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The Writerland Challenge: Week Three Check-in

It’s time for our week three Writerland Challenge check-in! Yes, it is nearly time for our week four check-in, but my brain went on vacation last week while I ate way too much food, went to the Dickens Faire in San Francisco (which I highly recommend—it runs for four more weekends), roasted marshmallows at a Christmas tree farm south of Halfmoon Bay, took a nap while my four-year-old son decorated our tree, made English toffee, read, slept, and watched The Walking Dead—which is SO GOOD this season! So, now that there are just TWO DAYS LEFT of The Writerland Challenge, how is everyone doing? Did you keep up with your goals over the Thanksgiving holiday, or did your brain go on vacation, too? Let us know how close you are to meeting your goals and what we can do to support you during this final push.

Then, Friday, November 30, we will have our final check-in and I will draw a name from all of the wonderful Writerland Challengers who signed up and send that person a box of my homemade English toffee (with or without nuts, you get to choose). And can I just say that if you’re on a diet, don’t open the toffee. It is truly addictive. My husband I ate an entire box over the weekend and now I am up at 6 a.m. running to work it off.

18 comments to The Writerland Challenge: Week Three Check-in

  • My brain went on vacation, too, over the Thanksgiving "break." It took me a few days to recover from all that food, especially since we did the Black Friday craziness, showing up at Cabela's at 5:40 p.m. to buy something my husband really wanted, then spent the day in the fresh but cold country air. Had the weekend to recuperate, so I spent these past three days on writing projects. One memoir excerpt turned article is back with the editor for another "readthrough;" just sent the second excerpt turned essay to an editor friend for her review, and started fiddling with the one chapter that my lit coach feels needs work. So, it's been a good week so far. Tomorrow and Friday are office days for me, so not much writing happening then. My one TTWC goal I haven't tackled yet was getting two residency applications drafted but the lit coach review got in the way of that, and that's a good thing, I think.

  • KLM

    I've done pretty good, even considering the holiday. When things are harried and I'm not getting the word count up, I'm always happy when I can at least take notes or visualize where things are going next. Even if it's only a paragraph or two. I got back to work this week and, look, there are still two whole works days before November is through so I'm thinking I'll kick out a thousand more words before midnight tomorrow.

    I want that dang toffee!

    • meghancward

      Congratulations on working through the holiday! I'll put a fourth-week post up tonight so everyone can do a final check-in.

  • Melina

    I took advantage of being away from home and my computer to stop line editing and think big about my manuscript structure. It was a great exercise, I established some important things that need to happen and so the line editing is much more directed. I printed the whole thing out as one document for the first time, which is thrilling, and was my main goal for the month. But I am behind – had hoped to have the line editing done and input by the end of the month and it isn't going to happen. A physic set back is I wasn't selected for the Grotto office fellowship which I was hoping would provide me with some structure come January. Ate a box of cookies and feel better. Glad for this TTWC goal setting, thanks!

    • meghancward

      Melina, I'm sorry to hear about the Grotto fellowship. I don't know anything about the candidates or who was selected. Don't let it get you down. Good writers get rejected all the time – that's part of the game. And congrats on taking time out to work on the big picture. I think that's how I got sidetracked with my own goal. Once I switched from a word count goal to working on the bigger picture, I stopped working on it altogether. That 300 words a day goal really worked for me. I think I need to keep it going even WHILE I'm doing editing and outlining.

  • The first week I realized my goal wa unreasonable for the amount of other things I have going on, I I cut down from 500 words a day to 200 a day. Considering I write for an hour each morning before work it should be a hard one, but I'm trying to build out a 50,000 first draft into a full length novel, so there's a lot f work in between words, trying to find legitimate places to add and such. I bombed last week with my inlays crashing in our studio apartment and no place to work, but I am catching back up!!! Hoping to keep at this until February. If I do it, I'll meet my word count needs by that point!

    • meghancward

      Emily, That's important to set a realistic goal. I found that 300 words was really doable (and 200 sounds perfect, too.) And yet I still didn't do it. Shame on me! I need to figure out why I'm so resistant to putting my writing first before everything else in my life. My new goal is to finish my the end of December and if I don't – well, at least I'll have made more progress. And there's always January.

  • Kristan

    Between my birthday and Thanksgiving, I think the last week and a half of November is just going to be DQ-ed for me. 😛

    Now that I'm back home from the holidays, though, I'm turning things around and getting back into the groove.

    • meghancward

      Kristan – Can't wait to hear your final check-in to see if you managed to turn things around after your birthday and Thanksgiving. I did NOT. I haven't written a single word (other than blog posts) since the day before Thanksgiving.

  • I did great. I used the holiday to knock my goals right out of the park and begin new ones. Although November is almost over and I rather ambitiously hoped I'd be done with ALL changes I wanted to my ms, the fact is, I'm in a great place and on course to finish what I wanted to do. I just didn't know I had to do several steps to get there–but I did them all.

    So I'd say, the Writerland Challenge was a great month-long motivator. I would also like to suggest that we keep something going. Maybe one of us (me? I'll do it) can host the next month's challenge–and provide the prize, too. Interested?

    I envy you your nap and I think you should save me some of the toffee and let's have it at a playdate–if you're over the foggy park incident, that is. 🙂

    • meghancward

      Sierra, I don't know if I'll ever get over the foggy park incident, but maybe – just maybe – if you host the next challenge, I'll consider planning an English toffee playdate with you. Yes! Do it! I desperately need to keep up my 300 wpd goal, and it would be awesome to have support doing that. We could continue using the TTWC hashtag for consistency if you want. Or you could create your own.

  • Maia

    I am happy to say that I finished a draft of the chapter I was working on. I still have more to do on it, but it was solid enough to share on Sunday with my writing partner and get some feedback. So I put that aside and started a draft of the next chapter which I want to have done by, um, tomorrow, no matter how rough! In terms of sending things in, I think I'm at eight (my goal was ten). Not too shabby all around. Thank you for the great idea of the Writerland Challenge.

    • meghancward

      Thanks for participating, Maia, and congratulations on completing your chapter! I'll post a last Writerland Challenge post tonight for everyone to do a final check-in.

  • Jane Moore

    I did nothing — and it shows. I'n just getting back into writing now. I forgot my laptop charger (went to visit son in Fresno) plus we hardly had any "free" time. By next week's check in I hope to be back up to snuff.
    Jane M.

    • meghancward

      All that matters Jane is that you keep getting back on that horse each time you fall off. I'll be right there alongside you next week hauling my butt into the saddle.

  • Jane

    I also think it will be great to continue the challenge.

  • Lisa

    Hello All! I am new to Writerland. I have been exploring this sit, and have a bit of a crush on it. I am fairly new to memoir writing, and would love to connect with a community of fellow writers. Thanks!