Thursday, September 06, 2012


I just hooked back up with a friend online (we had been regular chatters for a while and then lost contact when she had her kids) and she has directed me to the monthly challenge of book-in-a-week. Many of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month which is through the month of November) and know that I've participated in that challenge mostly as a cheerleader for my friends who write and participate or as a mentor for Mr. Hughes' class. Grant it, the 50,000 words in 30 days seems daunting but it really does help produce the beginning of novels or at least several short stories and it does get you writing for a whole month. You know that becomes a habit if you actually write every day since it takes 30 days to make a habit and 30 days to break it.

So what's so special about book-in-a-week? Reading over their FAQs, I'm more inclined to write consistently during the week having to be accountable for pages and not not word counts. The minimum challenge is to write 10 pages (that's 250-word pages) in the 7 days, which technically comes out to 2500 words in a week and if you did that every week, yes it would take you longer to write a novel but you would get it done and it wouldn't be at a frenzied pace like NaNo is (averaging 1667 words/day can be overwhelming depending on what is going on in your life and we all know November is full of holiday prepping and time away from your desk for whatever reasons, so sometimes the goal isn't being met or can't be met due to outside influences and circumstances).

Even though I won't participate in the BIW challenge this month (it starts next week), I will do so on my own, setting a goal to write 10-20 pages a week on Imogene and hopefully by the end of November I will have her story finished so in the first part of the year I can revise and shoot for publication next summer or fall. I want to get back to Imogene's story, so this may be the perfect challenge for me to do.

GOALS: 10 WEEKS, 20 PAGES A WEEK, Starting Sunday September 9, 2012, ending Saturday November 17, 2012 (by my calculations, that is 50,000 words - hopefully the story will be longer than that - I'm shooting for between 75,000 and 100,000 for this one but it may not need that much to be completed; the challenge is on).

If you would like more information about book-in-a-week, how to join, et cetera, you can go here and kind of amble around checking things out.

So, even though unofficially I won't participate this month, I'm going to start the challenge next week and work on Imogene for 2 months - with a goal to have Imogene completed before Thanksgiving. Will post my weekly counts on my Sunday This and That column so my week will actually start on Sunday and end on Saturday (as opposed to starting on Monday at 8 AM and ending the following Monday at 8 AM). Good luck to me and see you all in the postings - E :)


Lana said...

Good luck on your challenge, Elysabeth. I just signed up for the official challenge, 50 pages in a week. Here's to challenging ourselves!

elysabeth said...

Good luck to you too. 50 pages is a lot but for you, I have faith that you will complete the goal. We'll have to have a few wars over the week to keep each of us on track. I may have to write like you posted on your blog - writing different scenes or plot points at and then worry about putting them together later - that might work for me with Imogene; granted I'm doing my writing over a 10-week period so as not to get stressed out. I hope to finish this story by the end of the year, so my 10-week goal is really to get me mostly through the story.

Let the challenge begin and may you get a lot accomplished this week - E :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an interesting challenge. I'll have to save the link to the site and consider doing it in the future. Might be a great way to kick off 2013. Best wishes to you!

elysabeth said...

Thanks, Susanne. They do a challenge every month except December so you have the whole year to participate, one week at a time or you can set your own goals like I did throughout the year and not participate officially, but you have to be accountable to yourself and others, once you set your goal. That's why I'm challenging myself Sunday through Saturday, instead of Monday through Monday. That way I will have to account for my work every week. I doubt I'll have Imogene completed in 10 weeks (as in a final rough draft) but it will be pretty close to being a complete a novel. I think 10 weeks is a reasonable stretch of time to give myself to work on this story because I know my October is packed full of events and what not and I won't be able to dedicate every day to writing so by setting a goal of 20 pages a week, I know there are days when I can really wrie more pages a day to make up for the time I'm away from my computer.

Keep us posted if you decide to take the challenge starting in 2013. See you in the postings - E :)