The 500 is a challenge to all writers everywhere, initiated by Boise's Novel Orchard.
It's as simple as this: write 500 words a day, every day, for a year.
Why so simple? Writers need to write, and, while it seems an oxymoron, writers have a hard time with butt-in-chair-hands-on-keyboard. BNO has noticed that challenges help to alleviate this issue. So, use this to hold yourself accountable and force yourself to spend time with words every day. Work on your craft in small, manageable chunks.
What can you write? As far as BNO is concerned, everything goes. Starting with working on a novel or short story to non-fiction to blogging and even good old fashioned journaling. It doesn't matter what it is, just write it for 500 words every day.
What doesn't count? In a word: editing. Adding a bunch of new words to something well under revision isn't writing so much as it is editing. Adding new sections or scenes to something undergoing the revision process is, however, more writing than editing.
How do you hold yourself accountable? You can use your own blog, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, or anything else that will hold yourself accountable. Announce it to friends and family that you're doing this - they'll ask about it. Whatever you do, don't keep it to yourself. Your friends will be pivotal in holding you accountable to your 500.
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