Attempting the writing challenge: 200 words a day for 5 days

(FILE) Illustration of a girl looking focused while writing in a notebook.
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Ever since I was a kid, my mind has been filled with stories I have yet to write. My love for writing began in the third grade with a paradoxical Cinderella story.  Since then, the only thing that seems to capture my attention for long periods of time has been writing. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to become a writer, but — as it goes with many aspiring artists or writers — life got in the way. I used to write every day. Now, in the wake of classes, major requirements and other obligations, I have not opened a word document or notebook in months. So, in hopes of finding my creative side again, I decided to challenge myself: 200 words a day for five days, and (per usual) it didn’t go as planned — but when does it ever? 

Day 1

I started the first day feeling confident that I would be able to write 200 words in the very limited amount of time I had. However, as my 3 p.m. class ended and an afternoon packed with homework and extracurriculars approached, the thought of writing felt more like a chore than anything. However, at a late time in the night, I finally sat down on my couch and began typing, well, something. Although it was not a good something, it was a start, and maybe it would make tomorrow easier. 

Day 2

The next day brought its own challenges: I was more tired, and I had more work. I spent a lot more time on TikTok than I am willing to admit. I waited until the end of the day, again, to start writing, mostly because I was not sure what to write in the first place. I thought over storylines while I was cleaning and making my dinner, but none of them seemed to stick. So, when it was time to write, I picked a story I wrote in my head as a kid, and I found it easy to dip back into old memories. 

Day 3

Writing became easier the following day, but it was also because I partially cheated. I just continued with the story I had started before, even though I had intended to challenge myself to write 200 new words a day. But I figure writing is writing … right? Moreover, I found the writing to be more smooth and fluid today, and I looked forward to continuing the story I had started the day before. 

Day 4

I am going to be completely honest, I did not compete in the challenge this day. I was swept up in my homework and interviews and school in general. When it came the time to write, I was met with an empty mind and nonexistent motivation. But there is always tomorrow, I suppose. 

Day 5

On the last day, I woke up with a newfound motivation to continue my story, even if it was only for 200 words. So, after my classes and a good few hours procrastinating on my homework, I sat down on my couch with the intention to write. And that I did. 

I am not sure if this process made me a better writer or if I will continue to do this. But what I can say is that 200 words a day did remind me why I fell in love with writing. Although I definitely won’t be writing the next bestseller within the next few months, it’s a start.

Contact Isabella Carreno at [email protected].