Thursday, September 29, 2016

The 365K Challenge, Or How I Plan to Write 125K Words in 3 Months

I’m a member of the fantastic 10 Minute Novelists group on Facebook. And this year, for the second year, they are hosting the 365K challenge. It’s simple: those of us who accept commit to writing daily. We keep a spreadsheet to tally our numbers publicly and have monthly chats to talk about writing and award prizes for those who meet goals.
Last year I did not win, although I wrote a lot more than I would’ve normally. This year, I joined, but there were different levels offered! I chose the “Hemingway” level, which means my goal was just 250,000 words for the year. That’s less than 1000 words per day, and it seemed manageable.
In doing the challenge, I learned some things about myself. I learned that when I don’t write first thing in the day, it’s very difficult to write later on. I learned that I need to carry a notebook with me in my purse to make writing daily easier: that way even if I’m away from my computer, I can still write. I hate writing by hand, but the point of this challenge is to develop the daily writing habit. I also learned that I don’t like to write on the weekends. Having a notebook to do handwriting in was great, because it allowed me to continue writing without having to use my computer, which is my work computer. Part of my resistance to weekend writing was, of course, resistance to doing anything that reminds me of work on the weekends!
It’s been a two steps forward, one step back kind of process, but I’m excited to say that I’m about to reach my halfway mark! Here, at the end of September. Three quarters of the way through the year.
I’ve done the math, and I CAN complete my goal. I just have to make the next three months nanowrimos. Nanowrimo is, of course, the abbreviation for National Novel Writing Month, in November. The goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. With 125,000 words left, if I write a 41,670 word novel each month (October, November, December), I’ll hit my goal. So hooray! I’m off to the races!

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