Tag: writing goals

Take the #30DayStarChallenge with me!

Take the #30DayStarChallenge with me!

If you haven’t seen my post earlier, then please, take a minute to go visit it HERE. On that post, I explain the motivation for doing it, and a little about the details. There’s also a downloadable calendar for you, if you want to use it.

The whole point of this challenge is to help get you (and me) motivated and back to a writing habit. Believe me, when you sit down and make yourself write, even if its total garbage and for only ten minutes a day, it becomes easier and easier to get those words out of your head and onto paper. Writing isn’t about being perfect the first time around. Its a process – you’re going to have the terrible first draft, and then you’re going to edit and polish it into something really awesome. It won’t happen in one draft – I don’t know any writers whose novels didn’t need serious edits. But if you never start, you can never finish, and that’s the goal – to finish!

I’m not saying that you’ll start and finish a novel in these 30 days – this isn’t NaNoWriMo! I just want to help you get writing into your daily routine. And, honestly, I need to get it back into mine!

The Details:

All you have to do to participate in the challenge is pick a word count goal – 200 words a day or 1000, it doesn’t matter. Just make sure you pick something that is realistic for you.

Print out the downloadable calendar I’ve made, or use your planner or other calendar, and get a set of small star stickers. I buy mine in Michael’s.

On April 1st, pick a time and sit down to write and meet your goal!

Every Friday, take a picture of your calendar and share it with the hashtag #30daystarchallenge on instagram, twitter, and/or Facebook. Encourage each other!

If you aren’t sure what to write, or you don’t have a novel started but you want to get those writing habits going, then think of participating in the #AprilCreativity posts that I’ll be posting each day of April. Every day will be a different prompt. Take a look, and use it as a warm up, or a way to get some inspiration!


Don’t Be Discouraged!

You are probably going to miss a day. Don’t let it make you stop! There are always times when maybe you aren’t near your computer, or life just got in the way. It happens. Just brush yourself off and try again tomorrow. Seriously. This isn’t about adding more stress to your life.

Don’t compare yourself to others either – take a look at their photos, encourage each other, but NEVER let it get you down. Just because someone writes 2000 words a day doesn’t make them a better writer or more of a writer. They just happened to write more words that day. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you are – it matters that you made the attempt!



Writing can be a lonely occupation. Take a few moments and connect with other writers participating using the #30daystarchallenge hashtag. Ask each other questions. Make friends! The writing community (especially the children/YA lit community, though I’m biased) is a really awesome place, with some truly amazing people. Use the opportunity to make connections with other writers!



Will you join me? I hope so! Let me know in the comments or connect on Twitter, FB, or Instagram!

30 Day Motivation Challenge

30 Day Motivation Challenge

I think one of the hardest things to do as a writer is to write. It’s a lonely occupation. Even when you’re in a room full of other writers, working on a project, you are still basically alone with the characters in your head.

Sometimes you sit down to write and notice the dirty dishes in the sink, or the floor that needs vacuumed. You think you’ll just take a couple moments and check your email, or look at a friend’s post on Facebook or Instagram. That one or two minutes turns into an hour, and you’ve suddenly lost all your writing time. Maybe you just don’t feel very inspired to write that day, so you tell yourself you’ll get back into it tomorrow. Except, you don’t.

It’s easy to let life and the internet distract you. But the most important thing you can do if you want to write is to WRITE. I’ve found that if I write a little every day – even if it’s only 200 words – I am more likely to KEEP writing. And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? If you can sit down and force yourself to write 200 words every day, no matter what, even if they’re total trash, you’ll find that 200 will soon become 300. Then 400. And then you’ll find yourself writing more and more as you go. There’s something about creating that momentum that really helps to get your creativity flowing.

A while ago, I stumbled across a YouTube video by Victoria Schwab. In it, she talked about how she used a calendar and those gold stars you might remember from elementary school to help keep her motivated. I decided I would try it. I had a calendar, and I had stickers. I set a word count amount for myself. One star = 500 words. And every time I finished a book, I had a set of special, larger stickers. Some people I’ve seen have even got a special sticker for each time they finish a chapter.

It may sound silly, but it’s remarkable how motivating those stars can be. There’s something really satisfying about looking up at my calendar and seeing that visual representation of how much I’ve written… or not.

So before I start my April Creativity prompts, I want to encourage you to create a calendar for yourself. I’ve even made a printable calendar for you to use for the rest of 2018.

But where is the challenge part of this? Well, since I’m telling you all this, I thought it might be good to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. For 30 days, I’m challenging both myself and you to try and write at least 200 words. I’ll post a photo to my instagram, @VanessaBarger, every Friday, with a photo of my calendar. Every star, for me, will mean I’ve written 500 words. You can set your own word count per star. 100 or 1000, it doesn’t matter – the point is to get writing! If you want to participate, I’d love for you to post a photo of your calendar as well, with hashtag #30daystarchallenge. We can help motivate each other, and celebrate the words as they start to pile up! I’ll start on April 1, and end on April 30. (But you don’t have to stop – I don’t intend to!) To help you get those words in, I’ll also be doing my April Creativity posts again, where every day in April I will provide a different writing prompt.