2016 “Leap-Ahead” Writing Marathon
I don’t know about y’all, but I’m falling far behind on my personal writing goals this year. And now that I’ve got a new story that I’m really excited about, I need something to motivate myself to get back to a regular writing schedule and get this story moving! To that end, I’m pleased to announce the . . .
If you’ve ever participated in the National Novel Writing Month in November, or if you did the FirstDraft60 challenge last fall (which yes, I, too, failed to complete) then you know what a month-long writing marathon is.
If you aren’t familiar, here’s the idea:
For a set number of days (February 1–29 in this case), you commit to writing as much of your manuscript as you can, which usually involves setting a total word-count goal for the month and then breaking that down into achievable daily chunks.
But I’d like to suggest we work this marathon a little differently.
Instead of arbitrarily setting a number goal to achieve by the end of the month, the main challenge of this marathon will be writing every day to see what can be accomplished in twenty-nine days. Sure, set daily goals and set a total goal if you want to—but this is more about being committed to writing every day for the entire month and building the story. If you can commit to doing a 1k1h sprint every day, you’ll have written at least 29,000 words at the end of the month! Don’t have an hour a day to spare? Try a 30-minute sprint.
The challenge isn’t to “write a book in a month.” The challenge is to write for each day in a month.
You can set your own challenges within it as well—such as:
I will write five more words each day than I wrote the day before.
Or: I will write one poem (or song or essay or short story) per day.
Or: I will write one full notebook page per day.
I hope you’ll create your own challenge during Leap Ahead month and then come back and check in often with your progress, successes, and struggles. I’ll try to post something encouraging, motivating, or challenging most days during the next month. And I hope you will, too. And on Fridays, I’ll bring back the SWAT (Self-evaluation, Word count, Awesome accomplishments, Tidbits to share) Day from FirstDraft60 to give everyone a chance to share.
1. Are you going to participate?
2. What story are you going to work on?
3. What questions do you have?
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