Like the goal of the 1000 Words A Day Challenge, the goal of the 500 Words A Day Challenge is simple: to inspire writers to write.
Too often, I find that writers start motivational challenges like NaNoWrimo with enthusiasm and good intentions, but give up when they start missing their daily targets for more than a few days in a row...undermining their confidence and defeating the purpose of the original challenge.
I also wanted a challenge that lasted the whole year rather than just a month.
Hence, the 500 Words A Day Challenge.
What are the rules?
Try to write 500 words a day, at least six days a week.
As long as you are sincerely and consistently TRYING to write 500 words a day, then you can post the badge on your blog or website. If life occasionally gets in the way, that's ok -- as long as you promise yourself to get back on the wagon as soon as you can. If you sometimes don't reach 500 words, that's also ok -- but try again the next day.
The badge has to link back to the the page you're reading right now.
Feel free to scoop any of the following images for your blog, and link it back to this page in case others are inspired to take on the challenge as well:
What's to stop someone from posting the badge just for show?
Nothing. But since there are no prizes other than personal, the writer is only cheating herself.
Be honest with yourself. If many days pass without you giving full effort to meeting your daily wordcount goal, then take the badge off your site. If you're going on a long vacation and you know you're unlikely to be doing any writing, then you should take the badge off your site. For the Challenge to work for you, the badge has to mean something.
What if I can only write 250 words a day instead of 500?
Then you should take the 250 Wds/Day Challenge. If you can write more than 500, try the 1000 Wds/Day Challenge. Or feel free to suggest another goal; if enough people are interested, I'd be happy to set that up as well.
. What type of writing counts toward the challenge?
Again, this is up to you to decide. Some writers may just want to count words written for a first draft of a novel. Others may want to include how many words they've revised. Still others may count ANY words they've written, including blogs, Twitter, non-fiction, outlining, poetry and other writing. As Chris Brogan says, writing begets writing.
If you don't reach 500 words one day, don't try to make up for it by writing extra words the next day -- that increases your chance for repeated failure, which increases discouragement and the tendency to give up on your 500 words a day goal. DON'T GIVE UP.
RELATED ONLINE COMMUNITIES
I Wrote A Thousand Words Today Club: for those who write for young people.
SOME USEFUL TOOLS:
Simple word counters
Writertopia Wordcount Script: just paste in your text, hit SUBMIT and you'll get back the number of words.
Enso Words: Enso is free and runs on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Spellcheck, wordcount, other features.
General wordcount trackers
Curious Device: another little progress meter: straightforward word counter.
Writertopia progress meter: provides two graphical progress meters that can be embedded in your web page or blog.
Yahoo widget wordcount: written for NaNoWriMo, but looks like it could be used for a general wordcount.
Wordcount tools for Wordpress
Hi Debbie! The 1,000 words a day challenge is a great idea. I’ve updated my Scribometer progress meter WordPress widget to track any unit the user wants to measure, so now it can be used for words as well as script pages or cups of coffee consumed.
Murray's Wordcount Wordpress Plugin: wordcount for a post