Three weeks ago I wrote here about starting a writing "challenge" - write every day for at least 30 minutes, and then report in to my accountability partners. The 28 days have finished, and I have written more than 20,000 words. It's rough first draft, sure, but I doubt very much that I would have written nearly that much in the same amount of time. More importantly, I'm creating a writing habit.
What has come out of the challenge for me? First of all, a sense of writing as a component of each and every day. An important component. After all, I'm supposed to be a writer so I should be writing - right? But too often life and other things get in the way, and too often we (I) put writing off for another day. It's sadly too easy to discover that "writing day" hasn't arrived in several weeks or more. So I found that every morning I was already working out when I would write. I tried to make it early, but some days it was the afternoon. Still, if I had something on in the morning, I was aware that writing would be happening later on.
I also have been working on something completely new, in a genre I have only written short stories in before, so it's a bit scary. There have been many times when I've hated what I've written and, at any other time, might have tossed it away and given up. The 30 minute commitment has kept me at it. I have to admit it wasn't until around page 55 that I allowed myself to go back and read the first pages! And I didn't hate them quite so much. But now I have pages to revise.
The other part of this is the accountability. When I had done my 30 minutes, I had to email the others in my accountability group and tell them. A simple "30 minutes done" was all that was needed, and they did the same to me. The one thing that many of them have said is that they produced far more this month than they would have otherwise, and like me, became far more aware of making time to write. Some have done double writing to make up for missed days. Not one of us has given up.
I've just started a second lot of 28 days, and some of my accountability partners are joining me again. Some have been talking about what they achieved, and have found new partners to get inspired with. You can start this with just two of you, on any day you like. Give it a go - you might surprise or even amaze yourself!