Monday, April 4, 2022

Muscle Mania

Writing is like a muscle. You must use it, even when you don’t want to, in order to keep it supple and strong. With that in mind, I jumped into the 30K writing challenge sponsored by my local writing chapter during the month of February. Because I’m me (read anal, type A, etc), I divided the words by the number of days and made my goal 1072 words per day.


I’ve had a hard time writing ever since the pandemic began. My brain has been focused on keeping everyone I love alive and worrying over them, and even though things are much better, my brain has been slow to recover. Add in new working styles—my husband now works from home full time—and new studying styles, plus the normal stress of everyday life, and well, it’s been a struggle. So, I figured a challenge would be a great way to get that writing muscle into shape.


I’ve participated in the challenge in the past. Back then, I consistently hit that 1072 words daily. No matter what. This time around? Some days were better than others. Part of the challenge is that we report our word count daily. One person keeps track of everyone’s progress, and several people serve as cheerleaders. There is no “bad day.” Even if you get zero words on the page, you’re still cheered on and encouraged to try again tomorrow. So, I worked hard to report my word counts without any negativity. And I was one of the cheerleaders for the group—no pompoms, but I’m excellent at encouraging others (myself, not so much).


I succeeded, with about two or three days to spare. I made great headway on a new story I’m working on, thanks to my oldest daughter’s inspiration. More on that another time. Once the month was over, I took a deep breath and decided that I could continue the challenge on my own, at least until I finished this manuscript. Almost thirty days of practice should make it a habit, right?


Sort of. We took a two-week long vacation, where I didn’t write at all. Preparation for said trip, and jetlag afterwards made me miss a lot of the month of March. And now we have Passover preparation. But I’m determined to write daily and striving for approximately 1,000 words (or a scene) a day. I’m not keeping track on an excel spreadsheet, and I’m not receiving a cool pin for my achievement, but I’m plodding along (plotting along?  ). And ultimately, I’ll finish this manuscript—hopefully by this summer.


What muscle are you working?

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