This month I’ve decided to set myself a challenge: to write 1,000 words every weekday for the entire month. Content is so important to any online business, but I’ve gotten out of the habit of creating it consistently. I feel like this challenge is the perfect way to kickstart this new blog – and I’ll use my words for both blog posts and email sequences.
Update: I since completed the challenge – click here to read how I did 🙂
Why 1,000 Words Per Day?
I first got the idea to write 1,000 words per day from Nathan Barry, who did it for over 600 days!! I enjoyed reading his experience of getting into a firm habit of creating, which is something I want to do too. It’s about learning not just to write when you “feel like it” or are “inspired”, but writing when you choose to and making it part of your routine.
In the past, as a freelance writer, I used to write at least 1,000 words a day easily. In fact, my rates were way too low, and that meant I had to focus on quantity over quality, and I probably wrote way more than that every day. Needless to say, I got burnt out!
Since I quit freelancing, I still enjoy writing, of course, but I just don’t do it as often as I should. And I know that when I get ahead of myself in the content creation schedule that it helps things run more smoothly, and I am happier and less stressed as a result!
I feel that 1,000 words a day is very doable for someone who is already used to writing. It’s doable, but it’s also big enough goal that you feel you’ve achieved something. And, in a month of writing on weekdays, you’ll end up with over 20,000 words written! That’s enough for an eBook, lots of blog posts, some great email sequences, etc.
The Power of Streaks
Aiming for streaks is a great way to build a new habit. The more you continue with the habit, the less you’ll want to break the streak and have to start again at zero!
I’ve experienced this myself with meditation. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start meditating again, and my husband introduced me to this simple, yet brilliant, app called Insight. One of the key features (that you can turn off if you like) is the reward system. It’s simple: get a gold star for each 10 consecutive days of meditation, or 50 non-consecutive days. The stars keep adding up the longer you go.
So in January, I started my meditation every day, only for 10 minutes, and quickly got to 7 days in a row. On the 8th day, I was exhausted after a long, long walk – but there was no way I wanted to lose my streak and miss out on my first gold star for 10 days! It’s so simple, but it works. I recently surpassed 50 days straight!
Of course, this writing challenge isn’t quite the same as I’m starting with a fixed period of a month, plus I’m taking weekends off. But I’m hoping that a month will be long enough to make some long-lasting changes in my writing habits.
Finding the Time to Write 1,000 Words Per Day
It shouldn’t take too long to write 1,000 words each day if you know your subject matter. If you don’t feel so confident, then you could always reduce the goal to 500 words a day – this would still give you lots of content to work with at the end of the month, and be the foundation of a great writing habit (and you’ll probably get more efficient at writing by the end of it, too!)
My plan is to use it to write rough drafts, meaning that I won’t constantly be editing and correcting myself. Instead, I’ll let the words flow, and I’ll worry about improving them when it comes time to publish. This makes the process a lot quicker and easier to fit around my regular schedule.
I’ll also write bits and pieces of blog posts and emails, rather than worrying about necessarily “completing” one piece before I move onto the next. That’s not to say that I won’t finish anything – I do aim to get lots of useable content out of this challenge. It just means I’m willing to be flexible and go where my mood takes me, to make things more enjoyable.
I’m also aiming to complete my words in the morning, just because I don’t want it to turn into something that I have to squeeze into the end of my workday just to get it done. I want it to be as enjoyable as possible, and I know that I do already have time in my schedule if I focus. That said, I’m going to try not to beat myself up about it if I do end up doing it late!
(I am also allowing myself to miss days if necessary, and I’ll catch the time up by doing a bit extra the day before or the day after so the monthly total is effectively the same.)Click here to sign up to my free library of biz-building worksheets, guides and tools
I’ll update again at the end of the month to let you know how I got on, what I wrote, and I how I feel about this kind of challenge. Wish me luck! Update: Click here to read the post on how my blogging challenge went.