Just 50 words

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

For months my friend, Jackie, and I had been struggling to find a slice time and significant energy to write between teaching during the day and various commitments in the evening. So we decided to “coach” each other along. Our idea was simple: keep each other motivated by sharing our weekly progress. Since this past November, we have emailed whatever we’ve written that week, knowing that nothing we send is clean or polished. Regardless, we use the opportunity to give each other informal feedback and notes. Some weeks we send 1000+ words, others maybe 200. For me, knowing that she is expecting something in her box by Friday afternoon, and I in mine, keeps me writing each day.

But feelings of motivation can fade and we get worn out, even with the best intentions. One night, Jackie emailed that she was just too tired to write. To which I replied: Try 50 words. And than reward yourself with a whole lot of chocolate. It has become our mantra whenever either of us makes an excuse: Just 50 words.

If you’re still going full throttle, awesome! If your momentum is slowing, do not be discouraged. Give yourself a doable goal, one that feels absolutely surpassable. And if you can find someone who will act as a coach, all the better.

And, of course, there’s no shame in a chocolate reward.


7 responses to “Just 50 words

  1. What a great idea. I think I should be find myself a writing buddy ☺️

    • Naomi Hawkins-Rowe

      Gloria, I have to say it has helped me be incredibly productive. Are you part of a writing group? That’s how Jackie and I met. If not, writing societies and writer’s guilds might be a helpful source. I know if you are a member of SCBWI, they post critique groups via region, both for online critique and in person. You might find someone that way to pair up with.

  2. Getting encouragement from fellow writers makes such a difference in my motivation.

  3. I like the “just 50 words” mantra. It’s great that you and Jackie have such similar circumstances to really “get” each other. I agree that having someone to submit your work to, even if it’s just a paragraph, on a regular basis is one of the best ways to keep my work moving forward. Hooray for writing buddies.

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