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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Unleash Your Story Challenge - Writing for Charity by Diane Gaston

Nanowrimo is a huge writing challenge in November, but not all writing challenges are as big. In September I needed a push to write a novella that was due October 1 and along came Unleash Your Story. Unleash Your Story was sponsored by the authors of Romance Unleashed to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis. The fact that Noodler Colleen Gleason has a son with CF made it even more appealing to join the challenge.

In Unleash Your Story, each participant set a personal goal. I set my goal for 20,000 words, the number of words I needed to finish my novella. They also had a pacesetter author, Debbie Macomber, who pledged 30,000 words, so you could aim to beat her if you chose to. We also pledged a dollar amount of money we planned to raise.

What's more, you could join a team, banding together with others both in the raising money and the fund-raising. Ours was the Wet Noodle Posse team, naturally. This meant that you were also somewhat accountable to your friends. I couldn't slack off or I'd let down my friends.

Another part of the challenge was the opportunity to win prizes, all levels of prizes for individuals and for the teams.

Each week of the month we reported the number of words we wrote.

The winners have not yet been announced, but the WNP did very well. We didn't quite make our goal of $3000, but we got very close ($2823). We raised more money than any other team.

And I finished my novella in time, meeting my word count goal.

This challenge worked for me perfectly because:
1. I was writing for more than just myself
2. I was accountable to my friends
3. It had a higher purpose.

You could design your own challenge with your writing friends. Set goals. Report in. Have a reward. Your reward could be charitable or it could just be loser pays for lunch.

Even if you don't want to do this with friends, you can still set a goal, make regular accounting, and reward yourself at the end.

See? There's no excuse. Start writing!!!

Visit Diane's website and enter her contest. Diane's Scandalizing the Ton is still available online.


At 7:37 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

I, too, enjoyed writing more during the CF fundraiser. Not too much pressure. I have two weeks to write about 10,000 words! I'm getting there and I'm using the Golden Heart (once again!) as motivation. Thanks, Diane! Here I go!

At 9:12 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Diane -

What a wonderful suggestion to use a writing challenge like the one Noodlers did for the CF fundraiser. Kudos to those in our group who did that (I was on the road daily back then and only manged to edit pages on a manuscript that was due).

We're lucky to have so many great ideas shared among the Noodlers and now shared with writers everywhere.

Great post and I LOVED your latest historical SCANDALIZING THE TON.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa -
Wow - that's a terrific attitude about writing 10,000 words in 2 weeks. I love to hear when someone is tackling pages to get done with a positive approach of "this is possible."

The editor who is lucky enough to get you will be thrilled with your production capability.


At 9:35 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

The editor who is lucky enough to get you will be thrilled with your production capability.

Dianna, thanks! I hope you are right. I never thought it was possible that I could be prolific. I used to write slow and steady, but over the years, I have learned to write faster and faster! Probably out of sheer desperation. :)

At 9:55 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

You're right about having accountability. I produce more when I have someone asking me what I accomplish each day. Competition works with me, too!

At 1:03 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I enjoyed the Unleash Your Story challenge, although I couldn't do very much because of my trip. The writing part was actually the easier part. I just didn't have the time to do any fund-raising.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I think writing challenges give a structure into which you can place your writing. It is always better to have a specific goal or a specific deadline. The thing is you can self-impose that goal if you want to!

At 7:23 PM, Blogger Delle Jacobs said...

I did a blog yesterday on Rose City Romance Writers on Discipline.
It kinda went over like a... wet noodle...

It doesn't seem to be anyone's favorite word.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous Rebecca said...

Thanks for including the beautiful painting of Woman Writing at a Table by Thomas Anshutz.

I fell in love with it and tracked down a print. My birthday's in a few weeks, and I always give myself a present. The print will be perfect, and will hang beside my desk.

At 9:29 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Happy Early Birthday, Rebecca!


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