If you want to write one of the keys is to establish a writing habit to enable your skills to grow and aid your productivity. As it happens, there are a couple of events coming up that would help start you on the right path.
One is CampNaNoWriMo, which will last for the entire month of April. The other is The Monthly Writing Challenge, which runs all year. It was on April 1st three years ago that I joined MWC so the date holds special significance for me.
If you haven’t tried CampNaNoWriMo before you should. It’s a more relaxed version of the November NaNo in that you set your own goal. The options are numerous, from words to hours to pages and so on. Most people either join a “cabin” or are assigned one and can interact with the others in their cabin.
Another way to establish your writing habit, especially over the long-term, is the Monthly Writing Challenge. It takes 500 words per day OR 1 hour of editing to be included in the next day’s shoutouts. There are no penalties for not reaching the minimum, but there is a lot of encouragement and interaction on Twitter.
A third option? In April you can do Camp and Challenge at the same time, counting what you do towards both!
Nothing is more important than a daily writing habit. Once you write for awhile it carves out a niche in your day and your life (yes, like exercising). Even better, you see the benefits of writing each day, from a better understanding of the craft to improved prose to finished projects.
That 500 words for Writing Challenge? Over a year that’d be 182,500 words!
My habit used to be writing for a week or two and then missing for an extended period. My skills didn’t improve and I became frustrated. Now I have 7 marketable novels drafted (and available to edit, like I’m doing for Camp) and well over 50 short stories. That’s what a writing habit does for you.
Thus, I’ve been setting aside my procrastination and scrambling to tie up loose ends. That meant finalizing my taxes. Done. Finally.
Unfortunately, I’m locked in for two doctor’s appointments in April. How is it that all my big obligations fall between February and April? I wish I knew, and here I am the one who set up my life that way.
There’s little prep for me to do for Camp since I’m already editing. What my Camp goal will do for me is push me to work harder. I’ve set my goal for an ambitious 135 hours over the course of the month (for anti-math people that’s 4.5 hours/day). If for some reason I finish editing before the month runs out I’ll just switch to editing a different book.
April is days away. It isn’t too late (for Writing Challenge, it’s never too late because you can join anytime). There was never a better time to start that writing habit than now.