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100 Day Writing Challenge

Updated on June 19, 2013

An idea

About a month ago, I decided I wanted to write for a living. There are hosts of blogs that offer writing resources, tips, tricks, grammar advice, publishing how-to’s, etc. It’s all remarkably helpful and I enjoy the musings of other writers, but there is one thing in common with every book, author, and article I find- in order to be a good writer, you must write everyday. No other way around it.

Inspired by the 30 Hubs in 30 Days challenge, I decided to create my own challenge.

Half a million words in 100 days.

That sounds sort of obscene put that way, but I’ll break it down. And, I have to say, it's technically more than 100 days because I give myself the weekends off (or time to stockpile words).

Source

The basic plan

In order to accomplish this, I need to write 5000 words a day. An average hub hovers around 1000 words, a personal blog entry between 500-1000 words, 1000 words on my memoir, 1000 words in private journal, and 1000 words in copywriting jobs. Realistically, it means I’ll be writing 3-4 hours a day. For someone who wants to write for a living, don't regular jobs put in 40 hours a week? Considering there are other aspects to writing (such as research, reading, etc.) I'm dedicating half a work today to actually putting pen to paper.

I have a drummer friend who practices at least four hours a day. Runners, chefs, surgeons, and carpenters all must log thousands of hours before deemed ready for the professional world. Why with writing do we think it’s any different?

Of course there is that one in a million chance that you are the next great author and the right publisher discovers your work, but more often than not- best selling authors work hard and write constantly.

Focusing in on different kinds of writing

I’m not going to get all down on myself if I can’t write in every category every day. If I can accomplish 5000 words a day, I’ll consider my challenge a roaring success. But I do want to make sure I’m honing lots of different skills; not just the ability to rant and rave on the Internet. Here are the focus areas I want to work on. I suggest you write yours down as well.

  • Hub Articles- These can be informative, creative, or both. I tend to like the more informational with a twist of humor, so that’s my plan.
  • Personal Blog- Ranting and raving hotspot. I give myself this outlet so it doesn’t eek into my other writing.
  • Memoir- This is my long term project, but for you it may be a fiction novel, a non-fiction book, or some other large project. Learning the art of self-discipline is something I need. I like the quick projects- ones with a start and finish. I need practice with endurance and long term rewards.
  • Journal- What’s the difference between this and the blog writing? I aim to do it first thing in the morning before my day gets going. I want to get the best of my early morning creativity. Whether I write about what I’m going to do, secret dreams, or the argument I had yesterday, this is where inspiration is born. It’s not meant for the world, just for you. A swirly concoction of creativity just waiting for some magic.
  • Copywriting- Right now, this is where I can make immediate money. Whether it’s SEO articles, translation, rewrites, whatever- I am going to take on a couple jobs a week so I can pull in some dough. While dreadfully dull, it does help to sharpen your skills with grammar and SEO.

Source

Put the computer (or notebook) away!

When you write at home for a living, it seems like the job is never over. There isn’t a clock or a change of scenery. You can easily work until all hours of the night- that subtle pervasive, “you’re not good enough” feeling overtaking your every thought. Once I hit 5000 words, unless a story calls to me, I will put the laptop away for awhile. Give myself time to smell some flowers, cook a good meal, enjoy my dog. Live life so that I have something to write about.

Caveats
I have a vacation planned in a couple of weeks and I will take a break from the 100 day challenge for about a week. No need to make it consecutive, after all- its my own self-inflicted torture.

If I generally follow my plan five days a week, I’ll be done by Christmas 2012 (that’s giving myself the weekends off). That sounds about right; dedicating at least the rest of 2012 to a crash course in writing for a living. Care to join me?

-Julie DeNeen

Updates

Week One 6/29/12: I'm heading into the weekend with about 1700 words still left to write. That should be easy enough because I've given myself two days off from the 5000 quota, so I'll squeeze out 1700 easily with two journal entries. **EDITED to add: I did it!

I'm going to say that if it was the school year, 5000 wouldn't be all that hard (six hours without kids underfoot). Summertime isn't easy though. Lots of beach and sun and activities to distract me.

Week Two 7/6/2012: Okay, at the end of this holiday week, I am in the hole about 5500 words. Since I'm heading on vacation, I'll be sure to squeeze those in somewhere so I'm not behind when I begin again on Monday July 16th, 2012.

**Week 3 Vacation UPDATE (7.13.12) Well, I wrote a total of 11,400 words this week (my vacation, so I wasn't counting) between private journaling, hubs, and personal blogs. I needed 5500 of those to make up for my slacking on week two, which means I'll start Day 11 on Monday July 16th with 5900 extra words.

Week Four 7/20/2012: Okay, I met my goals BUT only because of my giant stockpiling from the vacation week. I still have 200 words to make up on the weekend, which will be a breeze....but the editing job I took on is kicking my butt!! I have used so much time with that project that it hampered my creative writing time. I am finding I have to stockpile on the weekends to keep up with the demand during the week.

Week Five 7/27/2012- Met my goal but it seems that the weekend stockpiling is saving my butt. I can't always squeeze out the 5000 in a day so I use the weekends to continue writing and banking my extra words. I use almost all of them in a week- so it seems that the 5000 a day is a tough goal. I'll be curious what happens next week when I don't have much time to stockpile.

Week Six 8/3/2012 - I was 300 words in the hole going into the weekend, which I easily made up on Saturday morning. I am holding steady so far, BUT only because I stockpile on the weekend. At least three days a week, I can't make it to the 5000 mark, but I have to remind myself, I am home with the kids full time right now! I am hoping in the fall, the 5000 won't be hard to reach. Also, I have been slacking in the creative department; concentrating mostly on copywriting and hubpages.

Week Seven 8/10/2012- 950 words in the hole by the end of the week. So I have some writing to do on the weekend. **And I did**

Week Eight 8/17/2012- I made it! Even had a little bit left over.

Week Nine 8/24/2012- Goal! With lots of extra to spare

Week Ten 8/31/2012- In the hole almost 2500 words because I spent the week editing my new book! It came out on the kindle a couple of days ago and it's called Writing Through the Chaos. I have to kick some butt this weekend if I am going to make it up. **I did!**

Week Eleven 9/7/2012- Halfway done! I am seriously in the hole this week, due to a lot of other writing chores like blog re-design and editing of my manuscript. We'll see how it goes.

Week 12 9/14/2012- Even though I caught up from last week's deficit, I'm in the hole this week. Too many things going on. I think this is the first time since I started that I haven't been able to make my goal- even with the weekend to catch up.

Week 13 9/21/2012 - Landed in the hole again. There is no way to play catch up. So I am simply going to brush myself off, and start fresh on the new week.

Week 14 9/28/2012 - Goal!

Week 15 10/5/2012 - Goal!

Week 16 10/12/2012- Fail! I had visitors so it didn't happen.

Week 17 10/19/2012- Goal! This week was brutal, but I got it done!

Week 18 10/26/2012- Not quite Goal- but I will surely make it up on the weekend.

Week 19 11/2/2012- Two Words: Hurricane Sandy.
Only ten days left...I've noticed that I can "feel" 5000 words now. I get about how long it takes me. That's kind of cool isn't it?

Week 20 11/9/2012 - Two More Words: Anderson Cooper

Week 21 11/16/2012 - I made my goal this week. NaNoWriMo helped.

And that folks- is the end of my 100 day writing challenge. Holy cow I did it! I didn't totally succeed, but I came close!

Brutally honest updates continued here: Life According to Julie

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    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Sunday last, I started a 100 day challenge myself and came across your hub here where you had done the same! Wish me like! Great job in having met your goal!

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Haha, you make me smile, Julie! I was doing a HubPages search for my username (sort of like Googling myself but on HubPages) to see what the search resulted pulled up - just to be sure it was okay. Lo and behold, I find your hub and I gotta tell you: it's been a wonderful journey getting to know you. You're amazing, a kick-butt writer and an inspiration to many. I.am.honored.to.know.you. :)

    • shruti sheshadri profile image

      shruti sheshadri 5 years ago from Bangalore, India

      wow! this sure sounds scary! Gosh, I am happy to hear that someone is so much into writing! Wish I could do that. Lucky you :)

    • Elise-Loyacano profile image

      Elise-Loyacano 5 years ago from San Juan, Puerto Rico

      Congratulations ahead of time!

    • nochance profile image

      Chloe Davis Smith 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Wow, good luck to you. Though that is a really great way to break it down for someone who is actually looking to turn this into a job.

    • Mark McClean profile image

      Mark McClean 5 years ago from South Bend, Indiana USA

      You go girl! That is some challenge. I'd like to write for a living as well. Writing 5,000 words a day did not cross my mind. Hmmm... I think that says something :-) I am rooting for you.

    • whittwrites profile image

      T.B Whitt 5 years ago from the Philly area

      Good luck with your challenge

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 5 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Writing 3-4 hours to get your words accomplished isn't enough. You still need time to do research to flesh out your writing and keep new ideas coming for upcoming writing. You also need to maintain a site, there are always new things and changes to update. That still leaves you needing time to promote your writing so people will find it all. Plus, you need to advertise your services as a copywriter. That's more than 3-4 hours a day.

      Make sure you space yourself out, don't over commit and become burnt out too soon. I've become burned out a little with my blog. I've gone from posting every day for the past few years to posting sporadically, at least for now. I needed some space. I've been putting a lot more of my writing time here on HubPages.

      Best wishes with the plan. Hope you get there.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      This sounds like a great way of looking at things - combining all of your writing together. I wish you the best with your goals. I am impressed with the work you have done so far.

    • carib102 profile image

      carib102 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Oh, it is part of a membership site and I don't think you can access it freely. Here's the URL if you want to try...http://thekeywordacademy.com/coaching/worktracker

      I wouldn't join just for the work tracker though.

    • Laurinzo Scott profile image

      Live To Write 5 years ago from Phoenix, Az.

      Great stuff , incredible hub... and idea... but I think i'm too much of a wimp! That's a lotta writing... i'm impressed.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @James Peters- Thank you so much for the encouragement! :)

    • James Peters profile image

      James Timothy Peters 5 years ago from Hammond, Indiana

      This is a GREAT challenge... I mean, I'm writing anyway - right?

      Got to think about this one.

      PS. I clicked "Beautiful" - along with all the other ones.

      Thumbs up!

    • Jessica Ranae Ray profile image

      Jessica Williams 5 years ago from Arizona

      Not and easy feat to do but I'll bet you can!

      Good luck

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      OOhh...well when you remember, tell me!

    • carib102 profile image

      carib102 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Amazing goal and great progress Julie! I don't track my writing, but my best guess is that I average 3-4k words per day. Hitting 500k in 100 days is a great stretch goal and I should consider doing something similar just to see how productive I REALLY am. Now what the heck was the URL of that site that allowed you to track your daily writing?!?

    • daisydayz profile image

      Chantele Cross-Jones 5 years ago from Cardiff

      Wow impressive challenge, Good Luck and I hope you manage it! Don't think I would have the discipline to make myself take on such a huge challenge although I do currently write for 50% of my living, so I may surprise myself with how many words I really do write most days. Voted up!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I have a goal of 500 hubs by December 31. My articles are not always long. I do recipes, travel, crafts, art. I love having a lofty goal and fulfilling it. So for me, if I can do about five a day for 5 days a week that will work well. I love this hub and you are an inspiration.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Admire your verve and energy ( more importantly , your sheer spirit) way to go! when I joined hubland a year and a half ago I set myself a similar challenge of writing atleast a 1000 words daily I did pretty well considering my dayjob and family commitments. This is a fantastic target and here's wishing you the very best in achieving it. Will have to check out your blog!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      So as to not clutter my pretty hub, I moved my daily updating to my personal blog. That way this article stays more like a "reference". So excited that other people are trying it! It's hard :)

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 5 years ago

      What a great idea. I know what you mean about writing every day. I usually try to reach a goal of 3000 words. I have other stuff that needs to be cared for, cleaned and like you said, "live life". I will be happy to join you on this project. Thank you for inspiring us with this challenge. You are a awesome leader~take care & good luck with your writing too. Voted up and shared. :) P.S. PHILLYDREAMER has a challenge too going on.

      Writing a poem about the end of the world. maybe check it out?

    • uNicQue profile image

      Nicole Quaste 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Voted up and interesting. I'm so impressed (and envious) of your determination!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @penlady- she is the reason I came up with the idea for a hub about writing in a journal! Thank you!!!

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 5 years ago

      Wow, Julie, you've written so much already in such a short time - I'm massively impressed with you already :) good luck with the rest of your challenge - and good idea to take a break from it for a week so you don't get Hub-fatigue!

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Best of luck with this challenge, Julie! I usually average 2,000-3,000 words per day and would like to get to the point that I can average more than that at least a couple days a week. I really admire people who can do that. It takes a lot of stamina!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @sunshine- thank you!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Good luck with your challenge!:)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      Thanks everyone for the encouragement. I updated the hub with today's accomplishments...I think I'll just do it weekly or monthly, otherwise it'll be the longest most boring hub ever! :) I really appreciate the encouraging community here (hugs).

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      Your at least starting it which is more than I can say about me. LOL

    • mypassion profile image

      mypassion 5 years ago

      You have a great dedication to your work, Julie. To achieve our goals, we need to take such challenges in life as well.

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      My journal isn't to keep track of my days so much as it's a way to let my thoughts flow onto the paper. Hmm, hub coming on the art of journaling! :) Thanks for the inspiration!!

    • penlady profile image

      penlady 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      I really like this hub.

      I too enjoy writing hubs. And I agree with about copywriting: it does pay the bills. And it’s my ultimate goal to write a fiction novel.

      However, for all the writing I do, I can’t keep a journal! I was never successful at keeping a diary in my youth. I would always fall days behind and try my best to keep track in my head what happened on what dates – LOL!

      I figure that when I retire from writing someday, that’s when I’ll be able to keep a journal because I’ll just be writing for me instead of for a living.

      Excellent hub. Voted up and useful.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great hub Julie! Your approach is right-on! Writing is a business and it requires discipline. Breaking it down to a number of words is a worthy goal. I write eight hours a day and approximately 5,000 words per day between business, hubs and personal. It is a goal that is worth the effort and best of luck to you.

    • LABrashear profile image

      LABrashear 5 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

      Wow! That's quite a challenge. I have been toying with the idea of some sort of personal challenge to get in gear and finish my 3AM Epiphany goals. Maybe I can incorporate something like this - but probably not as intense as you. I'm looking forward to watching your progress. You can do it! Voted up!

    • kygirl89 profile image

      kygirl89 5 years ago from West Virginia

      I want to try this! It will take a lot of devotion and hard work but I want to try. Thank you so much for the idea. I wish you luck with this endeavor. It sounds like you're off to a great start!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      good luck! if I can do it, you can do it easier. suggestion: work ahead

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I think this is a fabulous idea, Julie and I wish you the bestest of luck! I hope you keep us updated on your progress and let us know if you need any encouragement, I think you'll find an army of cheerleaders that will out weigh the one or two that aren't quite so encouraging. :) Voted up and more!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Haha Julie, that's hilarious! :)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @thecrazzykylex- well it's not discouraging to me because I don't agree :) Sure life happens, we can't ever plan for the unexpected...but we can plan as best we know how, and roll with the punches when things change. Even if I can't complete my goal, I'll bet I get a lot more done than if I never set the goal at all....hope you don't mind a friendly debate! LOL

    • thecrazzykylex profile image

      Crazzy Kylex © 2012 5 years ago from Incredible India!

      Sorry if my words sound discouraging, but... There's no guarantee of what is going to happen next in this unexpected world. So, such plans hardly matters!

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Now that's dedication :) sounds like a great challenge. The good thing is of course, the more we write, the easier it flows and faster we get at it. At first this task probably seems pretty daunting, but I bet as you get into it the process gets easier and flows smoothly. I may have to do a variation of this myself, it might make it easier for me to keep up with all my different projects :) Great hub, voted up and shared.

    • KayDeeJay profile image

      KayDeeJay 5 years ago

      I admire your passion to be a writer! I wish you the best and look forward to reading your future hubs! I have always dreamed to be a writer as well. Good luck!

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      @josh- thanks for the encouragement. My husband thinks I'm a tad cuckoo.. :) I didn't disagree!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      This seems like an awesome idea and KUDOS to you for giving it a go! Good luck and I wish you the best! Keep us updated on your journey, you have a lot of friends here who will encourage you and support you all along the way!

      Great hub, voted up and awesome, and sharing! :) Take care Julie! :)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image
      Author

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      Well don't be impressed yet! I have to do it first! LOL

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I am so impressed. Good luck on this challenge. I've never done this yet but will eventually try it.