Yesterday I shared my writing goals for 2011. Today, as promised I’m going to get into the details of my plan for this year.
Six Days a Week
Instead of saying I will sit down and write from x to y o’clock every day without fail, I’m going to try something a little different. First of all. I get one day off a week. If I take it early in the week, it’s gone, used up. If I don’t use it….it does not carry over to the next week. Days when I am out-of-town on vacation, etc are not required, (after all, it is a vacation) but writing is certainly encouraged on those days. Usually I find that when I’m in a different environment writing flows out of me like crazy, so I’m not too worried about this little loophole. The other six days of the week will be word count days.
Words not Time Served
It doesn’t work for me to say I have to write for an hour. I ramble around aimlessly and write about my mother’s dog or my neighbor’s car but never quite get around to the task at hand. The thing is another 50,000 words over the next 3 months (adjusting for days off) only works out to just under 700 words a day. Piece of cake for a babbler like me. But 700 words a day of work on my first draft. Not side-stories, not back-stories, not essays about my life or my love of Jane Eyre, or Jake Gyllenhaal, not blogging, not journaling, just plugging along and getting it done.
The Starting Gate & Restrictions
It’s the starting every day that is really the hard part. Once I start, I get into a rhythm and it’s kinda bliss. So to instigate the starting I’ve installed an internet filter. Yup. Myself is getting tough here. No internet, no checking emails or blogging until the work is done for the day. No twitter, no Facebook, no funny pictures of cats in hats (okay really folks, the cat pictures I can do without). But also no procrastination via the umbrella of “research” ( i.e. downloading pictures of how each of my characters has styled his hair and chosen to wear for the day or casting and re-casting with hollywood celebrities, or even looking up maps of Paris or articles on scientific theories on climate manipulation or brain development.) Nope. Verboten. All of that stuff has to wait until the writing is done. And for a gal without TV, that leaves – well – cleaning the house or doing laundry or re-organizing my bookshelves again. I’m not gonna say that reading is off the list, because quite frankly at this point I could stand to spend some more time doing that as well, but as far as the interworld. I’m dead until the work is done.
Yes. Please. I mean, what’s a challenge without fabulous prizes?
Ok. Obviously getting my interworld and blogosphere back on is a reward in and of itself. The writing is a reward in and of itself once I get going, but I’m talking about something a little more tangible here. Something a bit more fun and focused. I’ll be finalizing these rewards with my “sponsors” *cough* Mom, Dad, *cough* but for now they stand as such:
Every 1 week of meeting goals = a book from BookSwap & Saturday coffee @ bookstore.
Every consecutive 3 weeks of meeting goals = A massage certificate.
Consecutive 6 weeks of meeting goals = Sexy Writer’s Salon Day (hair cut & color, mani, pedi)
The whole enchilada (a full 3 months of meeting my writing goals) A new Car! (uh, no?) I’m going to Disneyland! (er..apparently not.) Ok the grand prize isn’t quite ready to be revealed at this point but I can say this. It has something to do with BEA 2011 in New York. *squee*
But that’s not all…
Word Count Rewards:
8000 words in a week = $15 Starbucks or AMC gift card
The 75,000 word mark = $50 Amazon gift card
The 100,000 word mark = $100 gift card of choice
The END = $200 gift card of choice
You didn’t think it was going to be THAT easy, did you?
3 days in a row of no writing = 3 hours of housecleaning for my sponsors.
6 days in a row of no writing = 6 hours of babysitting for sponsors. (Not really much of a punishment for me, since I love it, but I know it helps them out and that’s the point)
10 days of no writing = completion of embarrassing feat chosen at random from entries submitted by sponsors, friends and followers.
15 days in a row of no writing = sign up and complete a 5k
(note: these are cumulative, so failing to write at all during the 3 month period dooms me to 6 5k’s in 2011) wow. But the fifteen day period also would include having failed at the 3 and 6 day marks as well, so those punishments would be in effect also.
Competitions, Dares & Challenges
Here’s where it gets fun for you. Want to play along? You can. I have prizes set aside for those that play the game with me. Or propose a challenge or dare and we’ll settle on terms. I’ll also be setting up a few mini challenges along the way and inviting people to play along. If you want to hear about the challenges first and the prizes available, simply subscribe to my blog or follow me on twitter and you will be the first to know. Hint: my challenger prizes include everything from free books, signed ARC’s , gift cards, movie passes, spa days, and even a BEA registration! Warning: challengers also face consequences for failure…so if you are looking for motivation, stay tuned to find out more. Want to suggest a dare or challenge? Want to sponsor me or my challengers? Leave a comment or head over to the Aurel & Bex page and send me a message.
That gets us through the rough draft stage of this thing. Tune in tomorrow for the editing game, accountability and some fun tips and tricks I’ll be using for keeping and staying on track in 2011.
- Why 2,000 Words Works For Me (whatever.scalzi.com)
- A Round of Words in 80 Days Challenge (clairegillian.wordpress.com)
- Developing Your Voice for Fiction Writing (advancedfictionwriting.com)
- Talk about excess – Fewer words can mean fewer we have to eat (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- “A day in the life of…” (apolylife.wordpress.com)
- Procrastinator? Me? (writeanything.wordpress.com)