To learn more about the challenge, read on.
(Yes, I think the graphic is silly.)
THE WRITERS MONTHLY PROGRESS CHALLENGE:
Are you missing the excitement of NaNoWriMo, or another of its ilk? Have you wanted to participate in the November frenzy, but chickened out at the last minute, or fizzled out half-way through? (Maybe you’ve been-there-done-that, and now have an unmanageable, rough-draft, manuscript under your bed – a manuscript that needs editing.)
Even if you’ve been successful with NaNoWriMo, have you begun to suspect that getting published requires more than manic prose-generation at break-neck speed? Do you know in your heart that you need to start developing your writing career with tasks that include building a platform, working with critiques, preparing submissions and studying the craft?
Would you like an accountability project / support resource in place for you as you strive to become a professional, published writer?
I’m building this progress-focused group in an effort to support my own writing … and yours, regardless of what you are working on – fiction or non-fiction; traditional or independent; book-length works or short pieces. All I ask is that you be serious about building a body of work and publishing.
- Each writer sets a personal, monthly goal of X-hours to spend developing his/her career.
- This goal can, and should, vary from month to month – the requirements of your non-writerly life certainly do.
- ALL tasks which your career demands count. (See ‘sample qualifying tasks’ below.)
- At least HALF of the time allotted to the challenge should be dedicated to writing, revising and editing text for eventual publication. (No matter what else we are doing, we must continue to generate fresh manuscripts if we are trying to create a body of work.)
- Participating in this project should NOT take much time away from working on your writing.
- It is NOT necessary to participate every month. (But, why wouldn’t you?)
Sample Qualifying Tasks:
Half (or more) this:
editing / revising
Half (or less) this:
reading professionally (dissection / instruction)
platform building / networking
critiquing / writers’ group activities
taking artist dates ala Julia Cameron (in order to fill the creative well)
what did I forget?
The Writer’s Monthly Progress Challenge is about feeling accountable AND receiving encouragement & credit for all of our work. (Much of which, let’s face it, is invisible to our non-writer loved ones.) It is not about giving us one more thing to do that gets in the way of the actual writing. For that reason, I want to keep this simple. After the initial set-up, WriMoProg should take a few minutes a week.
HOW TO GET STARTED:
- Make a tab or page titled ‘My WriMoProg’ at you primary blog.
- Post one of the WriMoProg buttons at the top of that page. Link the button to — http://theparanormalist.wordpress.com/wrimoprog-home/
- Decide how many hours to give to your career development in the remaining days of the current month. (Remember, you are dedicating half – or more – of those hours to WRITING, REVISING OR EDITING.)
- Use the blue frog face linky-thing, above, to sign up for the challenge. (You will need to make the page/tab first, because the linky will ask you for its address.There will be specific instructions to follow when you “click to view/add link” then click “add your link” then “submit link”.)
- Go back to your blog and summarize your plans for the month on your recently created page. Label the section with the current month & year. Like this.
- Whenever you blog, add a line at the bottom of the post, like this: X + Y = Z / total hours goal. We’ll all know what it means. (X = writing/editing time, Y= other writerly tasks.) Then link that equation to your WriMoProg page, so it will look like this: WriMoProg 12 + 64 = 76/200
- Sometime during each WEEKEND (Fri – Sun) check in on other participants by visiting the linky found here so you can surf any other links that have been posted. Leave a supportive comment, if you like, anywhere that the WriMoProg participant is posting progress notes. (To receive such notes from other participants, you’ll want to make sure you post your own progress somewhere by each THURSDAY.)
NOTE: Some of you might figure out how to host the linky list itself on your page. As a wordpress.com blogger, I can’t. If you can’t, or don’t want to mess with it, the linked button on your My WriMoProg page will allow other participants to navigate from blog to blog by using the linky that will always be on this homepage for WriMoProg.
SETTING YOUR MONTHLY GOAL:
If you look closely at the WrMoProg Challenge button/badge, you will see I worked up some numbers that might be considered equivalent to a successful NaNoWriMo stint. These numbers are based on my own experience, gained in November of 2012:
FYI: At the pace where one hour generates FIVE pages, the words that come are not elegant. For a rough draft, though, there is value in pushing yourself through at this clip. At some future point, I will make a page that offers tips to get through a really rough, 50,000 word draft in one month. Stay tuned.
NaNoWriMo DOES NOT result in a finished book:
Depending on what you are writing, it doesn’t even result in a complete first draft. (See below.) I have come to believe that Mike Nappa, of Nappaland Literary Agency, is correct when he suggests that it requires four drafts to complete a book.
(Go read ‘How to Edit Your Book in 4 Steps‘. Yes, now. It’s brilliant. I’ll wait.)
So let’s just admit that it’s going to take at least FOUR TIMES as many hours to complete a book as WriMoProg might suggest. (And that may be too optimistic.)
Here are some factoids to help you set your writing goals:
- Full time writer = 40 hours per week / 160 hours per month
- Half-time writer = 20 hours per week / 80 hours per month
- Average non-fiction book = 50,000 – 85,000 words = 30 X 4 (120) – 50 X 4 (200) hours
- Average novel = 50,000 – 110,000 words = 30 X 4 (120) – 66 X 4 (264) hours
- Ideal FIRST novel = 80,000 – 100,000 = 48 X 4 (192) – 60 X 4 (240)
- Average Novella (good for e-books) = 20,000 – 50,000 = 12 X 4 (48) – 30 X 4 (120) hours
- Average short story = 1000 – 7500 words = 1 X 4 (4) – 4.5 X 4 (18) hours
Word count: based on 25 lines per page in Courier New 12 pt. averages approximately 250 words per page. 20 pages, an average chapter,=5,000 words; 200 pages=50,000; 400 pages=100,000; 600 pages=150,000; 800=200,000 words. Most books are between 50 and 100,000 words long. Publishers estimate by pages, including the white space. A computer count of 50,000 words may be 65,000 in publishers’ terms.
–Daphne Clair/Laurey Bright