500 Words Per Day | 365 Days | 182.5K Words


#WIP500 – Starting 01 January 2014

Signup / Update slider is on the left!



This SOB took off like no one’s business with 2012’s inaugural outing, so here are some things you should know:

  • Please update at least once a week. Some people loved holding on to a month’s worth of daily counts and then turning them in all at once, but keeping the numbers up to date is a manual process for me. I’m doing my part, so PLEASE help a girl out.
  • When submitting more than one day at a time, please put a comma, semicolon, dash, etc, to separate the counts by date.
  • If you add on to a daily count already turned in, please note whether the count is the new total or to be added to the previous submitted total.
  • Any problems, questions, concerns? Please just email me, or ask it via the Twitter hashtag.

We are writers.

Yet each day, we allow a dozen or more distractions (from bonafides like family and work, to internet rabbit holes) to take us away from our goals. Having participated in NaNoWriMo 2011, I came away from the experience understanding the importance of support from fellow writers on the same quest.

I didn’t go it alone. I had friends reaching for the same accomplishment right beside me. We talked, we laughed, we commiserated, we cheered.

And most unbelievably, I crossed the finish line for the first time.


Carpe Verba – Seize the Words

Much like NaNoWriMo (though with no budget to speak of), #WIP500 is here to connect writers on a simple quest. Consider it your 2014 writing resolution.

Commit yourself to 500 words per day on any work(s) in progress. Do 500 words on 1 story. Do 100 words on 5 stories. Just follow your muse or cattle prod or whatever gets you writing and go with it.

If you saw the math at the top of the page, you know that in 365 days you could write 182.5K words. Imagine how many stories you will tell.


Which words should you count?

  • Direct work on any new or in-progress piece (length does not matter, but it should be a work forwarding your goals as a writer).
  • Indirect work (such as a flash fiction prompt that segues nicely into something you’re working on).
  • Promotional work for those finished pieces (interviews, guest blog posts, blurbs, etc).
  • Editing (new words). You do not need to reduce your count for words you cut (you did write them… they just didn’t make the final product).

Please do not include everyday blogs (unless your goal is to be a prolific blogger). This is the honor system, though. No one is going to check over your work to make sure you really have 500 words. The words you count should be the ones you genuinely believe further your writing goals.


Here’s what you can to do:

  • Follow the progress of fellow #WIP500 members on Twitter.
  • Snag the #WIP500 badge for your site/blog.
  • Invite others to join the quest.

I say ‘can’ because it’s all optional. If you want to lurk in the dark corners rather than announce your participation, that works. As long as you’re writing.


I hope you’ll join me for this journey…



133 comments on “#WIP500

  1. This is such a great idea, Cara! And 500 words a day is entirely doable! :)

  2. So completely excited. I half thought you all would think I was out of my gourd for trying this. So glad to see people signing up already! :D

  3. You have my sword. Er, signature. Something.

  4. Like I said on Twitter, Cara, I’ll be following along in spirit if nothing else. My own 500 words a day routine/challenge includes my blogging and notes I send to critique partners. So, it doesn’t quite meet the standards you’re setting out. I’ve also got a goal of 250,000 words of new fiction, though, for 2012. So I’ll be right there with you all in lots of ways and I plan to follow the hashtag closely!

  5. Whoohoo, I’m #12

  6. I’m in. My goal is to get two books published in 2012. I’m about 50K into the first. I may not need 185K words, but it’ll be close.

  7. This sounds pretty close to the goals I already have set for myself but some added accountability never hurt anyone!

  8. Wow! Super excited about this :)

    I think I might cheat a little (I know, I’m awful!)

    But, same concept: 500 words per day

    Meaning – January is 15,500 for the month. I really like using http://writetrack.davidsgale.com – it helped me a LOT with NaNo. Because some days, I can sit down and write 2-4k in a day. Other days, I can barely make 200. It’s just because of work and roommates (and husband, and cats, and family, and next year’s honeymoon etc).

    I will try to do 500 a day, but I will at LEAST do 500 on AVERAGE a day. (Here is my cheating!!)

    Aiming for 500 a day, but will be happy as long as I keep my average per day up :) ^_^

    • That’s perfectly acceptable. I have no doubt I will be the same way. Having a bad day won’t set anyone back so far they can’t come back. :)

  9. This is a great idea! I will be writing with you for sure :)

  10. Completely awesome! I’m in! :)

  11. Too awesome, Cara. Great idea. I’m in!

  12. James Mayes on said:

    Okay, I’m in. I have been fighting writer’s block for nearly six years, so maybe this will help! :)

  13. Karen DeLabar on said:

    I want to join but the linky thingy isn’t working for me, I’ll try again later, but I’m SO in!

    • Check the top right corner now. If the linky list is still being problematic, just submit your link here and I’ll add it when linky works. :)

  14. Pingback: WIP500: Getting ready to start writing a LOT « Fulmoj

  15. Brilliant. So glad I saw this on Twitter.
    I want the Santas, Trees and Snow! Cutest thing I’ve seen all season!

  16. Add me to the list, Cara! As Allisyn said, a little extra accountability never hurts! I was also a “winner” in NaNo 2011 and I guesstimate at least 30K more needed to finish that novel. With 2 other WIPs, I need all the accountability I can find to get my butt in gear! Thanks for a great idea :)

  17. Well I’m in! Deep intake of breath…looking forward to January 1 more than I usually do!

  18. This is an amazing idea. I am so in. I did the math, and 183k is the projected total wordcount for the remaining Zombie Bedtime Stories!

  19. I’m #44!! It’s a great idea and I’m totally looking forward to it! I’m going to think of this like a New Year’s resolution I WANT to keep! Thanks Cara!

  20. THANK YOU! I finished NaNo early but I’m not done with my book and have only written another 3,000 words since Nov. I realized it’s the accountability, the community of people that know I’m writing, who I can say “Look how much I got done” to that I need. WIP500 is exactly what I need.

  21. Robert Mahone on said:

    Cara, do I need to have a blog to participate. I tried to join using my name and twitter link – http://twitter.com/Computilizer

  22. Robert Mahone on said:

    That’s okay Cara,
    I created a blog (Love Psalms) and I am now #46, and committed to the journey. One great benefit is that my family will finally get, via the blog, the daily scriptural insight that I have promised but not delivered on for years. And, equally important, I will be accountable to a writing regimen that will develop the fundamental skill of my passion – discipline to write,
    Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this community.

  23. After a few months in the doldrums I need a kick in the pants to get me moving again. Sounds good to me.

  24. What a great idea. Thank you so much for hosting this, it’ll definitely keep me on track this year :)

  25. I’m #54 and excited to join! Cara, thank you so much!

  26. I’m In! #56, Hope you’ll have some time during January to participate in the #nightgale blog challenge! Here’s to 2012 :-)

  27. Fabulous idea, and so very do-able! I’ve signed up (I may have actually done so twice, because oops! Sorry about that) and my number is 57 (and possibly 58…)

    Thanks so much for rounding us all up for this. Can’t wait for January now.

  28. I’m #58!! This is a year of resolutions for me, high on the list is dedicating more time to my writing. I know I can do 500 a day!

  29. I’m in! Can’t wait!!

  30. Hey, found this thru a friend and just had to sign up. It fits perfectly with another blog challenge I’m starting in January called #Writemotivation – and I think combining the two will be very helpful.

  31. Pingback: F U 2012, I’m Not Changing! « Writing on the Rocks

  32. This is a great idea! I’d love to do this! although I write daily, or at least weekly, this is a good kick in the pants and helping hand to keep us all going! Good luck and sign me up!

  33. Christina Esdon on said:

    Count me in!!

  34. antonio angelo on said:

    good luck everyone! this task seems like a lot more than i am willing to take on but it should be fun for those of you willing to commit.

  35. Wow! This is great! Thank you for putting it together! I’m super excited for Jan 1st!

  36. Pingback: Looking forward | Deskmonkeymummy's Brain-fart

  37. Okay, I’m on board. Let’s go!

  38. Pingback: A quick wrap up « Left to Write

  39. Fantastic idea! Thanks for heading it up, and all your efforts to make it happen! :)

  40. I found this through Rachel Peterson on Google+ I am absolutely thrilled to get involved in this. One of the great motivators with NaNo was the support, ideas and chat from fellow NaNo-ers. I am definitely in. Happy New year every one looking forward to this challenge in 2012.

  41. I’m in! #92 is me. =) Off to coerce, um, I mean, recruit fellow Nanoers to join us! ;)

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  45. Wrote 700 words this morning, before 9 AM. Despite being up till 1:30 AM. Go me.

  46. I just discovered this from Google+. So glad I did, especially on Jan.1!! I’m definitely in. Love 500 words, so doable.
    Also, I offer daily writing prompts for FREE at http://coolbluesouls.com. The #WIP500 group might find them useful. We’ve been doing them since July 2011.
    Thanks for creating a great challenge and building a writing community.
    (Another) Cara :-)

  47. I’m in. I did 733 on day one.

  48. Hi Cara,

    I’ve seen links to this post on a couple of blogs and am intrigued – I *think* this is a writing goal I *may* be able to commit to (I’m that confident!). Off to follow your blog :).

  49. Marie Frizelle on said:

    Okay, here we go!

  50. Glass on said:

    I don’t have a blog, but I’m in for the word count. Sounds like a blast – thanks for organizing this. :o)

  51. Love the realistic word goal, count me in!

  52. Wow, this is a fantastic idea, with a great, realistic daily word count goal. Should even be doable on a weekend. I’m so in! So in, in fact, that I’m going to get my 500 words for today in right now!

  53. a friend posted about this on facebook. *this* is the challenge I need. I hit 50k on NaNoWriMo and was at a high tension point of my story, but since it was The Last Day and I was freaked about not “winning” I validated as soon as I cleared 50k and have never gone back to it!!! My poor character is still sitting in her high tension place in life and I have done NOTHING to free her!!! I have been trying to figure out since Dec 2 how to make myself keep writing so I can finish her story. Or the story I started last year when I lost my job. Or the Camp NaNo story that is half finished, but won July! Or the half dozen other stories floating around in my mind! Yay for Carpe Verba!!!

  54. Pingback: A Brand New Year — With New Goals! « A Measure of Madness

  55. I must be missing something because I cannot get my info (word count) added… suggestions?

  56. Pingback: My Commitment to Writing in 2012 « Sharkbait Writes

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  64. 8917 words on the Divine Blood Setting – RP supplement write-ups and short story

    3305 words on the Bystander Setting – started chapter 1 of sequel, public character profile

    728 words – reviews on Korean TV dramas

    2300 words – blogging on social/history topic: Faith

    2393 words – blogging on Transformation as a story theme and why I like it

    Total words to date: 17,643

  65. 3,783 for the year so far.

  66. I am thinking that I’m going to have some writing goals met this year, thanks to finding #wip500. I found this through Heather’s blog (www.writing-dragon.blogspot.com) and I’m totally up for it! Once a week may be all I’m able to update, but I’ll do my best.

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  69. Huushiita on said:

    I’ve been trying for the last few days find what my ‘number’ is so that I could add my word count. However, I’ve been unsuccessful. Suggestions?

  70. Pingback: Nutty Bites 12 Part II: December | NIMLAS Studios

  71. I can’t seem to find how to get my link number. Love what you are doing here. I just started using #wordmongering this week and my numbers have shop way up. I did 3530 today/Thursday and have been averaging about 2000 a day the rest of the week.

    Thanks for all that you do!


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  74. I don’t know what my number is! Can someone help me out?

  75. Heya Cara, I’ve tried to sign up; but it keeps giving me an error notice: ‘There was an error verifying your details.’ -am I doing something wrong or missed something out (though it is the usual details I use)?

    • Try refreshing or email direct to wip500 at caramichaels dot com.

      • Right, it’s sorted now. :) I wanted to give a direct link to the blog; but I found out it’s best to link to the home page (some people have problems accessing the home page due to the graphics; they’ve reported that their pc’s have crashed because of it. I trying to sort it out; but in the meantime I thought a direct link to the blog page would be effective…hmmm not so it seems; oh well…).

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  77. New here! :) I’m so excited to join in. I really need this!

    • And I’m guessing I’ll get my participant number once you manually add me in? I couldn’t find the “participants” page. Sorry. :(

      • Welcome, Adriana! Your link # is 165 and you’ll be in the next update. Mouse over the #WIP500 at the top and you should see the drop down with the participants’ page.

  78. Yay! Thanks, Cara!

  79. Pingback: A strange beginning to the year « Left to Write

  80. A fellow blogger directed me to this site and I SO need this – I’m only a newbie in the blogosphere. My blog is about keeping motivated to write and this is a wonderful writing tool. Am joining the list! :)

  81. Laird Sapir’s blog sent me here, and I’m glad it did! I love this kind of goal-oriented camaraderie. Let the 500 begin! Thanks for the great idea, Cara!

  82. Pingback: Ask Me! « Aniko Carmean

  83. I only just found about #WIP500 and I think it’s a great idea! I am a Nanowrimer who misses the momentum of Nano the rest of the year. I used the join#WIP500 tool but I didn’t get a link number. Could you send it to me please? Also, writing a blog entry about this now, which you’ll be able to find at http://kimtalksbooks.com.

    • Kim,

      Anytime is a good time to join. We have a great crew of dedicated writers and supporters. Thanks for joining us and best of luck to you in achieving your goals!

  84. Just signed up. I’m a little late getting in, but need the kick in the butt.

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  90. The new year (2013) starts for me tomorrow (Jan. 7) since it’s the first Monday of the year & the kids are back to school, thereby putting me back on a “regular” (non-vacation) work schedule. So yeah, I’m ready for this. I just resolved to write at least 300 words per day but 500 is much “more gooder” (heh) so I’ma take that badge & stick on my bloggy-blog. Will be doing weekly updates on Wednesdays & you’ll probably see this site mentioned there as part of what’s keeping me on track. Thanks for putting this together — some of us need accountability & this will really help fit that bill! :)

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  92. will this start up again for 2014??? if si. sign me up now!!!

  93. This is the year I make it stick. Needing motivation for sure and WIP500 is it. :)

  94. I’m in! I’ve been so unmotivated lately, and I have so many more assignments now, so this is critical. Thanks to Miranda Kate for telling us about this.

  95. *signs up, intends to suck less this year*

  96. Sign me up! I’m starting a blog for a new business, and need to stay motivated to blog as often as possible. So yeah, I’ll be using that “clause” in your guidelines for a great deal of this, but I am a regular novel writer too, and any/all writing I can get motivated to get done will be for the best! Today I have sat down with pen and paper and written out subjects on which to blog (I won’t count that!), now I’m gonna go start writing blog posts so I’ll have a backlog of posts available for slow times. Wish me luck!

    Oh, and another thanks to Miranda Kate from another DFQ Minion. Thanks for the link!

  97. thank goodness I found you through Becky Fyfe’s blog because I realise the first two days of the year have been spent discussing goals, writing FB statements, writing blog posts and leaving comments and I have NOT written a single word on any WIP so I am reminded that I am a writer not a logistics expert and I need therefore to WRITE. Tonight I shall write 250 words before I go to bed. It is not 500 but it is 10.11 pm here where I am. Thank you :)

    • silly me, realised as I was heading to bed that I wrote a three page story outline yesterday and read it three times to various people for feedback. How does one forget an entire story outline? So then I wrote out the framework of four PB ideas before going to bed. :) I will be back later today with an update. 8.03am Friday,Aus time.

  98. Is it to late to start this? I recently started writing towards a novel I have over 4,700 words already on my blog.

  99. Pingback: A Writing Commitment | My great WordPress blog

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