My 80-Day Word Challenge

On May 1st, I joined several other writers hoping to write 80,000 words in 80 days. For the first three days, I wrote just over a thousand words each day. Then I got stuck and couldn’t decide how to continue my story. After a few days of not writing, I continued but didn’t write every day and usually didn’t write as many as a thousand words on the days I did write.

Now that the challenge has ended, I can tell you my grand total:


I didn’t quite make it. I didn’t get anywhere near. But I’m not disappointed. I wrote a lot more than I would have done without the challenge, and next time I’m going to do better. As long as I internalise some of the lessons I learned.

Like Annalisa, who managed 43,457 words, I’m going to list those lessons:

  • I like to write in the garden, but I can write elsewhere, like the bedroom, the living room, a bus.
  • A week on holiday doesn’t mean a week away from writing. It means three weeks away from writing: one on holiday and two more to get back to the routine.
  • To write a thousand words a day, I need to plan properly beforehand. I need to get to know the characters, find out the details and, above all, to work out the plot. Anything can change while I’m writing, but I don’t want to come to a standstill.
  • No disaster will occur if I’m not on Facebook and Twitter 24 hours a day.
  • I need to find a better hiding place for my pens. The drawer of my desk is too obvious.
  • I will get to the end of the story before I hit 80,000. That’s all right, because when I go through it, I’ll think of all the things I should have written.

Many thanks to Sally Quilford for organising this. I’m looking forward to the next one.


One coming out, one in the making

100 Stories for Queensland, which contains my story: Who Sees the Light?, is coming out this week. I’m getting excited and looking forward to seeing a story of mine in print for the first time.

From today, I’m taking part in May – You Write Your Novel, which is the brainchild of Sally Quilford. The aim is to write 80,000 words in 80 days – 1,000 words a day. Today I wrote 1,223 words, so I’m doing all right so far.