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.