Book In a Week

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that at one time or another, we’ve all let our writing take a hiatus. At times, even taking the trash out becomes more important than sitting at the computer and writing.

Maybe you’re going through one of those times right now. You want to write, you know you should write, but for some reason, here you sit reading this blog instead. And I’m truly thankful for that. Never stop reading blogs. 🙂 However, if this is your seventy-fifth blog today, I’ve got a suggestion for you. Find one, two, four, or six writer buddies and do what we call, “Book In a Week” (BIAW).

It’s basically a challenge that you and your group write as many words in a day as you can, for seven days. For my BIAW friends, here’s how we do it and why it’s so helpful for us.

GOAL-You set a personal goal and a group goal of how many words you’d like to write in seven days. Be realistic with your goal. Let’s face it, life happens, and sometimes you don’t get to write as much as you’d like. However, don’t set an easy-peasy goal that could be accomplished in fifteen minutes a day. Challenge yourself.

WRITE-You write as many words a day as you can. For us, we don’t allow editing. It slows down the production and creative processes. So we write lots and lots of ugly, ugly words. Just kidding. They’re beautiful first draft words.

LEADER– You need to elect a leader or you can volunteer to be the leader. Every morning you send a quick email to your leader, stating how many words you wrote the day before. S/he records everyone’s individual numbers and sends out a total to the writers, stating who wrote the most words. The leader also encourages and commiserates as appropriate. 

CHALLENGE-As we see everyone’s daily word count, there seems to be a natural competitiveness activated in our writer brains that has us striving to write more.  It’s fun to see your name as lead writer for a day. 🙂

ACCOUNTABILITY-There is something to be said about accountability. Sometimes things come up that get in the way of writing, but when you’re in a BIAW challenge, the last thing you want to do is come up with excuses for not writing. It’s easy to make up excuses to ourselves, but it’s a little more difficult to put it out there for your writer friends to see. I decided to lie on the couch and watch TV all day. I went shopping and bought shoes I didn’t really need to keep from writing. I had a fight with my sister, so I was on the phone gossiping about it all day.  You get it. Even though these things have probably happened to us, we don’t want our peers to see how easy it is for us to be distracted from our writing dreams. 🙂

At the end of the week the leader tallies up all the totals, and if everyone worked diligently to achieve their individual goals, you could have a grand total (depending on the group size) of 45,000, 65,000 or even more words. Equivalent to A BOOK—in a week!

If you haven’t tried “Book in a Week,” let me encourage you to give it a shot. It truly does get you motivated and keeps you writing. Isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Remember to Dream Big!


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