You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers ;)

Last night I received this comment from Esther from Purposeful Learning:

So…I’m curious. What do you write for your 100 words every day? Is it just anything, or something story-specific? And, if it’s story-specific, do you have one story that you continuously work on until it’s finished, before you start writing another one? Does it just count if you’re writing a story (the main book content), or do random brainstorming thoughts and research notes and character ideas and…well, all the random stuff that goes along with a writing project count, too? How does taking a break from writing figure into all of this?

If you want to do a blog post on this, rather than try to answer it all in one comment, feel free. I’m just curious, because I’ve been challenging myself to write 100 words per day in two different categories over the last year, and I’ve been wondering what a “writing break” looks like for different people. Thanks!

Esther has some pretty good questions, and the idea of making it into a blog post seemed perfect to me, so here we are. 😉 But first off, WAY TO GO ESTHER! Writing a 100 words a day might not sound like a lot to everyone, but when you do it day in and day out it takes a lot of dedication.


And now to answer your questions.

When I’m writing my 100 words a day, I always stick to the book I’m currently supposed to be writing. Sometimes I have two books going at once, and if that’s the case then I can write the words to go with either book. (Mostly this happens when I’m writing one book and editing another – I try to only write-write one book at a time.)

A ton of my 100 words end up just being brainstorming, character development, research, random ideas, and mini-scenes that I’ll never use anywhere so I promptly throw away, but they give me a better idea of who a character is, or what a setting looks like, etc… My idea behind the 100 words a day isn’t to have quality work that I can keep (although that certainly happens some days!) but more to keep myself in the habit of writing and spend at least a few moments on my craft each and every day.

As for breaks? Well if you feel like you need/want a break, then, by all means, go for one! Personally, though I’ve chosen not to take any breaks. During some dry/busy/crazy seasons of life, my 100 words have been less than stellar, but I still choose to spend those moments taking the time out of the rest of life to sit down and scribble out some words. It helps me keep in mind that even though writing isn’t my main focus at the moment, it will be highly important to me again one day and I never want to lose the spark.

Recently I’ve been getting back into the writing mode after a whole summer of writing disposable words. I’m having fun writing words that actually count toward something (aka, going through the 24th draft of my novel changing all the telling segments into showing), but at the same time, I’m thankful for the last months where I threw away the words I wrote. Cause do you know what? I found out things about my characters (for another book) that I would have never guessed. Plot points emerged that I hadn’t dreamed of. And characters that I didn’t know existed somehow found their way into my brain.

Now it’s your turn, folks! I’d be delighted to hear from any of y’all who have ever done something like write 100 words a day for a long period of time. What did that look like for you? What did you learn from the process?

By the way, if any of y’all have questions, I’d be delighted to answer them! It’s always fun to have these little talks. 🙂

Setting: In my bedroom/office 
Listening to: Lindsey Stirling on Youtube 
To Do Today: Answer emails then go to work
Thankful for: Being back in the blogging mode!

6 thoughts on “You’ve Got Questions, I’ve Got Answers ;)

  1. Keturah Lamb says:

    Dedicated writing is the best! Ever since I did GTW 100 for 100 about four years ago I’ve tried to write every day. I don’t really do a word count though . . . at first it was 100 words, then 200 words, then 700 words. Now most days I do around a 1000 words. And I that goes toward my current writing project and is counting my blog posts, journaling, or some short story I decide to write.

    I really agree with you – this is what grows our craft!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lydia Howe says:

    Wow, Keturah! That is amazing! 700 words a day is a LOT and takes far, far more dedication than 100 words a day. I can’t even imagine. Now I WOULD need a break from something like that. 🙂 But yay for staying with the craft. Keep up the writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Esther Filbrun says:

    Thank you so much for answering! 🙂 I was inspired by your blog post on GTW a few years back about writing for 1,000 days in a row, and tried several times, but never got much beyond 180 days or so–until I enlisted the help of a friend, and I’m now up to day 400 something.

    I love that you don’t expect anything truly amazing from your writing. That’s something I needed to remember–there have been moments lately when I expected something a lot better than I ended up with. It’s good to remember that no, it doesn’t have to be perfect (especially in busy seasons), but it’s the practice and then sticking to it even at 11 pm that counts. So thanks for the encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lydia Howe says:

      Wow! That is incredible! I’m really impressed. Way to go with that! 400 days is a really, really long time! Seriously, I’m not even sure what to say. 🙂 Keep up the amazing work!

      Liked by 1 person

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