Friday, June 27, 2008

The Final Countdown

Don't look at that countdown widget on the left hand side. It's scary! It looks like something you have to diffuse before the time runs out.

50ks challengers, you are nearly there! Whether that means you are nearly at the 50k mark or at the end of June with words written that you did not have at the beginning, the challenge is almost complete.

But if you are lagging behind or just running ahead, there are still three days to go! Including two weekend days. This is a godsend for those of us with the 9 to 5 day job, maybe not such a godsend for those who have to entertain the kids.

So let's recap on who has crossed the line already:


And Nicki just made it to the 50ks mark. Way to go Nicki!

We're here at the 50k mark, yelling and cheering and stamping our feet, encouraging the rest to join us! C'mon girls - a few final sprints and you'll be over that line.

This has been an amazing month for a lot of writers as they discover what it takes: the plotting, the planning, the pantsing, the sprinting. How it's okay to let the inner critic go and just write, and that sometimes your characters just don't feel like playing.

Sometimes its not just the characters who make the writing difficult and who present you with obstacles in the way. Suddenly friends are popping around - you haven't seen them for months, but suddenly there they are, husbands are yacking in your ear more than usual (and more than necessary), kids are getting sick - and even you are getting sick, teachers tell you that you don't know how to write, your boss tells you that your writing is a little saucy (LOL) and your teenager chucks a wobbly.

There's a reason that this happens: at the beginning of the month, we made a commitment to this crazy challenge. Not only did we make a commitment to write 50ks in 30 days, we made a commitment to ourselves as writers, we made a commitment to our muse and we made a commitment to each other. So then up popped the obstacles to test our commitment. And yet, we kept writing! Despite the pressure, despite the tantrums, despite the ridicule, we kept writing! And even if we don't individually make it to the 50ks, we are all winners because of that! (Including the writers who have faced up to the possibility of not making it to the finish line!)

We used to have cross countries at our school, because my school was on a farm and it would be a 5 kilometre run. I always finished the course. Usually the whole school had packed up and gone home by the time me and my mates crossed the finish line, but I still did the whole distance. (walking!). Maybe one of the things you learned during this challenge is that you'd rather walk than run. And that is a perfectly fine thing to know about your writing methods. It's got to be what works for you.

So even if you make your 50ks mid June, end of June, end of July or by Christmas, you've made it! You've tested your writing mettle, you've risen to the challenge, you've showed up at the keyboard every day, you are a winner and more importantly, you are a writer. And in great company.'

And I hope that this fine company of writers is going to continue past June into July for editing or writing, and beyond...

Leave a comment and tell us how you're doing...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hump Day Madness, So How Ya Going?

Can you believe it? The last week of the challenge is here already. Six days, that’s all we have left. Where has the month gone? It only seems like yesterday that we were starting.

Anyway how has your week been going? Are you happy with the way your story or stories are progressing? We have a couple more cross that 50k line this week. Great going Natalie and Diane, plus we have a few that are very close, I’m sure we will be hearing the ding of cyber glasses being raised later this week. How good is RC? I mean 70k+ this month so far, that woman must have bionic fingers, and very talkative characters. I have to say you all have done so well with the challenge, I am so proud of each and every one of you.

Congratulations to Bec Sampson on being a finalist in the Valerie Parv Awards, great going Bec and best of luck with the next round. Paula said her book signing went well, which was great to hear.

Don’t forget we are going to run an editing challenge next month. So anyone how as a MS or two that needs editing hope you’ll join the fun. Also anyone who may not quite make the 50k mark but would like to continue please stay with us, we will be more than happy to continue to cheer you on, so don’t feel that if it’s the end of the month you are going to be sent off to continue on your own. I've added a 'I'm A Winner' logo on the side panel, so anyone who would like to copy and paste it to their blogs pleses do.

I know you are all waiting to see who this week’s Pin-up Girl is, so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. This week as my final Pin-up Girl for the challenge this year goes to Ms Rachael Blair. If not for RACH taking the idea suggested to her and putting the call out to us all we wouldn’t be here. We would still be just writing at our usual pace and making little progress. So ladies charge your glasses, and applaud the lovely Rachael. Rach I hope you are so proud of what you have managed to help us achieve this month. Not only have you brought a bunch of women together who love to write. But for many you have given them the chance to realize what potential they have and what they are capable of achieving. We also now have new friendships that have grown over the month. I for one thank you. So my dear Ms Blair, take a bow. Don’t forget to go over and say “Hi” to Rach and thank her for organizing this challenge.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Meter Maid.

I'm late, I'm late, for a very important date!
I'd like to say I've been busy writing and forgot to get this post up, but...... I was sleeping. sigh
I guess all the writing I've been doing in the last two weeks has finally taken its toll. I'm exhausted! I've managed over 70,000 words in the past two weeks so you'd think I'd be jumping for joy, doing the happy dance, showing off my cheer leading skills wouldn't you? Nope, not happening. I'm sooooo shitty with myself. Why? I hear you ask, well, even with all those words, other than the rewrite I did for the editor, nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is finished! Nope not one stinkin' story has made it to the end. Now I know you're all sitting back going What!? Am I mad?! The answer to that is yes, both kinds of mad. Mad cross and mad insane. Yes I'm happy I've got all those words and each of the stories I've been working on is closer to The End but I want The End!
I'm a pantser (I'm probably worse) and I've tried for years to plot, bought all the books on how to write and nothing I've ever read or heard has helped me to curb my wondering ways. In saying that though, I do have 12 finished ms. Most will NEVER see the light of day. (they're my teething books) What I'm trying to get across, and for a writer I'm not doing a very good job here, but what I'm getting at is that each of us has a different way of writing. Some want to only write in daylight where they can see everything around them (plotters), some want to write at night with only their headlights to light the way (pantsers), some are in between both of those, and some, like me, prefer to fumble around in the dark. Which way is your way? Do you know? I can't do the daylight writing, the muse doesn't like the light, he's rather shy and refuses to come out and play if the lights are on. (Which is a damn shame because I'm sure my muse is one hot hunk!)
The point to this little post is for you all to understand that no matter what your word count meter reads you're writing, you're learning and you're moving forward. I've noticed some of you have discovered that you can't write by the seat of your pants, others have discover they can not only write lots but they're enjoying it. Others have discovered that life has a very bad habit of getting in the way. Each of us has taken steps toward our goal, publication. We've learned what we can and can't do, what we like and don't like about the writing process and best of all we've learned we have some AMAZING friends here in our cyber world.
As we near the end of this month I want you all to take a close look at what you've discovered. Don't worry about your word count, don't even think about how someone else wrote more than you, I want you to sit back and think about the WAY you write. Think about the things you've discovered about YOUR writing PROCESS. Think about the people you've met who've supported you and who you've supported in return. I know for me the best bit about this month isn't my word count. It's about great friends and discovery. Discovery of all the different ways there are to write, and like each of our stories every one of us is different.
I can't wait to see how the rest of the month goes. But don't think it's all gonna be over on June 30. No, there are rumors of editing month and I know the emails will continue to bounce back and forth between new friends. For now, bums down and fingers on the keys, we've still got time to write!