Starting at 12 a.m. the first Saturday of each month and ending at midnight the following Friday prior to our meeting, members of HCRW who wish to can take part in the Book-in-a-Week challenge.
If you are not already signed up, simply send an email to HCRWBIAWfirstname.lastname@example.org asking to join and a moderator will send you an invitation. Once you accept the invitation by Replying and Sending, you will be a member of the group for as long as you like. You do not have to participate every month, but we would love it if you do.
Book-in-a-Week a competition of sorts, but it’s so much more. It’s about the camaraderie as we to urge and cheer each other to our writing goals. The person you are truly competing against is yourself and your inner editor. For one week, turn off the editor that haunts your writing and simply write as much as you can as often and as quickly to reach your own personal goal. No looking back, no editing, just writing.
At the end of each day, you make notes to yourself for the following day on what you should be writing (since you’ve invoked that “no looking back” clause, see above), and then you post your totals and comments on a HCRWBIAW@groups.io. Posting our daily word count is one of the perks of BiaW. By sharing your goals, your accomplishments and your setbacks you allow other participants to celebrate or commiserate with you. Writing is a solitary sport, but for one week, we get to experience what if feels like to be part of a team. As team members we know each of us must do our part to build the collective word count. This will usually be enough to get your butt in that chair and produce something. Anything. You can do one page, just 250 words, right?
Yes, there may be days when all heck breaks loose and total word count is zero. No, no one will make fun of you (unless your excuse is really funny!). We all know what it is to juggle life and work and writing. Some days the washing machine breaks down or the kids get sick or your husband/wife decides to whisk you off to some exotic island (okay, we do write romance so I can fantasize). Stuff happens. We’ll sympathize and cheer you on to make your goal.
Setting your goals. If you normally write 250 words per day but usually only 3 days a week, maybe add another day, or two to your goal. Plan ahead but be realistic. Don’t make your goals too easy or too far out there. We want you to succeed.
You will edit and revise afterward, not during. Before BiaW begins, get your manuscript or basic idea in order so you don’t have to stop to draw new charts, figure GMC, world build, whatever. Consider informing the people you live with that you won’t be available for one tiny week. Either fix your meals ahead of time or appoint a substitute chef. Let the housework go! Buy a case of Febreeze and say adieu to the laundry.
The idea is to invest as much of your energy as possible in new writing for one week.
BiaW is great for starting new projects or fleshing them out. If you are not starting a new project during this week your word count might be smaller but that’s okay, there is still room for you in BiaW.
The person with the most words written at the end of the week is the winner of Book-in-a-Week. But if you have achieved your goals of writing, whether it was 500 words or 5000, you too are a winner. Win or lose, it’s about getting new words written. You can edit a bad page, but you cannot edit a blank page.
Remember, BiaW is for a rough draft only. The idea is not to be perfect, but to churn out pages that can be made perfect… later.