Writing Workouts

This habit is all about becoming a better and more consistent writer. As I have researched different ways to accomplish this goal I keep seeing the same tip over and over again: Write! In an effort to write at least 300 words a day I have come up with some different ways to meet that goal.

Assignments

I am a great in class learner so I signed up for a Coursera class, Journalism Skills for Engaged Citizens. There are writing exercises we will be working on throughout the course. The word count varies by assignment, but it is a good way to get writing. I also picked my second book for this habit, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction–from Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between, because there are writing exercises peppered throughout.

Prompts

I follow /r/WritingPrompts on Reddit, NaNoWriMo on Facebook, and some of my favorite authors on various social media sites. Great writing prompts can come from these sources. I don’t do them on a regular basis, but if I’m dealing with writer’s block the prompts can get me out of my rut. I will search for prompts that fire a spark of inspiration, and then write as much as I can on that topic. It’s a useful distraction!

Journals 

I have always been a consistent journal-er, but this blogging habit is a stretch for me. This blog has been my primary writing outlet, along with my corresponding notebook. I use the notebook daily to reflect on all the ways I am trying to cultivate my habit. Those notes lead directly to my blog posts.

I also have a private LiveJournal account and a small journal that I keep on my nightstand. When I find it hard to sleep or am particularly stressed out I use those journals just to get things out of my head! I find I am better able to relax once I get everything down on paper.

Business Writing

As a consulting project manager I have the opportunity to write a lot throughout the day. I send countless emails, create reference documents, and give a lot of presentations. I do not count the words I type during the work day, but I am reinforcing the skills that I am learning from my blogging habit.

Now, when I proofread my emails I ensure I have the “newsiest” pieces at the top with a great introduction. When I write my project management plans, I try to power through my shitty first drafts. Building this habit has given me a new appreciation for all the writing I already do on a daily basis.

Writing 300 words a day is not as simple as I thought it would be. Having a couple of different “writing workouts” like the assignments and prompts help me to keep building my writing chops. It also a great way to ensure I meet my goal of working on this blog for at least 1 hour every day.

Do you have any tips on how you meet a daily word count? Please share in the comments below!

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