After over-completing the My 500 Words challenge, where I was suppose write 500 words every day for 30 days, but I did it for 120, I came across another challenge. The new challenge was to write 1,000 words per day. A variety of books exist at Amazon and elsewhere about writing prolifically every day (up to 5,000 or more words). However, even though I wrote almost a thousand or more during the My 500 Words challenge, maintaining a high count for 365 days seemed overwhelming. Below is an early post during my year of writing:
Blog Post from January 5, 2016
For several weeks I wondered about this challenge. Could I do it? Could I write 1,000 words every day for an entire year? I had thought before about the idea of writing 250 words per day, resulting in a cumulative year-end total of 91,250 words. After deliberating for a few more days, I decided that, yes, I would try to sustain consistent output for 2016. The next logical question then became, what should I write?
At first I decided that I would come up with a series of e-books, one per week, at 7,000 words per book. I created a list of topics and developed a seven-point outline, so that I could cover one point per day. However, after thinking about this process some more, I opted for a different approach: a smaller number of words in different categories of writing.
My goal is to write 250 words per day in each of the following categories: personal journal, blog post (what you’re reading now), e-book (using the outlines I developed), and a daily devotional. I like this approach because I can spread the writing out across my day. In the morning I hope to write my devotional entry. Just prior to bedtime, I will type out my personal journal notes for the day. Sometime between morning and evening I will fire off a blog post and continue working through the e-book in progress at the time.
As often occurs with plans, actual events varied somewhat from the beautiful plan above. I found that different strategies worked for categories of writing. Maintaining high production meant that no words could be left behind. No time existed to make up the next day for a missed day. For the daily journal, I had to write in the evening or night. For the ebooks, I outlined more often and wrote about twice a week. My devotional entries were budgeted at 250 words, basically a page, but as I continued on this writing journey they increased in length, even up to 1,500 words.
My categories were:
- Daily Journal – review and reflect on the day’s events
- Blog Posts – posts based on a running list of topics
- E-books – E-books of approximately 7,000-10,000 words on a variety of topics
- Devotional – A short (250-word) inspiration or meditation based a Scripture
By the end of 2016 I exceeded my goal of 365,000 words. I recorded an entry in a Google Sheets spreadsheet for each type of writing on each day. As a result, I was able to analyze my progress by date period (day, week, month) and type of writing.
As with my previous challenge (My 500 Words), I created book formats for both the journal and the devotional. The journal became I Shall Go to Texas, and out to 556 pages. At the time of writing, I lived in Texas, and decided to title the book on Daniel Boone’s famous quote, “You can go to hell – I shall go to Texas.”
The devotional, Spiritual Ministries, came out to 327 pages. The setup of this book was more challenging because of numerous devotionals passages, each with a text.
If you have never completed regular writing every day, I encourage you to challenge yourself to write a certain number of words each day. The cumulative effect at the end of the year will be surprising.