When we allow ourselves to write freely without stopping to second guess word choices, punctuation or grammar, in turn, we unlock our creative mind and allow the words to flow authentically; thus, our writing is more genuine and heart-centered rather than ego-based. Have you ever experienced a time when you've been in the flow of creativity only to go back later to read your writing and find that the words on the paper (or computer screen) are almost unrecognizable to you? Have you found yourself saying, "Did I really write that? That's pretty darn good if I do say so myself!" Surely you've had an experience like that, right? If not, then you're in for a treat!
Now, I'm not saying that we don't need to be conscious of word choices, punctuation, and grammar. We certainly do, but there is a time and a place for editing and it's not during our dedicated writing time. That's what the revision process is for, and that comes later.
Here's Your 7-Day Challenge:
I challenge you to write freely for a minimum of one hour each day for seven days. Every day, try to surpass the prior day's word count. Why? When we resist the urge to stop and second guess ourselves, go back and make changes, and edit as we write, we unlock our greatest potential, allowing our creative mind to freely express itself.
Are you up for it? I challenge you to try this for one week. If you will commit to this exercise for an hour each day for 7 days, I am willing to bet you will not only increase your writing speed, but you will find your writing is far more creative and heartfelt than ever before.
Ready to give it a try? Here's how to do it:
1. Grab a notepad to keep near your computer or dedicated writing space. You may also elect to use an app on your phone or computer. There are many websites and apps that you can use to record your daily word count, but for the sake of keeping things simple, I suggest starting with a notepad for this 7-Day Challenge.
2. You will need to time yourself for one hour each day. Be sure to schedule your writing time when you will be free of distractions. You may choose to leave your house and find a nice cafe our park to do your writing. I tend to do my daily writing early in the morning when I'm the only one awake in my home. Schedule your daily writing time into your calendar for one week and commit to one hour of writing during each session. Now, you may choose to continue to write beyond the hour, and if so, by all means...write on! But I want you to break at the one hour point to record your word count. For this you will need a timer.
3. Grab a stop watch, hour glass, kitchen timer--whatever works. Something to alert you of the one hour mark. I use the stopwatch on my iPhone. You may even use an alarm clock. You will likely be deeply engrossed in your writing so be sure that whatever gadget you choose will send an alert when your hour is up.
4. Record your daily word count on your notepad. The goal is to not only meet your current word count, but surpass it by a few words each day. Slowly you will begin to write or type faster; you will get out of your head and write from your heart. And when you write from the heart, that's when the magic happens!
Tips for success:
- Choose one project to work on for the duration of the 7-Day Challenge such as a book, short story, or article. Resist the urge to jump from project to project during this challenge.
- Each day stop writing mid-sentence so when you pick back up the following day you will not stall to get started. By stopping mid-sentence today, you are setting yourself up for success tomorrow.
- Turn off your spell/grammar check during your hour of uninterrupted writing. Don't worry, you can turn it back on when it's time to revise and edit. Oftentimes those red lines under our words can be a distraction and many find it hard to resist the urge to correct as they go.
BONUS: Once you've completed the 7-Day Challenge email me and share your experience with me. Tell me what you've learned, if the challenge was effective, and what you thought of the exercise. If you complete my 7-Day Challenge and send me your results, I will personally send you a FREE gift. No questions asked. And who doesn't love freebies? I know I do!