Sometimes you read a blog post or a Tweet that makes you think. Thinking is good. Other times you read a post and decide to act, which is better. Much, much better. (Unless you act badly. Please don’t do that.)
(Note: This post was written in January 2016 and updated in June 2018.)
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Recently a post about Jeff Goins and his challenge to write 500 words a day for 31 days made its way into my life. FYI — this challenge is still open as of June 2018.
Shortly after I saw the “My 500 Words” challenge, I read a post from Money Saving Mom Crystal Paine about her challenge to get up earlier every day in order to do something important for yourself and improve your morning routine. The “get up early” challenge is no longer active, but you can pick up the book that inspired it here: The 5 A.M. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast
It was meant to be. The stars and planets aligned (including Pluto, which I will always consider to be a planet thankyouverymuch) and something clicked within me. I joined both challenges, and I set a goal to stick with both for one month.
I’ve been soaking up Jeff’s encouraging words, and they have reignited my desire to write. Sure, I’ve learned to write short articles for content mills. I can put together a decently-organized newsletter. I am learning to blog. I have always LIKED to write.
But this is different. I had forgotten how it feels to put words to paper (or the computer screen) for the pure joy of the action.
It’s A-MA-ZING.Discover the magic >> Get up early and WRITE! #writing Click To Tweet
And because I’m in the mood to overshare today, here is an excerpt from my morning’s ramblings:
What is it about writing that is so powerful? Is it the act of making thoughts “real?” Is it the idea that something we put down on paper may inspire others? If we write fiction, is it an escape into another world? Do we create other worlds to escape something in our lives? Or do we do it to help others escape? Or simply because we know it sells?
As I sip my coffee at 5:19 a.m., I’m thinking this is all too deep to consider. Yet, consider it I must. Otherwise, why am I in this challenge to write 500 words a day for the next month? Yes, I could free write just to get words on paper. And that’s fine, since it will help quiet my mind and probably help me be a little more present in my life since some of my bazillion thoughts have been allowed to rest in another place.
But a goal is beginning to form in my mind about what to do with those words. A short story? Blog posts? Still thinking about that, but I know that the answer will come as I continue to write.
My word for 2016 is Positivity, and I am going to use it to guide my actions. I will write. I will love my family. I will work to create the life that will make me happy.
Okay, that’s definitely some early-morning stuff, but it helped me to begin my day on a fantastic note.
Update: Over the course of the next month, I wrote and wrote. Some days it was more or less than 500 words, but all of it was a joy. And, yes, nearly all of it was written in the very early morning. It became part of my daily routine for months afterward, even after I completed all of the prompts from the 500 Words challenge.
Looking back, I absolutely believe doing a writing challenge during the early morning hours inspired some of my most creative work. When I was writing, little did I know some of those words would end up in several blog posts and the six books I’ve published since then.
Even now — more than two years later — when I feel stuck in my writing, I go back to that same combination of getting up very early and writing 500 words.
Are you a writer? What do you like to write and why? If you haven’t challenged yourself to do something crazy like get up early and hit a pre-determined word count, I encourage you to try it. You might be surprised at what happens.
Because I’ve had so many people comment and email about Crystal Paine’s Make Over Your Mornings course since I wrote this post, I’ve added a link so you can check it out for yourself. Note: This is different than the “get up early” challenge mentioned in the post. Instead, it’s an affordable paid course that helps you figure out EXACTLY what you need to do to get your best start every day. I’ve found it incredibly helpful in my own life, and I encourage you to give it a try if you constantly feel frazzled and unproductive.
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