The Challenge

How do you most effectively challenge yourself creatively? If you are the kind of person who goes with the flow, do you tend to find your creative goals unmet? I am fortunate to have completed some wonderful creative goals in my life, such as writing a book, selling a few copies and speaking on a panel with a few writing greats. I'm the kind of person, however, that can languish without a challenge to sink my teeth into.

On Monday, September 5th, I began a 365-day self-imposed test to write 2,500 words per day, everyday, no matter what. So far, so good and today is Day 16 without a major hiccup. The way I'm breaking down the word count is 2,000 words toward a book that I plan to self-publish, 400 words to a blog post on this site (which is why you've seen some dramatically increased posting here) and 100 words toward a post on a new blog called Writing for 365 Days in a Row. The latter doesn't seem like much, but by forcing myself to complete it last, it helps me keep grounded as to where I am during my writing journey.

In February and March, I wrote 2,000 words a day toward my self-published books and ended up writing three books over the course of that 60 day period. If I end up with the same pace, I may be able to complete nearly 18 books during the year. The real trick is staying on task and not letting myself get stressed to the point of wanting to quit.

This project has allowed me to finally focus on one of my most prized ideas, a book about happiness geared toward the twenty-something demographic. Today I thought of a wonderful marketing plan the likes of which nobody has ever seen. This goes to show that when you're mining your head for every possible idea and trying to write them down, you're bound to have a few winners.

Why would I want to subject myself to this? I suppose I'm just one of those all or nothing kind of guys. I love going to extremes and I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from finishing a project. If I am able to make it through the entire year, I may feel that feeling nearly 20 times!

Obviously, there will be a lot of editing required for these quickly thrown together first drafts, but if I have 25 books in total to my name in September 2012, you'll see quite a large grin on my face (and hopefully a larger bank account). 

Done with The Challenge? Go back to the Home Page.

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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