Yesterday, I calculated I’ve written over 38,000 words in the Daily Nosegay devotions I’ve posted this year on Facebook. That means I’ve averaged 1,000 words a week. When I began, I was simply trying to develop the habit of having my quiet time before I got online each morning. By February, it was a habit, and friends were enjoying them, so I continued. I was enjoying them too, as I remembered what I loved about those quiet encounters with God. The way I could be honest before Him. The way I could hear Him whisper. The way the Spirit would move my hand to write something worthy of the truth which had been revealed in my heart.
Today, I sit here with two more months of Daily Nosegays left to write and I’m praying about how to take those nuggets and refine them into something the Lord can use again. Some have suggested a devotional or little book of inspiration. I’ve thought about pulling out the solid lines for twitter quotes or to make into graphics that can be shared. But I do not want to get bogged down in another project, unless it is the Lord’s will. So I’ll keep it in prayer through the end of the year.
I didn’t see it until last night, but this project has also developed the habit of daily writing. There have only been a handful of days that I haven’t taken the time to read my devotions, most due to waking with migraines. As I look back the first hour of my day has become my most productive. Heading forward, I’m going to rely on this quiet time to also finish another rough draft of my next novel. In November, it will be essential that I get at least three to four hours of writing in every day. Most of that will be in 10-15 minute intervals squeezed in between homeschooling, errands, and babysitting, but if I can reserve an extra hour in the morning following my devotions, I know I’ll be able to finish 100,000 word rough draft of the second book in my series.
I do not plan to stop there. Next year, I’ll be helping challenge writers, including myself, to write a minimum of a 1000 words per day the entire year. For me, that is the equivalent of two blog posts, a scene, or a week’s worth of daily nosegays. There is something about a writing challenge that I love. Part of it is the accountability to others. When readers come to rely on your regular interaction, it raises the stakes of failing to come through. That’s why I plan to continue Daily Nosegays into 2015.
Likewise, for our 365 Club we will have teams. Teams will compete against one another each month. This raises the stakes. Like a rowing team, one member failing to participate makes the rest of the team have to work harder. But if the work is shared, then it is an exciting competition. National Novel Writing Month also does this for me. The desire to beat my word count from last year and produce a better quality rough draft for the eagerly awaited second book in my series, motivates me to do my best.
So how are you developing your habit for daily writing? Does healthy competition keep you motivated? Do you have an accountability partner? I’d love to hear from you.