Writing Tips: Writing because you can

According to sources, thousands of you have taken my challenge to begin the process of writing something every day for the next 30 days. Well, at least I think there were sources…I may have been slightly asleep when I read about it. Come to think of it, I seem to remember my picture with the article on the cover of the NY Times. Now I can’t seem to find it on the Internet. Hmmm…perhaps I should just move on.

For the few of you who haven’t started writing yet, what are you waiting for? If you can’t describe what you’re waiting for in zero words or less, then write down what you’re waiting for and you’ll have started! Tricky? Nay.

If you’re feeling that committing to so many words per day is making you uncomfortable, try starting with just 10 minutes a day. Next, here are some ideas (I think real writers call them primers – rhymes with dimmers) to get you into the mindset of writing something down for today:

– List 3 things you’d like to accomplish this year. Then, write a short paragraph about what each thing means to you and what you’ll have to do to finish it.

– Write down what you’d like health care to look like in your country. Don’t overdo it, just make some notes.

– Write a paragraph about the best book you ever read. Whatever you can remember about it.

– Write down what you’d like to do to the Talk to the Human™ guy who’s making you do this. Important! Burn this particular document so it’s never used against you in court.

– Write down 6 things that would have been funnier than that last line.

– Write down 10 things that could be on your bucket list (i.e. the list of things you’d like to do before you kick the bucket).

– Write down the names of 3 books that you would read if you had time.

– Write down how you felt about your Fantasy Football loss yesterday.

Pick the one you want to do, and go ahead right now and start writing…I’ll wait.

Seriously…

How much did you get done? If your word count was less that 30 words, go back and pick another topic from the above list, and try again. I’ll wait…

Okay, what did you learn?

1. You can write.
2. You do have something interesting to say.
3. Your grammar and spelling benefited from MS Word.
4. This wasn’t as bad as you expected.
5. You’ve already thought of tomorrow’s topic.

If any 3 of the 5 above comments apply to you, then congratulations, you are a human! Disclaimer: If 1, 2, 4, or 5 things apply, you’re probably still a human. Just getting your attention.

What’s next? … Click on “Save”. That’s better. If you’ve decided not to blog for now, that’s okay, just make sure to date your work in the Word file you’re using. Alternatively, you can use WordPress and set it so no one can access your posts without a password. I haven’t used this feature, but I imagine it works just fine, with two real benefits:

1. You can change your mind later, either way.
2. The software dates and categorizes your posts for you.

Hopefully now you’ve decided to give the writing challenge a limited try. If you do this for a short 30 days, you’ll be glad you did. And! If you’re a speaker, you’ll end up with enough content for the next year’s worth of speeches. Send me a note and let me know how it goes!

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