Last Updated on November 28, 2019 by Michael Brockbank
Keeping motivated to write is challenging for a lot of freelancers and bloggers out there. In fact, I know I suffer from a lack of effort. That’s why I’ve decided to get back into the swing of things with a 1 million word writing challenge for 2020.
And I know what you’re thinking…that’s a lot of words. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not nearly as many as you might think.
Why 1 Million Words?
Although one million sounds like a lot, it’s actually a decent place to start. Especially given how the number in its entirety is broken up over a 366-day year.
Don’t forget, 2020 is a leap year and adds an extra day to meet this goal.
In reality, I used to do more than one million words. In fact, it was my goal to have 10,000 words per day. And to put that into perspective, this was aiming more for 2.5 million.
But, I’ve severely lacked in my productivity over the past few years. And to get everything back on track, I’m starting 2020 off with aiming for one million.
This Writing Challenge in 2020 is Doable!
Instead of looking at the entire one million as a whole, it’s better to break it up into daily goals. This means you would only have to write 3,817 words per workday. And given how I could easily do a third of that in an hour, I don’t see how it could be too much.
And if you go even further and break it down in an 8-hour workday, that’s only 477 words per hour. I can do this in Textbroker inside 20 minutes.
Now, when I say workday, I mean the regular five-day workweek that is a traditional job. If you were to focus more on the entire 366-day year, you’d only need 2,733 words.
For me, this is about two blog posts per day according to my average length of the articles I write.
What is the Purpose of a Writing Challenge in 2020?
If 2019 has taught me anything, it’s to quit procrastinating. And this encompasses everything in my life. In essence, I am trying to rebuild who I am, both as a freelancer and as a person.
Part of this writing challenge in 2020 is to remind me of who I am.
Not only that but pushing yourself to do more will only provide benefits.
Keeping Motivated for Productivity
After the past few months, I need to find something that motivates me. Proving how one million words in a year is easily possible is something that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.
Not only does it help me create more content for the blog, but it’s also something I can use for video content on the YouTube channel.
For me, I tend to perform far better if I have a solid goal to reach. And I know I can do it…I’ve done it many times before.
Making More Money
No matter how you slice it, being more productive is going to lead to making more money. This is true whether you spend the entire one million words on Textbroker or put in the effort to publish novels.
Even spending an hour writing content for Hub Pages can bring in a few bucks here and there if you write something people want to read.
When you think about it, anything that has your name on it in terms of content is going to financially benefit you. Even if it’s just a blog post, every article you create either boosts your reputation (to make more money) or flat out pays you.
Promoting Yourself as a Writer
Like I mentioned a second ago, content helps promote yourself as a writer. And the more experienced you are, the more likely you’ll land those high-paying jobs.
So, think of a part of the one million words as marketing for your talents.
Grammar, typing speed and even research capabilities are all going to improve when you put in the effort.
How Can I Write 1 Million Words in 2020?
Luckily, there are a vast number of ways to write content on the Internet. There’s really no shortage of what you can do as long as you put in the effort to look.
But, you need to make sure you go beyond counting characters in Twitter or posting things on Facebook. Things like that shouldn’t really count towards the writing challenge for 2020.
However, you can always:
Do Private Client Work or Work with Content Mills
One of the more obvious ways to reach one million words is to do more client work. You can do projects from private clients or jobs listed in content mills such as Textbroker.
In fact, I hit well over a million words using nothing but Textbroker for several years. You just need to keep yourself writing without taking too many breaks.
In 2017, I was writing about 5,000 words per day spread out between my private clients and Textbroker teams. So, I know it’s possible.
Get More Into Blogging
Blogging is a good way to promote yourself as a professional. And if you monetize your site in some fashion, you can also make a few bucks on the side for your trouble.
I know from experience that blogging on a regular basis can lead to all kinds of financial benefits.
So, part of my writing challenge in 2020 is going to include creating more content than I did in 2019. Which isn’t hard considering my paltry performance this year.
Write Your Own Novel or Stories to Publish
You don’t have to focus purely on the freelancing part of writing. Why not be more creative and publish something that might declare yourself an author?
Even if you don’t plan on aiming for the New York Times Best Seller List, being creative and writing things like fan fiction only helps to improve your overall skills.
For me, I am aiming at becoming a published author in 2020. And yes, this means I will be finishing, “VII” and working on other projects.
Use Other Blogging Platforms
What if you want to blog but don’t have a website? Well, you can either create a free blog at something like WordPress.com, or you could write for sites like Hub Pages or Vocal Media.
You can use these systems to reach the one million word count while generating a bit of income on the side.
At any rate, you can share those posts with potential clients, employers or on your resume.
Create YouTube Video Scripts for Yourself
If you have a YouTube channel, you can always write a script to follow. In fact, there are a lot of YouTubers who use their own scripts when creating a video.
I do on certain videos I create for Colorado Plays.
How does this count towards your one million word goal? Because you’re still using the written content to accentuate the video. The only difference between YouTube and a blog is that one is video while the other is text.
It’s all still content.[template id=”2087″]
What Can I Do to Track My Writing Challenge in 2020?
OK…now that we’ve established some of the ways to rack up the word count, what can we do to keep track? After all, having a good way to keep score will keep your head in the game.
Since you’re in competition with yourself, you need viable means to monitor progress throughout the year. You don’t want to just give up because you’re no longer motivated. Keeping score for yourself gives you something to work towards.
Use a Spreadsheet to Track Your Progress
Since 2012, I’ve kept track of words I create through the use of spreadsheets. Over the years, the sheets themselves have taken on various looks and layouts. But the bottom line is that they are still used to this day to remind me of how productive I am.
I’m not saying that you have to use a spreadsheet in order to reach a one million word writing challenge in 2020. However, they do significantly help.
In fact, mine is set up to give me visual and text cues regarding my progress. For instance, if I spend less than two hours writing in a single day, my spreadsheet displays, “What the hell was that?”
Of course, you don’t really need to go as elaborate as I have with a spreadsheet. I just find it fun to monitor such things.
Promote it on Social Media
One of the reasons why I try to promote things on social media is to keep myself motivated to keep writing. It’s one of the uses of my YouTube channel, actually. I want to be seen as an expert in my field.
For this writing challenge, I am on the fence for posting my progress either weekly or monthly. Even if no one sees the post, I’ll know it’s out there in the ether of the Internet to remind me to get up and get going.
Part of promoting my progress is going to include YouTube. Since I have a growing audience, I need to show them how one million words is possible and what can happen over the span of the year.
Connect with Me to Keep Motivated
If you choose to follow my writing challenge for 2020, why not keep in touch with me through social media? I’m not averse to creating a group of us who want to take our writing craft to a whole new level.
In reality, I am still toying with the idea of adding a social element to WriterSanctuary. A place where we can share, encourage and motivate each other.
In any event, feel free to contact me if you want to motivate yourself to make 2020 a banner year for writing.
It Must be Visible Online
And lastly, all of the content created in this writing challenge needs to be easily found online. Well, with the exception of writing for content mill clients. That’s because you have no idea if they’ll even publish it.
So, if you want to be creative, use systems like Wattpad so that your content is easily seen by an audience.
Otherwise, you’ll miss out on half of the purpose of the challenge…which is to promote yourself as a writer or author. Besides, I find it motivating to know that at least one person I don’t know will read the content.
This Writing Challenge for 2020 IS Possible…
You only need 3,817 words Monday through Friday to reach one million words by the end of the year. If you write for eight hours per day, this is only 478 words per hour.
It’s not impossible.
The only thing from keeping you from accomplishing the writing challenge for 2020 is a lack of effort. Prove to yourself you can do it.
Oh, and by the way, this post would have counted for 1,801 words and only took me an hour and 15 minutes to write…