Motivated by the Painful Truth

Laura Ayo

Few people like to look another person in the eye and admit they’ve failed, especially if that person is someone who is depending on you or views you as a role model. That’s one reason experts recommend that you find someone to hold you accountable when you’re trying to reach a goal. Continue reading

The Math of Writing

The way to tackle a big project is to chip away at it a little bit every day. If you only write 300 words per day, you can finish a draft of a middle grade novel in four and a half months. At that same rate, you could complete a first draft of a young adult novel in six to nine months.

February’s Write by Midnight challenge is the perfect time to start that daily writing habit that will get you to “THE END.”

Write By Midnight Starts today

Did the holidays mess up your writing schedule? If so, then it’s time to re-establish that daily writing habit. Our February Write by Midnight challenge is a great way to get moving on your story again. Starting today, make your writing a priority. It doesn’t matter when you write, whether it’s 5 a.m. or 11:30 at night. The clock is ticking, so put some words on the page  by midnight.

Get Ready to Write

It’s not enough to commit to participating in February’s Write by Midnight challenge. Success is more likely if you have a system in place to hold yourself accountable. So spend today figuring out how you’ll do that. Post your Write by Midnight goals here or tweet them using #WriteByMidnight. Maybe try teaming up with a writing partner that you can check in with daily to report your progress. Or, tell someone you see every day about your goals and ask them to keep you honest throughout the month. Identify meaningful rewards for achieving your goals, as well as negative consequences for when you fall short. The key to establishing a habit is consistency, so make that your priority in February.

So Much To Do Before Write By Midnight

Write by Midnight, our annual challenge to help you establish a daily writing habit, starts Feb. 1. That’s this Thursday. Now is the time to get your plan ready, your space ready and your head ready.

Start by re-reading your work in progress. Assess what you already have on the page and what you still need to accomplish. Make a plan for what you want to achieve over the month. Break it down into reasonable daily and weekly writing goals. Then put those goals in writing and post them somewhere you will see them every morning.

Next, turn your attention to the place you plan to write. Grab a trash can and recycling bin and clear the space of clutter. Stock up on any supplies you might need: pencils, printer paper, highlighters, sticky notes, notebooks and index cards. Download that new writing program you’ve been wanting to incorporate into your routine and learn how to use it now so you don’t waste precious time revisiting the tutorial. Figure out how you want to track your progress and have those tools at the ready. (Feel free to use our printable writing log, which you can download here.) Making your space free of distraction will help you focus on reaching your writing goals.

Once your space is ready, get your head in the game. Remind yourself of the things you love about your story. Talk about your project and goals with an enthusiastic supporter. Set yourself up for success by remembering that you are a writer. Say it out loud and often.