I've written about the Magic Spreadsheet before. It's a simple concept. You commit to a minimum daily word count (level one is 250 words) and record your words in a spreadsheet where other writers do the same.
After taking four years to complete a first draft of a novel, I was becoming desperate to find a way to write more. I have plenty of obstacles and challenges to that goal, starting with two children and a teaching career. But I wasn't willing to let writing be that someday thing anymore.
So, in March, I found a mention of the Magic Spreadsheet somewhere in my Google+ feed. I was curious and looked it up. They had a group on Facebook. I joined. I started tapping out my 250 words every day. It was a revolution.
First, I noticed the difference in what I could do with a brief writing session. Since I was writing every day, I no longer needed thirty minutes or more to "get back up to speed" by reading what I had previously written and shuffling through notes. I was already in the flow. Between writing daily and taking a piece of advice from James Maxey to stop writing each session before the well runs dry (where you have a good starting place for the next day), I was flying.
It didn't take long to level up. Now I was shooting for 300 words a day, then 350, then 400, then 450. And now, ta-da!, 500 words a day.
Over summer, I could get my daily words pretty easily. My days were mine to structure. I often wrote 2000 words a day. I know that may change now that I have to add teaching back into my life-work balance sheet, but even if I can't keep up 500 words a day, I know I'm an addict now. I'll keep writing every day.
Because you know what? I finished the rewrite of my first novel. Then, I finished the first draft of my second novel. Now, I'm working on the rewrite of that second novel. I have three new ideas for novels percolating that I'm making notes for. I'm more productive in my writing than I have ever been in my life, even when I was twenty-two, mortgageless and childless.
My ideas are making it to fruition. One day a time, a few hundred words in a chunk. It adds up fast. And equals one girl who isn't going to write someday anymore. I'm writing now.