Archive | 100 Days of Writing Challenge

Final Countdown

My apologies to anyone who is getting tired of hearing about the Northern California book, but I’m so close to finishing I can almost taste it. Tastes like cookies.

I have twelve pages to go. If it were any other kind of writing I could bust out 12 (first draft) pages in an afternoon (if properly motivated). But this is such research intensive stuff that it’s really slow going. What’s more, as I get near the end, the topics are harder and harder. I’m being forced to tackle the pages I knew would be difficult to write.

Twelve pages. I think I’ll shoot for four a day starting now. Don’t care how late I have to stay up. I can finish this baby by Wednesday night. (I’m ignoring rewrites for the time being. I deal with those later.)

So excuse me, I need to get back to work now.

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Back To It

December was pretty much a wash. Between travel and holidays with family, I did very little writing. My 100 days of writing challenge kind of went out the window. I only wrote six pages in the Northern California book all month (and all six I wrote in one furious day of writing when Daniel took the kids because I was freaking out about how little writing I was getting done).

Now it’s January 2 and we’re back to our usual routines. I have 22 pages left in the Northern California book, and I’m determined to write them before January is over. It seems like a very reasonable goal. I’m still working on the rest of my goals for the year. More on that soon. For now, I’m just going to focus on finishing this one project. The sooner the better. Then I’ll figure out what I’m going to spend the rest of the year working on.

So there it is. Twenty-two pages. Here goes…

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Day 49

Today is day 49 of the 100 days of writing challenge.

The goal I set for myself was to write one page in my Northern California guide book every day. I have missed 10 days, and written 39 pages. That’s almost an 80% success rate. That’s a low B. In school a low B would have bothered me, but you know, I’m feeling pretty good about this one. Because it’s not like life has stopped so that I could work on this goal. In fact, just yesterday I turned in a 5300 word feature article that I’d been working on for a month. Not to mention other freelance work that has come and gone in the same time frame. Hello low B, don’t you look lovely.

51 days to go and 43 more pages to write (the book is designed to be 100 pages long, and I already had 18 pages when I started this 100 day challenge). So technically I can still blow off 8 days between now and the end of the year and still make my goal of finishing the draft. I can pretty much guarantee that those days will fall around Thanksgiving and Christmas. In fact, if I’m actually revising my goal – I will write AT LEAST one page a day, but on days when I don’t have much else going on I will write more. Because man it would be nice to wrap this baby up before Christmas. That would feel gooooooood.

The one thing I haven’t figured out yet is how I will reward myself if I actually meet my goal. On the chart where I cross off my successful days I’ve written “celebrate!” at the bottom, but I don’t know yet what that means. I’m thinking about maybe taking myself to the Korean Spa on Olympic, or maybe a new dress or something. Any ideas out there? How do you reward yourselves for goals well met? Let’s get creative here.

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100 Days of Writing – Day 31

Well I’m officially a month into the 100 Days Of Writing Challenge. I’ve missed four days, for a grand total of 27 successful days. My goal was to write one page a day on the Northern California book I’m working on for Eye Muse Books. The book is set to have 100 pages, and I had 18 when I started, so I’m at 45 – almost half way done.

The first week was easy, the second was okay, but now, four weeks in, I’m realizing how very hard it is to sustain a write-every-day habit. It’s amazing how easily a day can slip by. Some days I’m just being lazy (on Saturday we babysat a friend’s little one so she and her husband could go to a wedding, and having one more kid around the house was the perfect excuse to bail on work), and other days I’m actually using the time for other work (yesterday I spent the time working on a proposal for a new client).

So while I haven’t been perfect, I think a 87% success rate over 31 days is pretty good. Last year I only made it to day 12.

The thing I’m afraid of is that it isn’t going to get any easier. Family is coming to town this weekend, and soon the holidays will be here. My husband’s birthday is coming up and our little guy will be turning one on December 10th! I can’t believe it. I will likely miss more days ahead, but I’m going to keep trying. I will keep getting back on this horse, no matter how many times it bucks me off. I really want to finish this book before the end of the year. It would just feel good.

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100 Days of Writing – Off to a great start!

Week one of the 100 days of writing challenge was a complete success! For seven days I wrote one page a day for my book about Northern California. I think I chose my challenge well. Even with everything else going on in my life, I can totally handle one page a day.

So I’m 7 pages closer to done. Only 74 pages to go.

Making the commitment to spend time on this project in particular was also a good decision. I love it. Every day I learn new things I didn’t know about the northern half of this state. For instance: Highway 49, which runs north/south along the Sierra Nevada foothills, is named after the miners who worked that whole area for gold in 1849 (and were often referred to as the 49ers, long before the football team adopted the name). How had I never put that one together before?

And did you know that great white sharks only really troll the northern California coast between August and December? A recent study shows that from January to July they convene in the deep waters off the coast of Hawaii for a sort of pelagic key party.

Or how about this one: in 1949 Marilyn Monroe was Artichoke Queen at the Castroville Artichoke festival.

I thought I knew a lot about Northern California. I was wrong.

If your interested, you can follow my Twitter feed – I’ll be posting a lot of Nor Cal trivia over the next few months, I’m sure.

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F Weebly

I wrote a nice long post this morning about how I’m taking on the 100 days of writing challenge, and now, for some reason Weebly has deleted it. Bah. I’m getting really sick of Weebly, I’ll tell you whaaaat. 

Anyhow, don’t have time to rewrite just now. I’ll catch up on Monday, right after I talk to my favorite web designer about transferring my blog to a new format. Thinking WordPress. 

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Did I Say 100 Days Of Writing?

Today is the first of November and the internet is a buzz with talk of the annual NaNoWriMo challenge. If you haven’t heard, it’s a website that challenges writers to to spill out 50,000 words in one month. The basic rules are that it has to be a first draft and you have to just write, write, write.

I’ve always wanted to try it, but seeing as I’m closing in on the completed second draft of my first novel, I didn’t want to get distracted by a new story. So instead of NaNoWriMo, I opted to do the 100 days of writing challenge, presented by the Writing Spirit website. I committed to writing for at least one hour, on my novel, every day.

I lasted exactly 12 days.

It’s embarrassing to say I didn’t meet my goal. I have many good reasons (excuses), but the fact is I blew it.

Perhaps these kinds of challenges just work better when they are done with a group. Maybe that’s the secret to NaNoWriMo – in signing up you have a whole community of folks to endure with.

I will try this challenge again, as soon as my ego recovers from the failure of it all, but next time I will recruit at least three friends to do it with. Maybe we could meet every week to check in, or commit to page counts or something. Has anyone out there had more luck with this kind of challenge? If so, what’s your secret?

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Day 9

Yesterday I sat down to do my writing and I felt downright resentful. I was so cranky that I had to marvel at myself. I love writing. I crave it. So why does actually sitting down to get started feel like pulling teeth sometimes?

Well, I don’t actually have the answer to that question, but I do know that if I don’t write those pages, no one will. Nine days in and my commitment to write every day for 100 days is feeling a lot more like a marathon than I had expected. Either I’m struggling with some tough story issues, or I’m really out of practice. Probably a little of both.

So let’s hear it for discipline, and inventive ways to hold yourself accountable. (If you’re new to the discussion check out the 100 Day Writing Challenge here).

Now back to work.

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Day 7

I don’t know if it was the heat here yesterday (LA saw record highs, up to 113!), or what, but yesterday was one of those days where everything went awry.

First the internet went down (which is why I’m posting a day late), then the then the AC, and lastly, as I lay sprawled on the bed, too hot to do anything, the TV just stopped working. Oh, man…

Well, today is a new day. My amazing husband made quick work of all the household woes. Twenty minutes after he got home I was checking emails, while watching a 30 Rock rerun, and basking in the miracle that is air conditioning.

Today I’m back on track. I’m on day day 7 of my 100 days of writing challenge, and I’m struck by how much writing is all about baby steps. Each day I write for at least one hour, and it doesn’t seem like much, but when I look at my little score card I see hours of work that I wouldn’t have motivated to do otherwise.

Then I look at the work and see how far the project has come in a few short hours. I’ve officially broken through the section that was holding me up and am on to a new chapter. It feels really good.

Though I probably won’t make it to the end of this challenge – it was pointed out to me that my 100 days will be up on December 30th and my baby is due on the 15th – I know that every day I commit to sitting down and writing is a day I can feel good about.

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100 Days Of Writing

Now and then, we all need a kick in the pants.

Writers in particular sometimes need a way to get back into the practice of writing regularly. It’s like exercise – when you do it regularly you don’t think much about it, but when you stop for a while, getting back to the gym seems like an incredible challenge.

Well I strayed away from my novel for a while (to work on other projects), and I’m having trouble getting back to it, so I’ve decided to participate in the 100 Days of Writing challenge, presented by WritingSpirit.com.

The thing that caught my attention was her pitch to “finish 2010 strong.” Whaaaa? Finish 2010? 100 days? How did the end of the year sneak up like that?

As some of you know, I’m expecting a little baby boy on December 15th. After seeing the WritingSpirit web challenge I pulled up my calendar and realized that 100 days of writing would land me at December 8th. Perfect. I had been looking for a way to motivate myself to get some good writing in before I degenerate into a sleep deprived, diaper changing, nursing machine. So I printed out the handy 100 Days of Writing challenge chart and started yesterday.

Only 99 days to go. Anyone want to join me?

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