learnings after completing 30 days of writing ‘bootcamp style’.
- Mix up the writing times to keep it interesting.
- Any reluctance I had around the relevance of writing 10,000 words in 30 days (which was the bootcamp goal) when I’m not currently working on a novel were unfounded. By day 3 I’d notched up over 3,000 words on short stories that had been stagnating for months.
- It became a fun challenge to see where I could fit in pockets of writing time, regardless of how small.
- It has been a while since I felt this motivated to write.
- I enjoyed the challenge of writing to different word counts at various times of the day. I thought I knew when I ‘could’ write, and it was really good to challenge this perception and find out just how effective writing in smaller timeframes could be.
- It was also surprising to realise just how much I could write in a short period of time. All of those times when I was telling myself that I only had ten minutes and that it wouldn’t be worth making a start was just a fib. I can get stuff done in mere minutes.
- I found myself more likely to be thinking and planning what I was going to write at the next opportunity, knowing that if I have something in mind before I start the words really do fly.
- The goal was to add 10,000 words to an existing manuscript. My word count for the month was 16,616 which exceeded my expectations.
- By challenging my perceptions about what and when I could write, it has opened up feelings of dynamic possibility regarding how I can regularly write in a variety of timeframes and locations.
The challenge then becomes where to from here? I thought about maintaining momentum by scheduling the prompts in my calendar on a five-week cycle, with a few days scattered in for editing as I found that I was generating lots of words but needed time to trim some of it up to be useful or to continue on in a coherent manner with larger projects.
But what I’ve done instead is created a document with the 30 days worth of prompts, plus a handful of editing and planning days, and popped them in a jar. I want to retain the sense of spontaneity that I so enjoyed during the bootcamp. Because better than before I started the bootcamp, I know what my writing self is like.
How do you maintain momentum in your writing life?
[Photo: bowl of writing goals]