One Million Word Challenge 2020 has commenced!
One of the best decisions I ever made was two years ago deciding to attend my first writers conference. That conference gave me information on more conferences. My first LTUE (Life the Universe and Everything) conference was in February of 2018. Who knew that such a decision would change my life for the better? I made new friends at that conference. Friends where, each time we get together, it feels like a sweet reunion because we all understand each other and the very thing we have chosen to devote our attention to.
It’s one of those very friends who issued this challenge. One million words. One million words in a year. It’s quite the project. Luckily, I was already planning on many more posts here on my website, but even with those, it’ll be quite the task to get all my word count in. But I have to give a huge thank you to my friend, Troy Lambert, for pushing us as writers to reach for more. To expand ourselves, to tighten our discipline, and to create more fully. You are a rock star and help us all to shine.
Here’s the breakdown of the challenge with MATH!
1,000,000 divided by 52 weeks = 19,230
19,230 divided by 7 days = 2,747
Like my buddy Troy I am going for 4,000 words in a day so I can get a buffer and not have to work on the weekends.
The most difficult part of this challenge will be summer when the kids are home. In the past I have been good to still write during the summer regularly, but I think I’ll have to really pull a Flash and make my fingers run quite speedy to hit my goals daily.
There will be lots of pondering and getting in the headspace of writing and what I’ll be doing before I even sit down so I can move in with ease. I think a lot of people think writing is just sitting at the computer and facing the blank page, which is definitely a big part of it. However, you can do a lot in your mind before you even sit down. Go through scenes. Sort out problems with character or plot. It’s a lot of thought and creativity before you pull out the tools to get it on paper. That process itself is quite beautiful and so enriching when you’ve done the work before hand and then get to put it down and SEE it. (Though I admit sometimes it’s better in my head than on paper, but better to have it on paper than to have it vanish completely)
I hesitated at first to accept the challenge. The writer in me sat up eager, but the wife and mother in me doubted. I have found a balance in my writing and in the other important parts of my life, but this sort of challenge demands disruption. I slept on it. I discussed it with my husband. We talked it through, and he was more supportive than I had anticipated. He wants my dreams to come true just as much as I want his to.
In talking to him I realized I could do it. I’d proved to myself already that I had the discipline. I know how to utilize my time and how to cut things, how to enhance my writing time, how to stay on top of household duties, how to GO TO BED EARLY AND GET UP EARLY.
That last one is so key for me. Critical. If I get up early (6am) and exercise, then by the time the kids leave for school, I can shower and be ready for the day by 9 am. Work until 2:15 -30 pm. With walking breaks in there for good measure. Then it’s all MOM. Do laundry, do errands with whatever kids want to go, homework, dinner, gaming, bedtimes, after bedtime chats with teenagers, and then a quick time to relax before bed by ten. Asleep by 11pm. If I’m lucky, I’ll get more writing time in the evening, but let’s be real here, relationships take time and I’m willing to leave my evenings open for my people. Especially since they’ve always been good about giving me my space to work.
So yeah, this challenge is a beast. But I like challenges and I like proving to myself that I have more in me than I thought. I did that last year. I’ll do it again this year. Each year building upon the last. I make no promises that every word will be elegantly lined up, but I know this process will help me grow more than just as a writer. Instead, enhancing me as a human being.
One Million Words 2020 Challenge Update: 6,161 words
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash