A NaNoWriMo Like Challenge…But Not so Life Consuming

Ruth and I were discussing the possibility of an SPAL Writing Challenge much like NaNoWriMo, but rather than the 31 day marathon to the finish line with the hope of having a 50,000 word novel at the end, this challenge would be a two to three month Challenge were the author could write, edit, or plot a work in progress, or do all three. However, for two full-time mothers trying to run a household and a writing business, this just wasn’t feasible.

For those who might be interested in such a Writing Challenge though, we found an alternative that I fully endorse. I’ve watched this writing challenge grow from nothing into something you all might enjoy. It’s ROW80 or Round of Words in 80 Days (http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/). This challenge happens four times a year and they’re nearing the end of their first round. The second round starts April, third in July, and the fourth in October. Their guidelines are simple:

  • A challenge that happens 4 times a year with a break between sessions.
  • Round 1 starts January 3, 2011 (because I like starting things on Monday and this way everyone can recover from New Year’s excesses) and runs through March 24th.  (Round 2 would start April 4, Round 3 July 4–okay maybe rethink that–, Round 4 Oct 3–you get the idea).
  • You have 80 days for your Round of Words. Your goal can be anything you like as long as it is MEASURABLE. If you’re already in the middle of a WIP, that’s fine.  Tailor your goal to suit that.  You may even want to set mini goals (I want to finish the last 40k of this novel.  Then I want to spend the last 20 days revising it at x pages a day.).  There are a lot of elements to writing a book other than the writing itself.  Plotting.  Outlining.  Character Interviews.  Whatever.  Set your goal to match wherever you are right now on your WIP.  If you want to use your Round for editing a novel, that’s fine too.  Just know that this is, at heart, a writing challenge, so all the weekly inspirational posts will be geared in that direction.
  • There’s no mandatory daily word count. Every writer is different, everyone has different schedules.  You set a goal that works for you.  Find a way to make writing a priority in your life in a way that FITS.  But set SOME kind of schedule and be CONSISTENT.
  • Once Sign-Ups are open, you’ll make a blog post stating your measurable goal and swing by here to link to it in the Linky Tools list. If your goal changes because you’ve met it before the 80 days is up, just write a new one and link to it on a check in day.
  • There will be twice a week check-ins on Sunday and Wednesday where you’ll update us via the same method. The idea here is that folks can travel around to everybody’s blogs and drop a supportive comment.  We’re contemplating dividing into teams under each of the sponsors so that everyone has a manageable list of folks to visit once a week.
  • On Twitter we’ll use a hashtag of #ROW80 so everyone can follow discussions (though if you’re not on Twitter, that’s totally fine too).

These guidelines can be found in full at http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/about/

5 thoughts on “A NaNoWriMo Like Challenge…But Not so Life Consuming

  1. Joleene Naylor March 9, 2011 / 1:27 pm

    Very cool idea! Thanks for sharing this, Steph!

    • Stephannie Beman March 11, 2011 / 4:25 am

      I loved the idea, NaNoMo but without the crazy scheduling or word count.

  2. Ruth Ann Nordin March 12, 2011 / 3:11 pm

    NaNo is too intense in some ways. It’s possible to finish a complete full-length novel (my average hovers around 70,000 words), but it’s more plausible to finish an entire novel in 80 days than it is with NaNo. That’s what I like about the 80 days. Also, if you’re working on a short story or novella, you’re not tied into a higher word count. 😀

    • Stephannie Beman March 21, 2011 / 12:46 pm

      NaNoMo is one of those possible things if I don’t mind cutting myself off from my husband and kids. I did very little during that mouth except write and the only reason I didn’t make the full 50,000 words (about 1,000 words short), was due to my forced particpation for three days for Thanksgiving. Ick!

      ROW80 is more relaxed, I don’t just have to write, I can edit or proofread. I canwrite a short story or novella and edit it in that time. Etc.

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