Monday, July 2, 2012

50,000 Words In Thirty Days...DONE!

They said it couldn't be done... actually I said it couldn't be done, but I DID it! I successfully wrote 50,000 words in one month. That was one crazy ride. So, what lessons did I learn?



  • Plan Ahead: I didn't get into this event until the very last minute. So I was plotting and writing at the same time, (bad idea).  Allow yourself time to plot, plot, plot. Then, create a writing schedule stating when you will work and what you will work on. You are more likely to meet your goal if you have a plan and a method as to how you'll reach it.


  • Pace Yourself:  Some days (especially in the beginning) I skipped writing because of my other obligations; you know, wife and mother. I love writing, but if I don't get out and live life, I won't have anything to write about. Unfortunately, I did not make up for those breaks, so I had to put in a couple of 5,000 plus word days toward the end to make it across the finish line. 


  • Write More on the Good Days: Although I knew exactly how many words I should write each day, to meet my goal. I didn't always manage to get those words on the page. In the future, I would write past the daily goal, on as many days as I could, to make up for those ZERO word days (and they do come).


  • Find a Program That Keeps You Moving Forward:  After I finished the challenge, I had to get back to my W.I.P., which I write in a traditional word processing format. I was shocked at how long it took me to fill one page when I did not have the threat of a timer looming over me. I allowed my self long meandering strolls down pointless bunny trails as I pondered the meaning of this name for the character vs. that name. In Write or Die, which I blogged about here, I don't have the luxury of time. This forces me to pick the first thought for a name, eye color, shoe brand, etc., that pops in my mind, then move one. Usually I end up liking it and keep it. But even if I don't, is it really that important at that moment? Not usually, all the important stuff was worked out in my prep work. 


  • Don't Give Up: As English Philosopher Bertrand Russell states:No great achievement is possible without persistent work.”  92 people signed up for this challenge, but only 23 finished. I am sure they had every intention of finishing, but somewhere along the way they gave up. Don't Give Up. Slow and steady really does win the race.

  • In the end I have a button for my blog, check it out on your right, a first draft of a new novel, which I can start working on as soon as my current W.I.P. hits the submissions trail. And, best of all, the ability to say...


     Muse For Today: What step are you on in your 'I Did it!' journey?




    22 comments:

    Kyra Lennon said...

    Congratulations! These really are great tips - I will keep them in mind when I try again in November! :D

    Sally said...

    Well done, Jen. You must be very proud of yourself especially as 'life' tends to get in the way.

    Jeff Hargett said...

    Congrats! I know from experience how challenging that goal can be.

    Stephen Tremp said...

    Congrats! on the amazing milestone. I did 25,000 words for Nano once and its a lot of work.

    Phillip Pitts said...

    Congratulations, Great Job Honey, It's really nice to see you out of the cave. Love Phillip

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thank you. Good luck to you in November!

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thank you, I do feel proud. It's hard to manage life and work.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thanks Jeff, if you've done it before, you know what I'm talking about!

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thanks :D I think I'll go eat a plum. Oh wait...

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thanks! It seems so easy when you start, but about halfway through it gets HARD. I just didn't give up.

    nutschell said...

    Congrats! 50000 words in a month is a definite achievement. Time to celebrate :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    Christine Rains said...

    Congratulations! That's awesome. Celebration time!

    Laura said...

    Congratulations :D Those are some great lessons and very helpful advice.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thanks Christine. I like the way you think!

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thank you Nutschell. I feel as if I've climbed the literary equivalent to Mount Everest.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Thank you Laura. We all grow as we learn together.

    Bisi Leyton said...

    Congrats on 50K words.

    Thanks for the article, I especially like your point about writing more on good days because some days I find it's easier.

    One tool I've used to push my word count up on bad days is writtenkitten (or writtenpuppy)

    Diego Green said...

    Well done!

    I think your most useful tip is finding a program to help you keep the word count up. It's true, without some sort of motivation or deadline, it does take *much* longer to fill up the page, day in and day out.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Bisi, I'm glad you enjoyed the post. I've never heard of writtenkitten, (or puppy). I have to go try them out. Thanks for sharing.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my snail's pace of daily page filling :D

    Mimi K said...

    Timely advice! I just successfully completed my doctoral comprehensive exams and am now officialy starting my doctoral candidacy :) As I work on my dissertation's literature review and IRB proposal, I'll definitely keep these tips in mind.

    Scribbles From Jenn said...

    Glad to provide you with some helpful tips, Mimi. Congrats on completion of your exams. That is a huge accomplishment!