Creating your own 28 day writing challenge

Over on my other blog, I’ve been reporting on a recent challenge I undertook. Simply, it was to write for 30 minutes every day for 28 days. The second part of this was to have at least one accountability partner, and check in with them when you had done your 30.

So this is how you do it:

* Find at least one accountability partner. They don’t have to be a writer, although I think this helps. They can choose to do their 30 minutes as walking, or meditation, or practising the piano.

* Exchange email addresses. If you want to do this with a group, then the easiest way is for everyone to create a “group” in their address book and include all email addresses. I would suggest that you keep the group small – no more than 8, just for ease of communication.

* Set a starting day. Count forward 28 days. You might want to mark the Day Numbers on a calendar (it’s easy to forget what day you’re up to if you’re not starting on the 1st).

* Commit to the 28 days, no matter what. You will often write more than 30 minutes, but you must never write less, even if it’s 10 minutes at a time. Be serious about this commitment.

* Every day, when you have done your 30 minutes, email your accountability partner/s. You don’t need to explain. A simple “30 minutes done” is all that is required. It’s the checking in that counts.

* If something disastrous happens, and you miss a day, you can do two lots of 30 the next day. But try not to let this happen more than twice in your 28.

* When you have finished the 28 days, review what happened. Did it work for you? Did you write more than you expected? What benefits came out of it for you, and your writing? What did you learn about yourself?

* Now do it again! If you do three lots of 28 days, you will have created a strong writing habit that will stay with you.

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  1. What a brilliant idea! I like to write three pages in the morning by longhand before moving to my computer. I’ve been a bit slack with this and might use the 30 minute plan to get me going again!

  2. Julie Richards says

    This is a great idea Sherryl. Should it just be an exercise in free writing per se, or should the writing have a specific purpose such as an article, poem or story? Do you use it for a creativity kick start or to get an actual piece of writing (where you have a brief for instance) started? Thanks, Julie Richards.

    • Hi Julie, You can use it as either – sometimes a prompt is just to get you writing, but sometimes it can spark off into something more. If you find yourself still thinking about what you wrote with more ideas coming, then yes, it’s on its way to becoming a fully developed story or poem or “something”!

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