On June 25, 2011, I made day 100 for the third time. You see in January 2010, I joined this interesting group. What was the purpose of joining this particular group? To encourage writing every day, to ensure you develop the habit of writing to reach the goal of becoming published. No excuses just write. The criterion of the group is below.
Personally, it has worked wonders. I finally finished a manuscript. Right now, I am revising and rewriting the story I began in the fall of 2009. I have to admit it has taken me three tries to get through each round. However, I have three very nice certificates to show for it. Today is June 26, 2011. I am beginning the “CHAMPAGNE ROUND”.
What is this round? This round is to write for 365 days straight. Yep, write 100 words everyday nonstop for a whole year. I hope by then to have the first story out searching for a home. Maybe even the second one completed and ready to find a place too.
Some of you know my husband, Jim, is in poor health. Writing has kept me sane, through all of his difficulties. I take the laptop to the hospital when he’s in the hospital. I come home and think have to write my words before midnight.
How many words can I write? It varies. Some days I write over a thousand others, I make the minimum of a mere 100 words.
The group is WritingGIAM100x100@yahoogroups.com. It is run by Amy Atwell and Jo Anne Banker. These ladies worked hard to create several groups. I’m also in the Go Pro group. I didn’t get around to submitting for my pro status after being rejected by Harlequin. Between moving and everything with life, I let it slide. So now, I am focusing on these two stories.
If you want to kick your writing in gear check out the link above, ask to join our happy family. It really is fun. Think BICHOK (Butt in Chair Hands on Keyboard) and go for 100 words. If you go by the 250 words per page, that is less than one page and it doesn’t take that long. I use MS Word and either use multicolored font for each day or highlight where I begin. Reaching a point where I stop to think I go back and highlight to see how many words I’ve done so far. Less than 100 and I have to keep going over 100 I pause and add a few more. Yesterday I wrote 120 words and had to shut down. I never returned to the writing. Time with my great niece was more important.
We watched The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King. It was the two discs set extended version so well after midnight when it ended. But, I had my words done for the day so it wasn’t a problem.
For me, this group/loop has helped me develop the habit of writing every day. I recommend it if you find you have reasons for NOT writing. Not reasons but excuses disguised as reasons. We all have things that keep us from writing at one time or another. Sometimes with us, it is Jim’s illness knocks me out of making the cut-off. Or, I got home and forgot. If I didn’t do my 100 words or one of the other things, I have to start over at day 1. It’s frustrating to be at day 45 and begin again at day 1, but it isn’t about that just keeping the writing going is the purpose.
Here is how they defined the loop criteria. I enjoy reporting in every day with what day it is and how many words I wrote. You see where others are in their days and how many words they did as well.
“We defined our criteria as 100 new words or 30 minutes editing on a “production of work aimed at a contract for sale,” whether for an essay, short story, novella or novel, revisions, synopses, queries or submission letters – even character studies and plot idea summaries. So, what does work: Brainstorming, making notes, plotting and research (for at least 30 minutes a day) counts. What doesn’t work: We have defined that blogging, critiquing, judging for contests, classes, meeting exercises (unless they were over 100 new words on your WIP), etc do not count.” (Jo Anne Banker)
So are you having a hard time focusing on finding time to write? Always finding something else to do, yes things seem to crop up that require more attention. I’m lucky I don’t have children, except great nieces and nephews. I play games, but they help me think. Often in the middle of writing I’ll pull up one to work through in my mind what I have going on in the scene. I think it settles me too.
However, if you need a little encouragement and want to join us go to Yahoo groups or click on the link above and join our fun. Hope to see you on the loop.
Oh one more thing, I use Excel to keep track of the days and word counts. You can use a diary or calendar or whatever works for you to see how you progress.
Now time to work on my uninterrupted year of 100 words.
Wish me luck!
By the way, I did earn that bottle of champagne. My niece-in-law and I had mimosas and Kahlua and Frappuccinos to celebrate my year.
Today is March 20, 2015. I not only survived the first year on the 100 x 100 loop. I have now completed four years. This date marks the beginning of year FIVE (5). Yep, I did it. Although, I did not finish the story, I did not get it out there. However, I have learned something. From now on, when I start a new book, novella, or story, I will NOT share any part of it until I finish the first draft. Once the first draft is complete. Then I will take suggestions based on critiques. I spend so much time rewriting the first couple of chapters I never get it completed.
Currently, I’m working on completing a Navy SEAL story I started in November of 2012. I started the project for NaNo (National Novel Writing Month). That’s another story. I wrote, rewrote, submitted was rejected and was determined to complete it. Then I asked somebody some questions. This person knows her stuff. Seems I had the villain all wrong. It would never happen the way I had it going. Stunned, I sat there for thirty minutes thinking I’d wasted almost two years. Instead of quitting and throwing all those words away, I started asking questions. Soon, I had a different way to keep the same story just change the bad guy. Thank you, Lindsay McKenna for the support and for taking the time to email back and forth to answer the questions.
This brings me to today. Yes, it’s been nine months since I began this last revision. It’s had a few more changes in these nine months. Determination, hard headedness, stubbornness, whatever term you choose to use that has brought me to this point.
The road the past five years has had a bunch of rough spots. Jim, my husband died on November 30, 2011, my sister grew more ill from late 2013, until she lost her fight and died on March 26, 2014 and twelve hours later, my dear mother-in-law passed away one month and one day before her eighty-seventh (87) birthday. Then this year my brother-in-law who was only thirteen months younger than my husband, lost his battle four month battle to brain cancer. He died at home with family surrounding him. But, that’s three deaths in March and I’d much rather they hadn’t happened. Life is hard, I know this, doesn’t make the loss any less. Still, I’ve found words to put on the page or time to edit.
I spent time searching for agents and editors for homework and this particular exercise does count as research on the 100 x 100 loop. One of the nice things is when it works out like that.
I hope to have the current Work In Progress (WIP) finished in by the end of April. Then I shall send it all to the critique partner to read and go over, while I go over it with Margie Lawson’s Deep Edits.
If you want to know, more about this process go to http://www.MargieLawson.com and check out her workshops and blogs. She has some of the best workshops on writing. I admit I’m a workshopaholic. I figure there’s always new and fun things to learn that will help me down the road.
Now, that I’ve told you my life story. Why not join in the fun of trying for 100 words every day? It’s not hard. Romance Writers of America is running an ongoing challenge of 2,000 words a month. I have one week this year, that I wrote over 5,000 words. That’s an average of 714 words per day. The RWA challenge is a mere 66 words per day. That’s less than NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) where you shoot for Neptune or Pluto and write 50,000 words in 30 days. For that one you average 1666.7 words per day. Every November I join in this crazy fun. Then there’s Camp NaNo in April and July this year. The Camp is less pressure, you’re out in the virtual outdoors writing under the stars by the campfire. You share a cabin with other writer campers.
Add these crazy writing fun things into a mix of various other things like October Obsession and April Madness hosted by Anne Marie Novak. The RWA online chapter of Romance, Mystery and Suspense, affectionately known as Kiss of Death, hosts Book In A Week (BIAW) challenges four times a year.
There are many challenges to encourage you to write. Pick one and join the fun. What do you have to lose? You could have a full-blown novel ready to submit and become a published author. Imagine all the fans that want to have you sign your books for them.
In the bottom of my refrigerator, I’m chilling a bottle of wine. I won it in a raffle drawing at the NW Houston Lone Star Conference in 2013. I’m saving it for when I sell this story. If it doesn’t find a traditional home, it will find a home on Amazon. Wish me luck.
The Milky Way is waiting for your book. Let’s write 100 words today.