I have to be honest, I thought I could do it, but I just didn’t know that I would be able to pull it off. Thirty days of writing during my busiest month of the year. (In case you missed my first post on the 750 Words November Challenge I took on you can click here to read it.) Four of those days I was out of town at NCTE. Another four of those days I had family here for Thanksgiving. Add in a speaking engagement, some consulting, an out-of-town wedding in Boston, and being a mom and I wasn’t so sure I’d be able to rise to the challenge, so to speak. Heck, there was one night that I squeaked in with my entry at 11:57 p.m. Now that was close! However, I’m happy to say that I did do it. I completed the 750 Words November Challenge. 🙂
I used my 750 Words to write more than just the manuscript for one of the picture book ideas I’ve had in my head for the past 2+ years that I haven’t gotten on paper. (YES, that’s right, I FINALLY wrote the entire book. Now I have to revise, revise, revise!) There were some days I used my 750 Words to write letters, blog posts, and diary-type entries. There were quite a few days I that I wrote more than 750 words since I had more than three pages worth of writing to do on that day.
In addition to finding a way to get back to writing fiction again, I enjoyed earning badges on 750 Words. I earned badges for writing streaks (most recently for completing a 30 day writing streak), writing without being disrupted, and for writing an inspirational note on the site. Earning these felt so good. It was like having a pat on the back, which helped me to keep going even when I didn’t feel I had much to say.
Besides making it onto the 750 Words’ Wall of Awesomeness, I get to treat myself to a Blend-in at Thomas Sweet when I go home to see my parents later this month. (That was my “reward” to myself when I completed the Challenge Contract.) For those of you who haven’t been to Thomas Sweet, which is a Princeton, NJ institution, a Blend-in is one of the most incredible desserts you can imagine.
The Blend-in, our signature item, has been a Princeton tradition since its origination. We begin with a few scoops of a flavor of ice cream (or two!) and, in our unique auger blend-in machine, combine up to three selections of nuts, candies, or fruits. The result is your selected blend-in items smoothly dispersed throughout an 8 ounce portion of soft ice cream. Imaginations run wild with the limitless possibilities of flavors and blend-in items. (Retrieved on 12/1/11 from http://thomassweet.com/index.php?p=locations_princeton.)
For those of you who have been reading this blog for the past 4+ years, you know I write for more than Blend-ins, badges, and a spot on the Wall of Awesomeness. I write to make my voice heard. I write to make sense of the world. I write to document stories and small moments I want to hold on to forever. In the past month, I have written in all of these ways. The 750 Words November Challenge was the motivation I needed to get back to writing in more meaningful ways on a daily basis. I couldn’t be happier I took the risk (of missing a day and being put on the “Wall of Shame.”) and challenged myself to write at least 750 words daily last month.
Are you ready to challenge yourself to write more? Remember, 750 Words is a “private, unfiltered, spontaneous” way to write daily. Check it out by going to 750Words.com.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).