Five Hundred

January 22, 2013 — 5 Comments


I received a gift from an author named Andy Traub before Christmas.

A snapshot of what I will finish by 30.

A snapshot of what I will finish by 30.

He writes at the Take Permission Media Network where he helps people accomplish the great undertakings they have set out to do. He’s helped me in a variety of ways through his podcast, his blog, his Early to Rise Challenge which is becoming a book soon, and through this gift he gave me in December.

While talking on the phone about the challenges of staying consistent in writing, he decided to send me Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

This book talks about fighting the resistance that we all face when developing our passions. Pressfield names the force behind procrastination and the damaging effects it has.

I’m not very far into the book and I know I’ll gain more insight as I keep reading. So I’ll write at least an entire post based on its principles when I’m done.

So far, the takeaway from the book is just a two-word phrase:

Five Hundred.

I’m going to make it a goal to write five hundred words a day.

They don’t have to be great. They don’t have to be in the same genre. I don’t even have to use them for anything down the road.

But I’m going to write five hundred words a day.

Pressfield talks about the utter importance of showing up and doing your work every day. Even he, as an accomplished author, struggles with creating amazing prose all the time, but he shows up and gives his best effort every day.

While talking with my brother last week, we both concluded that with every day that passes by, we aren’t getting any younger. When we look back on how we spent our 20’s and 30’s, what do we want to show for it? What do we want to have that will define this part of our lives?

I’ve been working on my novel, Foreign, for over seven years now. I’ve made good progress, but then I get bogged down. I say I don’t have enough time to keep working on it, especially with writing for my blog, taking care of my family, and doing everything at church and school.

But I can write five hundred words in less than an hour. And I can give thirty to sixty minutes a day to writing. I easily waste that much time each day.

Now I know five hundred words per day doesn’t sound like much progress toward finishing a book, especially when I’m writing sermons, youth group talks, podcasts, blogs, and school papers. But even if half of my days are for my novel, I’ll be done with a first draft of my book by the end of the year.

2012 flew by. I know that last January, it would have felt daunting to say that I hoped to finish Foreign by 2013. But 2012 really did fly by. And with one hour of writing per day, I’d already have a rough draft of a book right now.

I don’t want to be in the same place at this time in 2014.

In June of 2014 I’ll turn 30. By committing to five hundred, I aim to finish a first draft of my book by my birthday.

I’ll see you in eighteen months! (and along the way)

What dreams could you accomplish if you decided to make a small daily commitment?



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I'm a pastor, writer, speaker, husband, father, and follower of Christ, to name a few titles. You can find my contact information in my About page.
  • Thx for the mention Austin. Keep shipping. You’re awesome. Turning Pro by Pressfield is another literary kick in the butt. You should pick that one up too.

    • Thanks again for The War of Art. I’ll definitely check out Turning Pro afterwards. He writes good stuff. I’m looking forward to your release of Early to Rise.

  • dave

    kill your xbox and ps3! it’s been great!

  • scrhill

    You can do it! If I can be of any help, let me know. I’m so proud of you.