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.