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.
What time of day are you the most productive with your writing? Does it change day to day?
Knowing when you have time to write is the first step to establishing a consistent writing habit. Over the next week, analyze your routine to figure out how long you can commit to writing each day during February’s Write by Midnight challenge. Look for pockets of time to write, even if they aren’t at the same time each day. Or, see where you can add minutes to your daily writing schedule if you’re already in a good habit.
Now that 2018 is under way, it’s time to gear up for our second annual write-a-thon. The Write by Midnight challenge encourages you to make daily writing a priority. Throughout the month of February, we will offer suggestions, prompts and encouragement aimed at helping you get something written every day by midnight. Writing each day helps you establish a writing habit that you will be able to carry forward into the rest of the year.
Starting Feb. 1, visit us here or follow @WriteOwls #WriteByMidnight on Twitter as we share insights and our personal stories of how we’re meeting our daily goals. We’ll also offer tips for boosting your productivity and other helpful resources to help you stay the course.
If you participated in last year’s Write by Midnight challenge, we encourage you to push yourself even further this year. Perhaps you are already in the habit of writing 300 words a day. If so, try to add to your daily word count during this year’s challenge. If you currently write for 30 minutes a day, could you up that to 45 minutes or even an hour? If you’re revising, double how many scenes you revise in the same time period.
If you’re new to this blog, we would encourage you to read through the old Write by Midnight posts to catch up on everything you missed. You can do that by searching under the Write By Midnight category on the right side of your screen.
Between now and Feb. 1, think about what goals you want to reach by the end of February. Put those goals in writing now so you can refer back to them throughout the month. Make them ambitious, but realistic. Now is the time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish and how to do it. Study your daily schedule, looking for minutes here and there that you can dedicate to extra writing time. Check back here next Monday for more tips on how to prepare for Write by Midnight. We look forward to sharing this journey with you.
Megan Norris Jones
Ignore the title of this post for a minute, and let me tell you one thing. I LOVE podcasts. I love how they let me keep up with the news, dive deep into interesting topics, learn new things—all while completing the mundane tasks of everyday life. In short, podcasts can make laundry fun. Need I say more?
Yes, unfortunately there is more to say. I’ve realized lately that podcasts don’t actually make boring things interesting. They give me something interesting to think about while I’m doing boring things. Which is great. The nerd in me rejoices at so much easily accessible knowledge. But while my mind is constantly stimulated by waves of new ideas, that onslaught of information is crowding out something priceless: my own ideas. Continue reading