Writing challenges for the rest of the year

By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, December 02, 2014 At 3:00 PM

After failing to reach 50K during NaNoWriMo this year, I decided I need a year-round motivator for me to keep writing every day, or at least nearly every day.  So when Debbie Ridpath Ohi -- who does my favorite web comic, Will Write for Chocolate, and who also used to do the daily NaNo comics -- posted her writing challenge, I was glad for the reminder.



I've seen her post her challenge before: Basically, you choose whether you're going to shoot for 250, 500, or 1,000 words a day.  Finally I think I'm going to do it!  I need something to keep me motivated and keep me working so that I can build year-round habits and continually make progress on my own projects.

For right now, since I'm working on nonfiction, I'm going to stick with the 250-word daily goal.  When I shift to working on revisions, I'll have to find another daily goal, and then when I go back to working on my fiction projects, I'll probably do the 1,000-word daily goal.  Eventually I'd like to be able to produce several thousand words per day on a daily basis, but that's just not realistic right now with my current schedule and the childcare work, client work, and horseback riding that I juggle.

I think I should be done with the first draft of my ebook by the end of the week, if I keep up with my goal of getting at least 250 words per day.  Then I'll need to go back and do a little research to check the facts that I wrote from memory during the month (since I didn't want to take the time to do research during NaNoWriMo), and fill in a few other parts that I left out.  At that point I want to let it sit before I work on revisions, and compare the ebook to my 1920s wedding blog to see if there's anything from the blog itself that I want to include (like links or stuff I forgot to write about).

After that, it's back to fiction: I want to finish revisions of what I wrote during NaNoWriMo last year, then write the rest of that novel before getting back to my Ruby Ransome series.  I might work on last year's novel before doing revisions on the ebook I wrote this year, as I do like to give myself a little time away from my writing before doing revisions on it.

I would love to have others join me in the writing challenge.  I've recruited several of my friends from NaNo already.  Are any of my readers interested in doing it with us, too?

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Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

I want to do this, but I can't start until after the holidays. I'll join you January 1, though! I'll need to have a little flexibility, such as the ability to make up lost days with double the word count. A weekly goal works better for me.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

That would be awesome if you did it with me starting in January! And yeah, a weekly goal isn't a bad idea. If I did that, since the challenge is to write six days a week, I'd have to write... 250*6=1,500 words a week. The only issue with this that I see is it might encourage me to take too many days off between writing, and the more days off I take, the harder it is to come back to it. For this reason, I think simply requiring a minimal word count each day might work better, as it forces me to think about my novel or project nearly every day.

 
 
Blogger Irreverent Freelancer Says:  

You're right! For habit forming, six days a week is definitely better. Debbie's rules state that as long as you're making the effort you can put the image on your site. I might try it the way it's meant to be done. I'd like to get in the habit again too. Of course, that's a lot harder when you write for a living since you ARE writing every day, just not what you'd really like to be if money were no object.

 
 
Blogger Katharine Swan Says:  

That's the thing I struggle with too! It's hard to choose your own stuff when you have client work waiting in the wings. I've been fighting a cold or something off lately, and with only so much in me, the client work has been winning out.

 

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Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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