I am ashamed of reading more than I write.
– Emma Sedlak
Until a few months ago, this statement would have been absolutely true for me. Instead, thanks to Nanowrimo, a mastermind group (where I met the amazing Emma, who I quoted here), a writing group and some accountability partners, it all began to shift.
Breaking the Writing Barrier
I finally broke through the barrier of writing every day, as well as putting the hard words down on paper. Struggling through Nanowrimo in November was gruesome and challenging, creating angst and quite a bit of yelling at the screen at the characters who were showing up.
Then, the month ended and my goal had been exceeded and something changed for good. The writing no longer felt like a slog or a burden. It became a gift that I had hidden in the back of my closet and finally rediscovered after a long time away.
After the holiday season in December and some new health challenges and procedures, I started 2017 with a commitment to write every day. Every. Single. Day.
That commitment led to 54,150 words written in January. I was completely blown away by my own prolificness. How in the world was I able to best my November word count without the support of the Nanowrimo community, mastermind and writing group?
Strategies to Support Your Writing Goals
Commitment and intention are powerful motivators, but these tools helped as well.
- Creating a writing and word count tracker that incorporated all the statistics and motivation I needed to stay inspired.
- Setting up a weekly accountability writing group with google docs as our check in point.
- Giving myself permission to write as few words as necessary each day to keep the momentum going.
- Setting lofty goals like a million words in a year and knowing exactly how many words daily that goal would require.
- Tracking and counting digital and analog writing, including planner pages, handwritten notes, and sketchnotes.
- Counting everything that I want to count, including blog posts, long text message strings, long FB chats or posts, newsletters, and meeting notes.
While I will never give up reading, I can say with conviction that I am no longer ashamed of the copious amount of reading I do. Finally, the reading does not eclipse the equally copious amount of words that I put on the page each month.