Yep, you read that right.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been planning something big. And I’ve also been purposefully not planning, but I’ll get into that later.
Writing and storytelling are two of my greatest passions, and I’ve known for a long time that I want to publish books. It’s one of my goals for this year, after all. Alas, while it is much easier to do these days, it’s not exactly easy to do well.
And I think that plays a big part in the resistance I feel towards publishing. Well, that and my perfectionism. It’s a lot of work, there is a lot of uncertainty, and I never feel totally ready.
I always felt that my ideas were never quite right, or that I needed to spend more time tweaking the plot or characters, and it became a cycle that never ended.
Because it can always get better. You are always improving. In the time it takes you to finish a draft, you have already become a better writer. At some point, you need to be ready to call it done and move on to the next thing.
And that’s where my crazy idea comes in.
A Challenge in 100 Days
You may have heard of the 100 days of productivity challenge before, and if not, it’s exactly as it sounds – you challenge yourself to be more productive by doing something 100 days in a row.
In many ways, that challenge inspired this one. I wanted to see if I could accomplish something in only 100 days, and the most obvious thing for me to accomplish would be a book. But not just the draft. I’ve written a full-length novel in less than 100 days. That wasn’t a challenge for me. And that wasn’t where I was struggling.
Finishing something was what I needed to work on. As I mentioned before, I was always finding excuses to go back and work on old drafts or switch to something new because I just wasn’t ready to work on the old ones.
Writing a draft wasn’t enough, so naturally, I jumped to the very end of the process – could I publish a book in only 100 days?
The answer, for many, is yes. There are indie writers out there who are publishing books multiple times a year and have proved time and time again that it is possible to publish something in a very short time frame.
But as someone who struggles with perfectionism, would I be able to do it?
It would be bold to attempt something like this without one, so I’ve spent the last several weeks carefully planning out my next 100 days.
I’ve made sure that there is something I can do every single day to move that needle closer to the end – to publishing my very first book.
It’s not going to be perfect, and I will inevitably make adjustments as I go. There will be deadlines I struggle to make or miss entirely. I’ve never been the best at time management, but how better to learn, right?
At the same time, I didn’t want to tarnish the integrity of this challenge by doing too much prep beforehand. Aside from a loose idea and a character I want to write about, I don’t have much else prepared.
I’ve gone over my plan multiple times to account for my own bad habits, collected resources and created routines. None of this guarantees success, but I’d say it rather improves my odds than diminishes them.
All that’s left to do now, is the work.
The Nitty-Gritty Details
There are a few stipulations that I need to make clear – things that set this challenge apart from 100 days of productivity, and the first of which is the timeline.
While this is going to take place over the next 100 days, it’s not 100 consecutive days. I’m going to take weekends off, mostly for my own sanity and to give me (and the book) some breathing room. Obviously, to maintain the integrity of the challenge, I can only work on this project on a weekday. Squeezing in some work time on the weekend is a big no-no.
Another thing to note is the book I plan to write is a novella. Something in the neighbourhood of 25 to 30 thousand words. Attempting something like this with a full-length novel would be incredibly challenging. If this goes well though, maybe I’ll try that for round two.
And lastly, I want to share as much of the process as I can. I’ll be doing daily updates on my Instagram, where you can see what I’m working on each day. I’ll also be posting updates here for major milestones, so make sure you follow me here and over on my Instagram if you want to follow along!
If you’re interested in working on a project over the next 100 days, then I encourage you to give this a go! It doesn’t have to be publishing a book – it can be anything you really want to finish because once you commit, you have a deadline.
Bonus points if you post your progress on your socials so your followers can help keep you accountable. There is nothing quite like peer pressure.
Are You Sure this is a Good Idea?
Honestly, I can’t answer that. Not for me, and not for you. I know it’s something I need to do, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t worry about the quality of the product I was producing.
A book that takes 3 years to write is not going to be the same as one that was written in 20 weeks. I’m not about to claim that everyone should do it this way, or that this is the best way for everyone to write and publish books. Far from it. Most of us are not Brandon Sanderson.
But I know that if I want to become a full-time indie author, I need to publish more often. I need to get comfortable with constant deadlines, and I need to get used to producing the best quality that I can within a certain amount of time.
Would this book be better if I spent a year working on it rather than 100 days? Of course it would. It would also be better if I wrote it three years from now when I’ve read more and grown more as a writer. But that isn’t the point of this. At least not for me.
Make no mistake, I will be working my ass off to make this a great story. I’d be doing a disservice to myself and anyone who reads the book if I did anything less. But I’ve got a deadline. The clock is ticking, and I have a plan that will get this book onto the market in just 20 weeks.
Cross your fingers for me, cause this is going to be a wild ride.
What do you think you could accomplish in only 100 days? What do you think about trying to publish a book in such a short time frame? Let me know in the comments – and don’t forget to place your bets. We’ll see in 100 days just how far I managed to get!