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writing streak

I’ve been thinking about my Running Streak and how it applies to writing. Except for blogging, emails, and journalling, I haven’t written once this year. In fact, I haven’t written creatively since NaNoWriMo. I make excuses about busy-ness, and they would be true, but I could have made time for something.

Getting Muddy

Madison Mud Run

Madison Mud Run

As a runner, I’m not fast. When my friend and I ran the Madison Mud Run last year (it’s weird to think of October as “last year” already), we were the slowest runners in the race. But we didn’t race to win. We didn’t race at all. We just had fun. And got muddy.

Writing doesn’t always have to be about winning either. When I was a kid, my father once threatened to burn my notebooks because I often wrote to the exclusion of chores and homework. Back then it wasn’t about winning, it was about getting into the creative mud of life.

Writing Streak

Every day doesn’t have to be a NaNoWriMo marathon. Inspired by I ♥ to Run’s Running Streak, let’s commit to write every day, even if it’s just a little bit. You could even borrow a few tips from the Running Streak event page:

Set a goal. A million words by the end of 2012. An hour every day. Or make it something you can accomplish even if you don’t have the time or inspiration or energy or any of the other excuses you find yourself leaning on when you don’t write. One paragraph every day. A hundred words every day.  The goal is to write daily. Even if you only commit to writing one haiku a day — do it every day.

Write down your progress every day. Track your progress in a spreadsheet, a notebook,or a progress bar. Tweet it with the #WritingStreak hashtag on Twitter. Share it in the #justwrite forum. Better yet, join the Writing Streak on Facebook and post your progress there.

Plan ahead. You don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to write, but it helps to at least have a vague idea. You could  just decide to observe the world and write your observations, write a poem, do a character sketch, or brainstorm some ideas that have been niggling at you.

Prepare yourself to write. If you feel unmotivated, prepare yourself anyway. Pick up your pen and your notebook, sit down at your computer, take your netbook with you to a coffehouse. Start writing anyway. You can even start with “I don’t know what to write” or “I don’t feel like writing.” Get words on paper or on the screen. Before you know it, you’ll be writing something.

Take “break” days. You don’t need to write a marathon every day. Decide what your minimum is. One hundred words, one paragraph, one haiku. Set yourself a minimum and commit to at least do that minimum.

Tell people about your goal. Accountability works. It keeps you motivated and it can motivate others around you as well. As they stated on the Running Streak event page: “When you tell people about your goals it helps motivate you not to let them down because you know they’ll ask you about it the next time they see you.”

Listen to your favorite writing music. If you like to write by music, prepare a mix just for those times you sit down to write. During NaNoWriMo, I created a NaNoMix. Some days I listened to the same song over and over again, but I always had my MP3 player set to my NaNoMix while I was writing.

Try something new. If you usually write short stories, try a poem. If you usually write novels, try a haiku. If you usually write flash fiction, try outlining a novel. Sometimes changing things up gives you new inspiration.

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Join Me

Will you commit to a Writing Streak? Join me on Facebook! Let’s commit to writing daily.

#JustWrite

Don’t forget to enter the #JustWrite Challenge for a chance to win some cool prizes. Click here to submit your entry to the challenge. (You many need to login or register first.) The title of your post should be “The Hook” and your entry should be in the body of the post. Enter as many times as you’d like. The challenge will remain open until the first of next month, when I select the winning entry.

Originally published at kimberly creative. Please leave any comments there.

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