November writing challenge

A friend and fellow writer is setting up an online community to support and encourage women who write, Cafe Aphra (they have a blog and Facebook page), and this November they are running a month-long writing challenge, similar in style to NaNoWriMo, but a lot more flexible – you get to set your own goals, which can include working on an established piece of writing.

So, should I join in? Here are my pros and cons.


  • My story is dragging it’s feet at the moment, this might give me the push I need.
  • I really enjoyed NaNoWriMo, and felt huge pride when I completed the challenge.
  • I am away from home, where my writers group was, and haven’t found anyone here to write with yet, so an online community might work well.
  • I have the time, I am just not using it.


  • November isn’t the best month.We have a week school break (when we are heading up to Seoul) and Richard is in Singapore the following week. The weeks Richard is away I tend to organise more during the day, meeting for coffee, going for walks,  etc…, as otherwise I can go days without speaking to adults.
  • I can set my own target, which means I can set it really low and easily do it.
  • I am lazy and very easily distracted (oh, what is that over there?). Simple as that really. Do I want to commit myself to a daily amount of words?
  • During the NaNoWriMo, word count was king and I got a lot done, but now I need to consider the structure of the story, how it all hangs together, getting the tempo correct and fine tuning the writing. Can that be done with a daily target?

The cons are all just excuses, aren’t they? What month is ever the ‘right’ time? And as for being lazy/easily distracted that is exactly the point of signing up.

OK, I am going to do it! Now I just need to decide my target. I have a first draft that I am going over so I am not writing fresh new words, so it some ways it is easier I can occasionally copy and paste sections in, but other times the first draft has got into a real tangle and needs to be completely rewritten. I don’t want it to be too low – I need to pick up speed and start getting somewhere, but also too high and I will fail, or I will rush and loose quality. Hmmm, tricky. Time to take the plunge.

I am going to write 1000 words a day for five days a week, which is 22 days, so 22,000 words. Bringing my total for the second draft up to 46,000.

Wish me luck.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandra Howells
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 17:28:46

    Yeh! You can do this, write in the evening once the kids are in bed. No exhausted? then it will have to be in the quiet of the morning before they get up and go to bed exhausted with them. The joy of juggling.


    • Esther Haydock
      Nov 03, 2012 @ 09:11:54

      Thanks mum. I have plently of time, I am just not using it. The school bus leaves at 7.30 (no way am I getting up even earlier) and then they don’t get home until 4.30. So masses and masses of time. Almost too much as I end up wasting most of it.


  2. Gill C
    Nov 02, 2012 @ 23:40:11

    Go for it!! Very impressed that you’re setting yourself the challenge! Keep us updated on the blog ( and do those words count too??)


  3. Trackback: November is over « Same me, different country

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