I was reading someone's Facebook posts recently about how they're doing with this 100 word a day challenge. I guess the idea is to sit down and write at least a hundred words a day for a set period of time I'm not sure of. At first, it confused me. 100 words? That's two paragraphs. When I'm doing NaNo, my daily goal is 2000 words. I couldn't really fathom how 100 words a day would get you anywhere.
Until I applied it to housekeeping. I am not the world's greatest housekeeper. That, in fact, is my mother, so I will never wear that crown and I'm fully aware of it. Before my mother went to some intense therapy to determine why she was so obsessed with controlling her environment, she used to mop the ceilings. True stuff, but I digress... I don't like to clean. There are eighty other things I can do with my time. Unfortunately, I live with a packrat and four fur-babies that shed like crazy. When I lived alone, my cleaning habits were adequate because I just sort of cleaned up after myself as I went along.
It is no longer enough. I tried having a cleaning service come in, but I found I was cleaning up all the clutter (the real issue) before the cleaning lady came. Once all the clutter is gone, the cleaning is no big deal and certainly not worth what I was paying. I'm also kinda cheap, if I haven't mentioned that before. For that amount of money, I could pay my mother to come over and get my ceilings mopped as a bonus.
So (and this is where it loops back to the point) I've started my own cleaning version of 100 words a day. Instead of tearing the house down all at once, I'm going to clean one thing every day. I keep up with the kitchen out of necessity, but aside from that - one thing. Last night I cleaned all three toilets. The night before I swiffered up all the hard woods and linoleum. Tonight, I think I'll vacuum upstairs. Nothing earth shattering here, but its something. And a couple times, once I get started, I do a little more than I planned - maybe cleaning the sink or washing towels while I'm scrubbing toilets. A little something every night and maybe I won't feel like the authorities are going to declare my house a SuperFund site.
Now the 100 words a day makes more sense. There's progress being made and sometimes sitting down to write, even just a little, is the hardest part. It helps build the writing habit, and if you're lucky, maybe you end up writing not just 100 words, but 200 or 500 or even 2000 if you get on a roll.
Have you ever done a writing challenge like this or broken up your cleaning to get more done? Have you been able to stick with it for long?