Word Count Challenge

Currently in full-swing in To Live and Write in Alameda on Facebook within our community of writers, or you can play along on Twitter and Instagram by searching #2LWA for daily word count goals.

Once you find the day’s word count goals, pick your lane (you don’t have to stay in it): Easy, Steady, or Crazy. Write that many words or more, then check back for the next goal.

On the first day, Easy writers aim for 150 words; Steady for 500; Crazy for 1,000. The goals change daily to keep things interesting. Easy writers will end up with 5000 words by the end of the month; Steady will end up with 25,000, and Crazy will close March with 40,000 words added to the page.

You can accumulate words on your own, of course, but we invite you to join the group for a taste of community and connection, and maybe a little friendly competition designed to celebrate your achievements. It’s just more fun.

Each morning, I post a different word count goal for each category. Look at your day objectively and choose the one that stretches you just enough to spark some adrenaline. Then sit down and put the words on the page. Try to keep your internal editor quiet until the words are out. You can always go back later and clean them up, pare them down, puff them up, or whatever else you deem necessary.

The point is to get yourself to the page and live as a writer in your writer bones, even if it’s just for 150 words. Do this for 30 days and you’ve got a habit and one of the best addictions out there: consistent writing.

If being a writer has so far been a someday thing for you, or if being a writer is an identity you haven’t worn for a while, dip into the Easy lane. Swim there all month or veer into another lane once you get warmed up.

If you have a fairly strong writing habit and a busy schedule, you might find Steady is the best lane for you. Chipping away at your work in bigger, consistent chunks every day this month will get you to at least 25,000 words by the end of March.

If you’re cranking out a novel and want to make a serious dent by the end of March, Jump feet first into the Crazy lane, where word counts are going to push you to spend time and adrenaline at the page.

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