15 Days to Done


What is it about a challenge that motivates us so much?  Why is the pull of a one-week challenge so alluring? 

There is something a little magical, and a little scary, about setting a short-term goal for yourself and driving towards it with all the power you can muster.  You see it in the fitness industry all the time, in commercial campaigns and incentive programs at large companies, and, yes, even in writing… ever heard of NaNoWriMo?

Maybe people have short attention spans, or maybe the promise of a reward that’s only two weeks away is just irresistible; either way, short challenges work.  Public ones work even better.

Which is why I challenge myself at least once a month to accomplish something significant within the next 5-20 days.  This time I’m going to finish the full outline, character sheets, plot reveal details, and every other piece of prep necessary for my next book, all in 15 days (before the end of March).  That’s my goal.

I’ve made it publicly, and I’m going to accomplish it.  And – spoiler alert – I’m going to set another one shortly after that.  And I want you all to join me.

So I challenge you to set a goal for yourself, to turn it into an active contest, a bar you will hold yourself to.  Make it public – tell your friends and family.  Write it on the wall above your bed.  Keep yourself accountable, but let other people help you do so as well.  Chronicle your journey and your efforts so you can feel rewarded when you do well, motivated to do better when you come up short.  Because we all have something we wish we could do in the next couple of weeks, and challenges work.  So…

What will you accomplish in the next 15 days?

6 comments on “15 Days to Done”

  1. I suppose you have something in mind on a grander scale than merely getting out of bed each morning?

    Darn, I should have know it wouldn’t be that…easy? Will have to think on it. Haven’t set too many goals lately.

  2. Great post! I am in total agreement.

    In fact, I have tested this for myself when I publicly challenges myself to write a novella in 24 hours last year. Not only did I announce the challenge. I also tweeted live throughout the challenge and posted the outcomes and lessons learned which I published in a project report: https://darkfictioncoma.com/2016/07/31/3-amazing-things-that-will-happen-if-you-write-for-12-hours-straight/

    Did I succeed in writing a complete novella? No. But did I get tons of really useful material that I can use to create something much more substantial than a novella? YES!

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