30 Day Challenge

My day job (where I teach French and manage children’s programs for a private language school) is running a challenge for October. Students and teachers commit to study their language for 30 minutes a day for 30 days.

Since I couldn't find any of our pictures from Greece, I'm sharing one from France. My freelance writing will pay for our incidentals in France next year. So it's all connected!

Since I couldn’t find our pictures from Greece, I’m sharing one from France. 

The idea is to build a habit.

This would work with writing, too. And it doesn’t have to be thirty minutes.

At my first ever writing conference, about five years ago, Laurie Halse Anderson advised us to write for 15 minutes every day. No, that doesn’t sound like much. But again, it’s about building a habit.

When I’m drafting, I just have to make time for those 15 minutes each and every day. Some days I have no problem getting my butt in the chair. But other days, if I’m not particularly feeling the love for my WIP, I have to force my butt into the chair. But I know it’s only for 15 measly minutes, so I do it.

Usually, those 15 minutes turn into hours, depending on the time I have available. Those 15 minutes turn into hundreds of words, sometimes thousands. And by taking that tiny bit of time every day, I don’t lose the flow of my narrative. I don’t have to take time to read over what I wrote during my last session, because it was only the day before (or mere hours earlier, depending on how obsessed I get).

So take your own 30 Day Challenge. Get your butt in the chair and write. See how long you can stretch your 15 minutes. How many words will you draft by the end of the month?

If you’re doing NaNo next month, you can plot for 15 minutes a day now, and write for 15 minutes (or more!) every day in November. You can win it!

And if you happen to speak Greek, maybe we can chat when I finish my challenge. One week in and my Greek is really coming along. Γειά!

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9 Comments

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9 responses to “30 Day Challenge

  1. This sounds fun! I’m revising now, but when I start my next WIP I’ll do the challenge! My tough spot is weekends, when everyone’s home. During the week it’s me & the toddler during the day, & I write during his naps, so I’m pretty good at that. But the weekends can be so distracting. Sometimes the break is good & I’m super excited to get back to work, but other times it throws me off course for a couple of days. If I did just 15 minutes, I could avoid that – and still be eager to get back to the weekday naptime writing routine!

  2. Totally love habit building. I’ve managed it with the writing, though it always takes a little time to tweak it when I change projects (or change phases on the same project)–writing is a different mindset than editing. And starting a BRAND NEW project is something altogether different from that (though it’s my favorite… I wish I could just start new projects all the time)

  3. 21 days to create a habit. I do find the time to write everyday, although my minimum is an hour. I love the idea of learning another language! You go girl!

  4. I think I saw you tweet about this a few days ago. I agree about building a habit and good luck with the Greek. It sounds like you’re enjoying yourself. 🙂

  5. I’m so impressed with the Greek! I find that language so intimidating.

  6. Great thing to teach young people and adults alike! The things we put in our routine become the things that define us. So if you want to be defined as a writer… 🙂

  7. denizb33

    I like it! I’m trying to get at least an hour of typing in every day this month, to transfer last year’s NaNo story from paper to pc… Then I hope to draft a new one during the upcoming NaNo!
    Speaking of languages… I’ve got a German novel I really should be reading… to keep up my practice…

  8. I think it’s important to do something at least related to writing everyday–query, write a poem or short story, critique, work on a manuscript. For nearly 2 years, I’ve used this method. It’s made a huge difference!

  9. My only question is whether my kids will buy it. ;D

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