100-day writing challenge: Complete

Annnnd, just like that, 100 days have passed.

When I started this thing, my intention was to write every single day for 100 days. After all, that’s what I did when I undertook this challenge back in 2013. This time, I wasn’t as strict. I used the challenge more to motivate me to stick to writing “in general” throughout the 100 days. I didn’t write every single day; but I was in a writing mindset for the whole time, if that makes sense. In other words, writing moved up several spots on my list of priorities.

Over the last 100 days, I committed myself to revisiting an old novel I abandoned years back and finishing it–finally! I’m happy to say I’m nearly done. I’ve managed to summarize the loose ends I need to tie on one Post-it. ONE. There are a few passages I need to add. And I need to finesse the ending. Then I’ll let it sit for a while before giving it another read (during which I’ll find more fixes, inevitably). That tends to be how I work.

Over the last 100 days, I also wrote a brand new short story and revised a few old ones. I submitted to some publications, which is truly like pulling teeth for me.

All in all, it felt good. I’m one of those writers who does well with structure. I’d love to be able to say I write “when the inspiration strikes,” but if I waited for that, I’d never get anything done. Life is just too busy. I usually find inspiration once I open a Word document and start writing. Even if I think I’m not in the mood, I get in the mood after a few sentences. Sometimes, all it takes is just committing to reading back over what I wrote the day (or week) before. That tends to lead to revising or new writing.

So, what now? Well, I’m due to have a baby in 6 weeks, so I’m not setting any expectations about writing. I assume I’ll be tired in these last weeks of pregnancy, and focused on getting ready for the little one. I admit I’m curious to see how motherhood will affect my writing. On the one hand, I’ll have less time; on the other, I’ll have much more to write about. That’s the thing about writing–it’s so influenced by life. The stories I want to write a year from now will be different than the stories that interest me today.

My sister is a well-known blogger and photographer (you can check out her blog here), and she was saying how writing and taking photos help her reflect back. Sometimes, life in the moment isn’t pretty, but hindsight allows for appreciation of all those “ugly” moments. That’s why I write, too–to put things in perspective, to define experiences, to make sense of chaos. I’m looking forward to the new chapters as a mom. These next 100 days are going to be wild.

2 thoughts on “100-day writing challenge: Complete

  1. I love the Flannery O’Connor quote “I write because I don’t know what I think until I write it down”. That’s often how it is with me anyway!
    Good luck with the birth of your baby. It’s many years since I had my children but I did find that the hours feeding, rocking and soothing a little one can be very conducive to thinking about stuff. I did a course a uni when my last child was very young and I used to really enjoy having something interesting to think about to balance out the physical tasks. You just need to find a few moments to write or you could just dictate into your phone so you don’t lose the ideas forever.

    1. Yes, I don’t know what I think until I write it down. Exactly.
      I was thinking that I will be keeping notes in my phone more than ever before when the baby comes. Or carrying stacks of Post-its everywhere. I can’t wait.

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