You probably don’t write on an ancient typewriter, like the one in the picture above. Whatever works for you is great–but if you want to put some money on it, it’s even better.
For the past three weeks, writers participating in the Any Good Thing Writing Challenge have been pumping out words–400 x 5 days per week per person. Here is what January’s participants are saying:
“Among increasing distractions to the writing process, your writing challenge has given me just the motivation I need to keep working slowly and steadily with my writing. In a short time I am already far more productive.”
“I’m having breakthroughs in my work that I wouldn’t have had without the extra incentive that this writing challenge has given me. I managed to finally work through an idea that I’d been struggling with–well, actually, had given up on after a long struggle–for six months.”
“This challenge has been enormously helpful for me! I am getting so much more of my thoughts out on paper, and I can feel the movement of productivity. Whether I am developing ideas, moving forward on a paper, or taking notes, 400 words is a good goal, which I usually am able to surpass once I get started! Thank you for this opportunity, Rebecca!”
“I’ve found that, like many, writing as such tends to come last; when it doesn’t, ‘writing’ sometimes ends up being following leads or doing some research or revising or something other than generating words on the page. This challenge is exactly what I’ve needed to actually write, not ‘write.'”
“One of the reasons I like this challenge is that it forces me to look at my writing, even if only for a little bit each day. Sometimes the task of writing becomes overwhelming: ‘I have to get 10,000 words done by the end of the month.’ When I’m overwhelmed, I tend to shut down. By taking my writing and using a smaller unit of 400 words, I begin to make progress. Some days I’m able to get rolling and write a lot more. Sometimes, I barely get the 400. But I always know that if I can get any time, I can usually write 400 words even if I’m struggling.”
We’ve not yet finished with this month’s challenge, but it’s already time to plan for the next incarnation.
It will run from February 5 to March 4, and you can sign up as late as February 5. Here’s how it works:
- You commit to writing at least 400 words each day for five days of the week, Sunday through Saturday. That’s 2000 words per week or 8000 words–an academic article, 16 blog posts, 8 book reviews, a chapter in a novel…whatever you are aiming for–in 4 weeks.
- Email me at email@example.com to let me know you are participating. Include this participation-form
- You send me a check for $20 to cover one month of participation or pay via Facebook Payment if we are FB friends. I don’t cash your check…yet.
- Each day that you write, you email what you wrote to firstname.lastname@example.org. (No, I’m not going to read it, but, yes, I’m going to make sure it’s new words each day.) Include the word count in the subject line to make my life easier.
- If you write 400 words for 5 days a week for 4 weeks, you get all your money back. (Plus probably more.) That’s $1 per day of writing.
- If you write for 19 days of the 20, you get $17 back. If you write for 18 days, you get $14 back. If you write for 17 days, you get $11 back. If you write for fewer than 17 days, though, you surrender the full $20.
- Any funds surrendered for not writing the full 20 days go into a kitty that is divided between all those who wrote each of the 20 days MINUS $5 that will be awarded as a gift card to one 20-day-writer whose name is drawn at random.
This is a free exercise, so there’s no cost to participate (unless, of course, you don’t meet your goals), and all the money pooled goes back to participants.
Fill out the form linked above, and I’ll send you an address for the check at that point (or if we are FB friends, you can pay via FB Messenger). If you can’t participate now, we’ll do it again starting March 6.
Participation also gets you into our secret Any Good Thing Writing Challenge Facebook group and, if you want, an accountability partner you can email daily or weekly (as you prefer) to summarize what you’ve been working on. If there are other ways you want this group to be helpful to you, just let me know.