100-day challenge of 2011: Another reason to write every day

Still shaking your head over my requirement that you write every day, even if it’s only one sentence? What good is one sentence when I need 100,00 words, you ask? Why spend all that time to boot up the computer, find the file, remember what’s happening in the story, figure out what happens next…just to create one sentence?

I already named a few reasons:

  • To establish writing as a habit
  • To keep the story in the forefront of our minds, where our subconsciouses can access it
  • To desensitive ourselves to the fear of getting started

My goal today is to introduce a fourth reason: Because success is addictive.

When you accomplish something you set out to do–like writing every day–you feel good. Over time, our brains create a positive association between writing and feeling good. Each day we’re a little more anxious to write that sentence, or paragraph or page, because we know we will feel good afterward. The more of these little successes you have, the more quickly and the stronger that positive association will be in your brain.

Success breeds success.

Pleasure is a drug–really, it’s a chemical reaction in your brain. Some people induce the feeling of pleasure artificially through drugs, nicotine or alcohol. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could create addictions to the things that are good for us, make us successful and happy instead of to the things that sabotage our health and our dreams?

So write, or read, or hug your kids every day–whatever challenge you’ve set for yourselves.

And hey, check in with me, would’ya? Because tomorrow I’ve got a blog post planned for those of you who might have experienced a little hiccup over the last five days. We’re up to 15 challengers now, so I suspect there’s at least a couple of you out there who are struggling. I had a close call the other day. I got too caught up in the reading part of my challenge and neglected to write until about 11 p.m. when I had to force myself to open the file and write a few paragraphs. But I did it. And they were good paragraphs. And I felt *pleasure* at my accomplishment.

Positive association.

Keep going!

4 Responses to “100-day challenge of 2011: Another reason to write every day”

  1. 1 Kim January 5, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    So far so good!

    • 2 vickietaylor January 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm

      Way to go, Kim! I’m hoping not only to write today, but for a big day. I drop Maverick off at the adopt-a-pet this morning in Flower Mound, then I’m going to hid all day at the Barnes and Noble nearby and immerse myself until it’s time to pick him up in the afternoon.

  2. 3 Tracy Garrett January 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Because of other obligations, writing every day means getting up 2 hours earlier every morning–which I’ve never been good at. It’s how I wrote my first two books, so I know it works, but I really hate getting up in the dark. 😦

    • 4 vickietaylor January 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

      Ouch. Getting up two hours early is next to impossible for me. I did it for a while (along with staying up until 2 a.m. writing every night) when I had missed deadline and suffered some serious burnout for my troubles. Are you sure you can’t carve one of those hours out of the rest of the day somewhere? See my “shooting ducks” post this week. Also, taking it easy on yourself when you need to is not a bad thing. If you push too hard, it becomes a cycle of diminishing returns. You get up earlier to write more, but after a few days, you’re even more tired, so in those two hours, you get fewer pages done. So you get up even earlier…become even more tired…and get even fewer pages dones. And so on and so on. I swear, finding a schedule that is reasonable and that works for you is the biggest part of being a successful (over the long term) writer.

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