400 Words/40 Days Challenge: Conclusion


So Friday, November 6 saw the conclusion of my 40 days challenge and my totals were, I think, respectable: 24903 words written in total with a daily average of 621. In the 116 days since I started my first 25 day challenge, I’ve written on 95 of those days with a total 47532 words written. While these challenges may seem artificial, I can definitively state that they work for me. As a way to get myself focused and working, these short term, low word count challenges add up to doing what it is that makes a writer and what it is that makes a writer get better: writing.

At this point, I’ve decided to not go into another writing challenge for myself as I am going to start focusing more on my PhD applications for the next couple of months and will take some time to go over what I accomplished since July 13 and do some editing and work on second, third, and forth drafts of short stories so I can start submitting my work.

If you end up challenging yourself using some of the strategies I’ve developed for myself, I would really appreciate you leaving a comment and letting me know how it went.

Good writing to you!

Writing Update for October 18


Today marks 21 days into my current writing challenge of 400 words for 40 days. I haven’t been as focused on my novel (yes, I’ve given up pretending and have accepted the fact that The Devious Astrolabe is going to be my first novel), as I might like, however, I have been writing quite a bit. Without going into details that I don’t want to share here, I seem to have found myself a muse of sorts for a kind of storytelling that I’ve never explored before and found myself writing quite a bit last week, finishing the first draft of one new short story, completing 3/4 of the first draft of another, and starting a new story that will probably run 10,000 – 12,000 words.

Now, I just need to get to editing some of this output!

Stats so far:

Week 1: 3950 words / average of 564 per day
Week 2: 5910 words / average of 844 per day
Week 3: 3776 words / average of 539 per day

I have several stories out to magazines, but still no publication luck. After this challenge, I plan on taking 2 weeks to really focus on editing some of these stories and finding markets for them.

In other news, I’m assisting a friend who has started a new website called The Dueling Quill, which offers writers a chance to get into the habit of writing. The site will suggest a title, a maximum word count, and a genre and writers will have a week to write something that then gets posted. Readers will vote on their favorite stories and the winner of the duel will get . . . lots of praise and the knowledge of a job well done. Ok, so not much of a prize, but if you are struggling to make writing a regular habit, you might want to check it out.

How’s your writing going?