30 day challenges are quite useful. They’re also quite popular at the moment, but don’t let that stop you being interested enough to try.
A 30 day challenge is long enough to actually be a challenge but short enough to be accomplished relatively quickly. A 30 day challenge is long enough to do something for that by the end of it, you feel a sense of pride (I’m assuming) for actually having completed it. A 30 day challenge offers a pleasant antidote to immediate gratification and (probably) keeps us out of trouble, at least a little bit. A 30 day challenge offers us a genuine chance to crack something we may have wanted to do for a while and set the groundwork for forming a new habit.
This is why, after months of silent pontificating and very little writing, I have been set the challenge of writing 250 words a day for the next 30 days. However, always wanting to overachieve, I have upped my limit to 300 words a day before I’ve even started.
A novel is broadly considered to be a novel if it’s longer than 40,000 words (I’m not debating artistic merit here, merely the practicalities of length) which is the equivalent of 133 days of writing 300 words*. Just over four 30 day challenges worth of writing could result in an (unedited and pretty rough) novel. This means that – if I pulled my finger out and concentrated (and typed) really hard – I could have written a novel before Christmas.
So more of this tomorrow: the inspiration, the psychology and the success.
Right now, I’m at 327 words and had better stop; I don’t want to over exert myself on day one!
*As an FYI 50 Shades of Grey is 105,000 words, so it definitely meets the criteria for a novel by the metric of length, whatever you feel about the cumulative effect of those 105,000 words on the pages.