'My 500 Word Challenge' - Start a Daily Writing Habit


  • Write 500 words per day, every day for 31 days.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.

Day 03: Opening up new paths + standing back up after falling down pursuing those paths

After two days I've already managed to fail the 500 word challenge. However that also may depend on the definition of failing. If I continue to write as I do now, I may still reach my goal. The reason I had difficulty in writing is because I stumbled into a few tough days. After that I was busy celebrating my birthday with my housemates, my brother, my boyfriend and a few other friends. The day after was re-cover day (yesterday) and now I'm back again, trying to pick up where I left off.

It's scary to show up and to write. I'm always afraid of disappointing myself and I'm not happy with how negative my writing actually is when I write about my life. It sounds terrible - full of struggles and mental issues. Fortunately I'm in a good environment who supports me whatever I do. That makes it a lot easier but I'm afraid of a never ending struggle 'of always not good enough'. Whatever I do I am always able to find something that can go better, and in my mind, should go better. It's this part that I truly truly want to tackle - not necessarily keeping up with the writing, the drawing, the piano playing, etc. It's the core I want to change.

My parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday. I went ahead and searched for some great books on self-development and several topics I feel I'm terrible at. Saturday the books arrived, right on time for my birthday! The books are "Immunity to change" by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey (link). It's a book that explains why change is tough, what the underlying systems are, providing examples and providing tools to help change. It's written for individuals and organizations. I love the double perspective - how to bring about change within yourself and how to stimulate change in others.The second book is titled "The willpower instinct" and it is written by Kelly McGonigal link. It gives the science behind 'how self-control works, why it matters and what you can do to get more of it'.

The other two books are: "Secrets of a highirng manager turned career coach" by Lisa Quast (link) and "Coaching Questions" by Tony Stoltzfus (link). I'm not very familiar with the working world and I'm super interested in coaching. As I've gone through a lot of mental struggles in my life I've become highly interested in understanding humans - what motivates us and why we act the way we act.

Today I started reading 'Immunity to change' and so far I'm happy with it. I've read only till page 40, but the writing style is very practical and easy to follow. Plus the text is information dense, which is great because I'm not fond of slow-paced and repetitive writing styles. I expected a bit more insight into the 'why change is tough' yet I realize I can't expect a clear answer having only read 40 pages of the 340.

My question for you is, have you ever read these types of books? If yes, which one and what was your experience? Did it help you? Could you even finish reading it? I know I won't be able to finish the book 'Awaken the giant within' from Anthony Robbins'. It has such an exaggerated and repetitive writing style. The truth is I've learned a lot from the first bit - but going deeper I only see repetition after repetition.

There are tons and tons of books out that there cover the topics I'm interested in (personal development, coaching, business, marketing, management) and it's tough to select the books that you think you'd get most out of. Until now I've learned from every book I've had (I have 8 now). I'm extremely curious at how many books I'll own in a year. Will it increase greatly? How much money will I spend? We shall see. I know the books are a great support for me - they're opening up new paths. I love it.

I'll continue to challenge myself and try to either accept who I am now or change into the person I want to be. Or both. I hope my story may help you on your journey. Before I start sounding to cheesy I wish to say two more things before I end this post:

1. I am grateful for every person who reads this, yet I also keep in mind that I'm completely satisfied if nobody does. I'm doing it to improve myself, not to send a message across (ah I hope I'm not sounding too cold-blooded, that's not my intention).
2. Writing helps me express myself. It feels great and it feels messy.

Word count: 790

Day 02 - Rediscovering past hobbies

External Image

I can not believe how many times I have dropped hobbies of mine. It's so easy to loose sight of what you like and replace it with something new. For example, I used to play the piano, I used to draw a lot and I used to be active in online communities. All have fallen away. All have repeatedly come back. The urge to do something you loved with all your heart still remains alive and beating. However these moments never last very long. Yes I've drawn for a couple of weeks straight. Yes I've played the piano and yes I'm active in online communities again. Yet it never stays. At least until now.

I wonder why it's so difficult to stick to activities. Is it simply because we don't like it as much as we think we do? Is it because other activities have a bigger priority? Or is it because we have an attitude 'I used to be good, I have to uphold my vision of it and if I try I might fail'. I've tried many times to stick to the activities and to reclaim what was lost.

At the moment I believe I am succeeding in giving life to old hobbies. I am active right now. I did draw for a time and I continue to think about it. Two weeks ago I even bought a digital piano (seriously!). I've always been drawn to music. I love it. But it's scaring the shit out of me to try and play music. Same with my voice. I'd love to sing but I'm frightened I won't enjoy it as much or feel ashamed of my level of skill. I hate not doing what I love because "I'm scared". Therefore I find it extremely important to try it out. To JUST DO IT.

It takes practice to do something when you feel uncomfortable doing it. I wish I could feel comfortable with feeling uncomfortable. It would be a great skill and you can apply it to almost any corner of your life. They always say 'practice and your skill shall improve'. I intend to do so and it's one of the reasons why I started the 500 word challenge.

Challenging yourself to step outside of your comfort zone will lead to growth. I expect that I will find obstacles, some will be easily overcome, others may be permanent. It could happen that I actually discover I just find other things more important than art. Only by trying will I found out what I truly want.

I feel like I'm starting on a journey. I'm finally able to step up and do the things I've always yearned to do. In the past I was always afraid disappointing myself. The problem with that is also that I expect too much of myself - the goals I set are unrealistic. I am grateful for the difficult times I've gone through, so that now I may truly live the life I want to.

Science states that people who have a growth mindset will accomplish much more than people who have a mindset that focuses on immediate results (like grades in highschool). I wish our culture would come to respect the process more than the result. I'm just one individual, but I shall do my best to change my own mindset and to support others on their own journey, accepting fully who they are.

Word Count: 568
Reflection: whoop I barely edited it <3

Day 01 - 2nd try

The last thing Maria heard before she jumped was 'You won't do it'. The voice was still softly calling in her head but it was easy to ignore. The jump was figuratively speaking, of course. Just a few pen strokes and the deal was done. The jump felt great and it felt right. Even if she had second thoughts, there was no going back now. The paper had already left her hand and was carefully tucked away in an envelope by the person sitting across from her. Patrick. The one who had just taken over ownership of the company she had built: FoxScape. For more than 6 years she had dedicated her life to just this one purpose: to raise above all the competitors and to shoot for the stars. Reaching success she felt compelled she had to let go.

The following moments became a blur. Somehow she had safely walked three blocks and entered the park without realizing she did. Her world was upside down. The voice in her head was screaming by now: "You dropped everything, everything you've ever worked for. You shall not survive the next half year". Cocking her head she listened closer. It was not just one voice shouting, but a multitude of voices. It seemed to her as if her whole family was standing next to her, teeming with rage. Maria was headstrong and felt more resolute with every step she took. It was time.

Maria reached inside her leather handbag to grab her phone and dialed a number almost forgotten. 'Hey. It's me, Maria. Could you please pick up your mail, get some milk and cheerios in the house and set up that fabulous couch you have? I need a place to crash'. An affirmation was given, flight details were exchanged and the phone was hung up. The 30-something old brunette who had just cashed out her own company slowly sat down and ran the grass through her fingers. The sun was shining. The warmth inside her body was bursting through. Exhilaration coursed through her veins. Adventure awaited.

Word count: 338

Day 01

On this world I shall post pieces of writings - I'm trying to stick to writing 500 words a day. This is an existing challenge and it can be found here: http://my500words.com/. The rules of the challenge are as following:

  • Write 500 words per day, every day for 31 days.
  • You can write more if you want, but 500 words is the minimum.
  • Don’t edit. Just write.
  • If you miss a day, pick up where you left off. Don’t make up for lost days.

I read about this challenge in the book 'The Art of Work' by Jeff Goins. I'm aiming at improving my writing skills. I do not aspire to become a writer, I simply want to get the feeling that when I write it feels natural to me. Furthermore I want to use proper English. I realize that I still make waaaay too many mistakes when writing. As with all skills, with practice your skill will improve. It's going to be tough to do this without editing. I already crossed that line, but I'll try to keep it to a minimum.

I hope you enjoy reading! Constructive criticism is always appreciated, even if it's just spelling mistakes <3

Life is full of questions. The biggest and most powerful question is: 'What is the meaning of life /how do I live a fulfilled life? I believe that everyone, in their own way and in their own time are searching for the answer to this question. After years of personal struggle and strife I've come to a conclusion. The answer to the question lies within understanding our own identity.

Everyone has a general idea of who they are. Small pieces of the puzzle are visible on the surface. We all know which food we like or don't like. We know what we love to do in our free time. However, we rarely realize that our perception of the world is very biased and personalized. Our interpretations are based upon our experiences and character. Often we don't realize that our behaviors or assumptions are not interpretations of realities. They're learned. They're acquired. There is a wonderful TED talk about this topic, unfortunately I can not find it at the moment.

A deeper understanding of oneself can be reached through reflection and by exposing ourselves to new situations and activities.

My brain is starting to dysfunction. I want to stop writing as I feel I can not take hold of my thoughts and write them on paper. I've edited the past part way too many times.. I need to learn to let go and release the tension. To know it does not have to be perfect, mistakes are to be made. I've not reached my 500 words yet I do feel proud I have started the challenge anyway. Thank you for reading!

Word Count: