More on the 100 day challenge – There is a group of three of us that began this challenge. And uniformly we have all decided that our challenge is to write more often.
It’s the half-way mark for me, but not for my friends. My approach was about the calendar segment of 100 days. My plan was to start September 10th, then end 100 days later. This is a form of goal that I am most comfortable with. My friends both chose to stack their 100 days as days when they wrote. Fair enough. We all have lives. There will be and have been days when we don’t write. And each writer has their own methods of getting the words onto the page.
I set out to ‘challenge’ some of my less desirable habits around writing. One is how I quit before I’m actually done the project that I’ve chosen. So I publically declared the two projects that I planned on working on during the 100 days. The first project was a workbook for writers. The quit factor certainly arose, but I would not admit defeat. So when it is completed, after much whining and teeth gnashing, I celebrated. Then I took on and completed a second workbook that was comparable. Now I believe that I can finish something that I’ve started. I’ve proved it to myself twice.
My second project is much bigger; I know it is going to extend well beyond the 100 days. I have chosen to use John Updike’s short story collection – My Father’s Tears – as stories to model. This is how I do that. I close read a single story of Updike’s and then write a story that echoes some of his elements. His ‘Morocco’ story, of persons stranded in a foreign country, inspired my story ‘Day Zero’, of persons also in a foreign situation/place, that of the drought of 2002. I have my first draft of that story completed and I have hope that I am close to first draft of the second ‘modeled’ story.
I am here. Fifty days in and I am on the second story out of the eighteen of my chosen project. I will have to apply the ‘do-not-quit’ lessons many times. But I will be a stronger writer because of this challenging workout.