As 2017 drew to an end, an important deadline for me was rapidly approaching.
By the beginning of March 2018 I had to hand in the first draft of a new play which I was writing as part of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre’s Playwright Programme.
What was terrifying me as I was tucking into my Christmas dinner, was that I had no story, no characters, no theme and no bloody idea what the hell I was going to write.
And anything that I do write has to planned meticulously.
I’m not one of those writers that can just let their keyboard run wild. I need to know who my characters are, what is their story, what are their flaws, how their flaws drive the story, what happens at the mid-point blah blah structure blah.
A lot of writers hate structure. I don’t. I love it. Which is why I was panicking whilst chewing on a sprout. I had nothing. And in nine weeks time I had to hand in a first draft.
Shit! I needed to find some motivation and inspiration. And quickly.
I’d stumbled across Jenn Ashworth’s novels as we are both originally from Preston. Last year Jenn publically talked about fear and her writers block on social media. She set herself a #100daysofwriting challenge which I’d discovered when she was mid-way through.
I liked the sound of it though. A simple and gentle approach to falling back in love with writing.
No obligation on word count, time or anything else. Just turn up. I could try that.
Actually, more than that. Knowing myself and how I hate failing. I knew that I would do more than try. I would totally get on board with it through to day 100, or I would never have started it.
So, I began my own #100daysofwriting with the prime goal to be to turn up everyday and work on the new stageplay.
Some days I managed a line of dialogue, other days I would write pages. Often I would encounter difficulties as balancing writing with a full-time job is always a challenge.
But however large or small the words were. It didn’t matter. As long as I was present – every day.
And documenting the achievement by photographs on social media was also something to consider. I do most of my writing in my loft, but I didn’t want each photo to be the same.
It was always a bonus when I wrote away from the house.
Whether it be a café, library, lunch break in work or the wonderful Writers Room at the Everyman. I kept my instafeed posts full of colour, even if it was just me. Or a keyboard. Or a cup of tea and and a keyboard. Or one of the cats. Or one of the cats sitting on the keyboard with a cup of tea. Or both of the cats.
#100daysofwriting gave me the focus to write the first draft of my new play ‘Chums’, but it’s also given me more than that.
It’s made me invigorated by the process of writing and especially writing with a pen again. #so1980s
Why not have a go yourself and see what you can do in 100 days?