Sunday, November 27, 2011

Writers' Challenge Week FOUR

JAN BROGAN - Okay everyone, we are at the finish line. Not the best week for productivity, at least for me. I cooked for fifteen on Thanksgiving and got started on Wednesday, but I did manage to finish an article for the paper, rough out an essay, and finish two books that I've picked up for research.
The good news is that I've learned that I really love being in the mid 1800s, and that I actually look forward to going there each day. That's got to to help with the actual writing.
Likely just as soon as the Challenge is over (tomorrow) I'll get real fiction pages written, but that's okay, I feel like I've accomplished quite a bit.
Prizes are awarded and announced next Sunday. In the meantime, tell me how you fared over these four weeks, and if you managed to hurdle over this vacation week, or were slowed by it.
And of course, what your plans are for staying productive during the unproductive month of December.


  1. My plans were so focused this holiday weekend. 2500 a day - to finish a book that's been languishing on my hard drive way too long. I love the concept, I'm just stuck in the middle muddle.

    But I got words every day. I refocused my effort and plans to finish the book with comments for each upcoming chapter, and I spent some glorious time reading.

    Thanks for running the challenge Jan. I wasn't the star pupil, but I did meet my daily writing goal most days before signing on.

  2. Oh, Lynn - I am so jealous. This week was a complete bust for me. But this morning I got stuff done.

    I do have a lovey turkey soup...

  3. I had some uneven weeks early in the challenge. Surprisingly, last week was my best yet with over 2,000 words written each day. I learned that I really must not go online or check email before writing--if I can manage that (don't have business mail expected, etc.). I'm going to try to keep the challenge going as I continue since it's working for me.

  4. This is my worst challenge ever. I feel like such a failure. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm on the verge of completing my 8th NaNo, but it's crap. I wrote every day, but not before I checked the e-mail and blogs. I critiqued four stories for my writing partners this month, but did not send one short story to them.

    I'm a short story writer, why am I addicted to NaNo? Most of my NaNoWriMos end up as novellas due to lack of research I didn't know I needed in the first place. On the upside, I do have a 50-50 record for completing a great frist draft during NaNo. But at the end of Movember with no short stories finished, I feel like I wasted my time.

    So for December it's back to writing short stories. I just have beat the Internet. I need to post that mantra on my laptop. "I control the Internet, it do not control me!"

    Thanks for the challenge, Jan.

  5. If I charted my progress, it would look like the blueprints for a wild roller coaster. Even so, those peaks were huge and I have typed "The End For Now" on the last page of my project. It came in at just over 51K words so I've "won" NaNoWriMo a day earlier than I can verify my word count. That's a first!

    What's left is a mishmash of truly ugly writing, even for me. That's okay. I have until March to submit this one and it needs to be no longer than 35K words. I have lots of room to play with and I'm letting the plot gel fully before I go catch some red herrings and toss them in the stew pot. There's fluff and nonsense that need to be trimmed to get lean meat for the novella. That's a good thing.

    In midst of writing the current project, I edited and revised a completed project and edited The Only's master's thesis. She'd successfully defended it, but it wasn't ready for publication quite yet so I had many late nights working on it.

    Now I'm taking a few days to read words written by somebody else. I'm going to clean house, get Christmas decorations put up, and watch a lot of TV shows on the DVR. Jan, thank you so much for the challenge! The longer I stay in this "game" the better I'm getting at refining my process. Your challenge has helped in so many ways! Maybe now, I can get back to commenting a bit more regularly on the blogs, too. LOL!

  6. I did pretty well - for me. Even the days I let myself be interrupted I tried to get back on the horse. Miami Book Fair, organizing MWANY's holiday party and my newsletter mailing took an incredible amount of time away from writing. (To say nothing of the hole that's still in my roof from the Halloween snowstorm.)

    But I'm extending the challenge - for myself - until Nov. 30. I'm so close..
    And I'm giving myself December to rewrites. My Christmas present to myself will be this manuscript locked and loaded!

  7. Well, I'm impressed. First of all:

    Silver and Lynn, you two are my new inspiration. And like Ro, I'm going to use that inspiration to carry the challenge for myeself into December.

    Linda and Pat, I think uneven weeks are pretty normal for November leading up to Thanksgiving. It also so depends on where you are in a project.

    Thank you all for taking part and helping me along!

  8. My week was a total flop, between it being my week up on JR (which was great fun) and Thanksgiving.

    But I'm getting back on the horse today, and I'm sticking to the challenge until this books is done.

    Thanks so much for challenge, Jan. You've helped us see what we can do, if we're disciplined enough, and that's a huge help.

  9. You guys are all winners--congratulations on all the different kinds of productivity!

  10. Thank you, Jan, I always love the challenge. For me, it's being aware that there are other writers out there experiencing the same bugaboos. But like Linda R., the last two weeks were my best. And like Silver James, I experienced peaks and valleys. But thanks to the memory of a Romany lad I saw 15 years ago on our real trip from Paddington to Oxford, I found a way to get off the train and on to those last three chapters. :) I'm grateful for finding Scrivener. It provides the structure I was so afraid to take the time to tackle myself.
    Oh, and Rosemary, I have not seen The Preacher's Wife. But I adore Denzel Washington, so if Hallie will pass me a bowl of her turkey soup, I think I'll enjoy sitting down to watch it as a reward.
    All in all, I agree with Deb, Jan, your challenges remind us what we can do with discipline. But I think I may need it twice a year to stay motivated throughout. ;0)

  11. Ann, you've ocnvinced me to download the free trial of Scrivener

    It's great to hear so many people happy for a little push.

    Deb, you are completely off the hook for lack of productivity -- what a great job you did on blog topis for Thanksgiving week!!

  12. Oh, running in...I didn't do PERFECTLY, but I am happy, with 14,562 words in the new MS, and the story in my heart. Kind of. Pretty much. Depending on what day it is.

    But, better than 13,562 words, right?


  13. Argh! This week was a bust for me for writing. All things family got the focus, starting with travel on Monday & ending Sunday. Today I wrote quota when I got home, and before getting online. That makes it 1 for 7 and 1 for 1.

    Other than this week, I've made great progress with the writing challenge. In fact, I'm carrying on for the remaining days of November.

    What a blessing the writing challenge has been for me. It's been a good wake-up call on getting conscious with email & web access. I am continuing the same writing challenge for myself through the end of December. It includes plotting a new writing challenge for the beginning of 2012.

    Thanks, Jan, and all. You are my inspiration and encouragement.