Thursday, April 10, 2008

How does the challenge work?

Amanda raised an excellent question in the comments of the last post. How does the challenge work? Here's how I'm thinking it works. First let me say this; THERE ARE NO PRIZES!!
Well it's not that there are no prizes it's just that there are no prizes. (well now doesn't that sound like all brain cells are firing?) Anyway, the only prize at the end of this challenge is self satisfaction. Nothing better than proving something to yourself, who cares what anyone else thinks! This is about you are your writing, no one elses. The idea is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. From June 1st you park your butt in the 'hot seat', (this is the name for the chair I sit in) and you make the effort to write at every available moment. Yes, to get the 50k done you need to do 1,666.6666666....... Okay so we'll say 1,667 words a day. You do NOT have to do the 5ok! If you're new to writing or you have a life, then 50k may not be a good number for you. Change the number. We're NOT going to get the whip out if you don't do the 50, well, not unless you're in to that, we're going to be keen to see you reach your goal. As someone that had life throw a curve ball at her during last years Nano I know that sometimes we just can't do what we set out to do. But that doesn't mean that because we didn't cross the finish line we failed. The only way to fail is to not try. This blog and the Google group are designed for support, cheer leading and understanding. We're all at different stages of our writing so there is always someone who's been where you are, who's able to offer advice, a shoulder to cry on or a gawd damn good time to relieve the stress.
I made a comment on Amanda's blog the other day about the most vital ingredient of a great book, without it, you could be a skilled writer and write a good book but with it...
Passion!
You need passion for your work, for it to come alive and breath the writer needs to be passionate about the characters, about the story, about wanting to share the story.
Writing is a serious business. It's hard. At times it sucks. And that's where the support of your fellow writers comes in. They know how you feel; they've felt it. They know how hard it is to pick yourself up off the floor and keep going; they've done it. With this blog and the group we hope to build a network of writers that will help in your journey to become published.
I know I've digressed form the original point of this post but hey, what can I say; I'm a writer!
Even though the aim of the challenge is to do 50k it's not the point of the challenge. The point is to write; write consistently. And if that means your own personal goal is 100 words a day giving you 3,000 words, or 500 w giving you 15,000 w, or 1,667 w giving you 50,010 w at the end, it doesn't matter. What matters is that you set your challenge and you went for it. Who cares if you get there other than you? But remember, it's not about winning it's about making the effort and pursuing your dream. Some dreams come quicker than others but all dreams are worth going for.
I know, I'm hopless at staying on track, but I think I've answered the question if not feel free to leave a question in the comments.
'See' ya soon.
Rachel C

15 comments:

Sandie Hudson said...

Hopless never, entertaining always.

Hugs
Sandie

Diane said...

What do you mean there's no prizes?

At work, I have all my Nanowrimo winner certificates displayed right next to my computer. People look at them, comment on them, ask me how I'm going with the writing. And they are a constant reminder that I can write. And write fast when I want too.

I'm very happy to produce a winners certificate (PDF - you'd print it yourself) once we settle on a name for this challenge.

Diane

Sandie Hudson said...

That would be great Diane, I was thinking that myself today but have no idea how to do it. So I say YA DIANE.
Bowing at your feet.

Hugs
Sandie

Amanda Reynolds-Smith said...

I love you guys... you never fail to bring a smile to my face or a flair in my heart (that is - the one that tells me I must write or perish!!)... I know I just need to look here for encouragement when it all seems like it is too hard!!!

Thanks Rachel - great response... I didn't even think about prizes!! I was more concerned as to whether I had to do something specific (other than write - *lol*) to be a participant!!!

Well after that fabulous and insightful answer... I AM IN!!!!!!!!! I need something/someone pushing me... so sign me up! June is my month to shine!!

Sandie... thanks for you words too!!

Diane... certificate sounds great! Always good to have something to remind us of what we're capable of, even when it seems that we're not!

Off I go to prepare for my days work tomorrow (sigh - one day, some day - I'll be writing for my work!!!) with a big fat smile and a spring in my step!!

PS Rach - hope you have some fantastic "rah rah" pom poms to go with that entry!!!

Sandie Hudson said...

YAH Amanda, yes you can do this. We will be there to hold your hand sweetheart. One day at a time. Was that a song?

We have about a month and a half before the BIG DAY, and we'll have plenty of information both here and on the loop.

Hugs
Sandie

laney-cairo said...

I still want cupcakes. Cupcakes would make an excellent prize. We could post them to each other.

Rachel.C said...

Ahhhh.... I'm not so sure posting cupcakes from Singapore's a good idea.
We'll definitely need a certificate when we work out the name. Diane, you're in charge of that. hehehe
Amanda I'm glad you're in, we need all the help we can get. Dancing on them tables can get tiring. LOL
'See' ya soon.

Angie said...

Hi guys,

Great blog - you guys have obviously put a lot of work into this. I love your writing links. Another way to procrastinate other than visiting all the blogs. LOL. Which reminds me, it seems like I'm the only one without a blog! What's up with this?

Now for my 2 cents. Whether anyone cares for it or not. I'm going to stick out my neck here and say that yes, Rachel, I agree with you somewhat. Life *does* get in the way sometimes, and the challenge is about achieving the most you can - and if you don't reach the 50K, you're *not* a failure.

However, I personally believe that if you don't set the bar high, you'll never know how much you can achieve. Last year during NaNoWriMo, I thought that I'd barely be able to achieve 10,000 words during the month. I surprised and astounded myself when I wrote 54,032. I'm not saying this to show off, but to demonstrate that it *is* possible. And that's partly the reason for the 50K challenge - the bar is set high, so you write fast and don't edit or listen to the inner critic. And before you know it, your fingers are flying over the keyboard, and you're really in the story. Which is not to say that there aren't days where the writing is difficult - there are. But you keep turning up and aiming to achieve your daily word count.

That's my opinion. I'll go back in my corner now.

Angie :)

Sandie Hudson said...

Hi Angie

Don't you dare hide in the corner. You're right we do need to aim higher and I'm sure that there is not one person that has signed up for this is not going to work hard to get the goal.

I think Rachel's point is, don't feel stress if there are days you don't do the word count. And at the end if you don't make the 50ks, it's not a big deal. Do the best you can. But yes set your goals high, reach for the moon and you may touch the star's or is that reach for the star's and you may touch the moon? Anyone you get my idea, I think, may be.

Just so everyone knows and I know Angie mentioned this herself. Angie had never written a full novel at the begining of November last year. By the end of the month she had reached her goal. It was wonderful to watch her confidence grow as the month progressed. So don't say can't, say I'm can do whatever I set out to do.

Hugs
Sandie

Rachael Blair said...

Hey Sandie, Rachel and anyone else who organised this blog - it's fab!!

I too think we should have a certificate and if you're happy to design it Diane, then GO FRIT!!

Amanda Reynolds-Smith said...

Thanks Angie... you are the example of the achievement I am aiming for this year... actually, although a little petrified of failing - I am looking forward to it!!!

Sandie - I think you should sit on a hill under a teepee - you are always so warm, calm and soothing... just what we frazzled beginners need!!! *lol*

Sandie Hudson said...

Errr... Amanda I just read you little note to my husband. He gave me that look 'You have to be kidding.' His response after that was'Little do they know' LOL.
He really is a sweetheart.

Thankyou for your kind words. a teepee sounds good. Do I get to smoke a pipe?

Hugs
Sandie

Rachel.C said...

(whiny little voice) I wanna smoke the pipe with yaaa....
Angie my aim was get everyone who thought they weren't ready for such a big task to think they could be involved anyway.
Rach, the blog is great isn't it? By the way seeing how this was all your idea the bills in the mail. LOL
I'm back on deck more after today's doc visit so be prepared people. I'm baaaack! Well the usually upbeat getting involved self is back. For those of you that read my blog you know I've been hiding in the dark a bit, not anymore. The blinds are up and the windows are open. I'm sucking in that fresh air and feeling energized.
Scared yet?

Angie said...

Rachel and Sandie, point taken. And a mighty fine point that is too. Maybe I should've stayed in my corner :)

Amanda, trust me if I can do it, anyone can. I don't have kids (hats off to those of you who do, and still manage to write!), but I have a husband, a household to run, and a very demanding 32 hour per week day job. And as Sandie kindly pointed out, I hadn't written a full manuscript before EVER. But as Rachel and Sandie stated, you set your goal and if things get in the way, so be it. At least you've done more words than you would've had before you started the challenge - no matter how many words that is!

I'm raring to go!!! Bring it on!

Angie :)

Rachel.C said...

Angie, no staying in the corner! The more points of view the better because then everyone realises that writing is an individual thing. And way to go you for getting writing done while working a full time job.
I'm raring to go in June too, except I'll be taking a few days off because the 14th is my 20th wedding anniversary and Hubby is taking me to a nice secluded beach resort some where to relax. He said no reading or writing! How can I relax without those?!
Oh, well, I'll sneak them in my bag.