How #MonsterWritingWeekend Can Help You

So, anyone who’s been following me on Facebook or Twitter recently will have seen the hashtag #MonsterWritingWeekend cropping up. It started as a challenge I set with the awesome AJ Rose over Memorial Day Weekend, when we were bitching about how slowly the WIPs were progressing. We decided to challenge ourselves to the impossible: write 45,000 words in three days.

In the lead-up to the event we drummed up some support on Facebook and then through the weekend we updated regularly with our wordcount. To say it was gruelling was an underestimation. On the first day I managed 12,662 words. On the second, 10,372, and on the third and final day, 6,202 words. That gave me a total of 29,236 words in a single weekend. Just over 15k off my target, but by no means was I disappointed. And, interestingly enough, AJ’s totals were almost identical to mine.

So pleased were we, in fact, this weekend we decided to do the same thing again. We set a more conservative target of 25k (as AJ works at the EDJ on Fridays, so I was limited to 6 hours writing time to make things fairer). On Friday I managed 4,955 words, and yesterday, 7,278. That leaves me today with a target of 12,767 words if I want to make the full 25k. As I type I’m at 3,129. I’m not sure I’ll make it all the way, but even if I stop now I’ve done over 16k so far on a brand new WIP.

Indeed, since the first #MonsterWritingWeekend, I’ve finished not one but two WIPs (of 40k and 62k respectively) and I’ve got a damn good start on another. I’m beginning to wonder when I’ll have the time to edit and revise everything I’ve written! And even in between these mammoth tasks, I’m finding my writing speed has increased overall: from an average of 3-5k a day to 5-7k.

For this second weekend, we roped in another pair of victims writers, Theo Fenraven and Geoffrey Wakeling. Their targets are more conservative, but the point is simply to push yourself to write more than you would on a normal day. There is something immensely satisfying about ending a weekend frazzled and exhausted, but smug in the knowledge you have 10k or 20k or 30k more written than you started with. Targets be damned.

I’m sure this is something we will continue to do, and I’m sure the number of participants will continue to grow. It’s great fun, and we owe a massive debt of thanks to all our cheerleaders for jogging us along whenever we start to flag. Somebody even made us a video. (And we love her for that and many other reasons.)

This weekend is coming to a close, and I still have 9k left to write (and 5.5 hours in which to write it) if I’m going to make that target. I’ll probably miss, but if I can get 20k total for the three days, I will be deliriously happy. Watch out for that little WIP progress counter to the right spiking 😉

Feel free to follow along on Facebook or Twitter, to shout encouragement or simply join the peanut gallery. Authors, the next time we descend into the pit of madness don’t stand on ceremony — join in! You’ll have a blast, I guarantee it.

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I shall end on a brief housekeeping note: I’m off to the wilds of Scotland where the internet is barely known from next week, but fear not! I shall be taking all those WIPs I’ve recently finished and shall be scrubbing them until they shine while I’m away. Expect notifications about the release date for the second Puddledown book early in July, as well as exciting news about a brand new menage trilogy. Of course, if you’ve been following along on Facebook, you’ll already know all about that 😉

For those who might have missed this when I posted it in January, here’s a sneak peek at the opening of my menage story. Enjoy!

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9 replies on “How #MonsterWritingWeekend Can Help You”

  1. Ginny says:

    Hey! We have the internet – just about! A mobile signal is a trickier thing altogether though! But we do have whisky and a monster(and midges) and mountains (and more midges!) You’ll have a fab time here!

  2. FABULOUS weekend! I loved the updates and to see all you wonderful authors get so into it and push you all to completion!!! Can’t wait to witness it again

  3. I’m sorry that I missed it!

    Sounds like you got a lot accomplished. I’ll have to keep a better lookout for these kinds of things. I love challenges like that. They make me write faster, and even if I can’t participate, I’d definitely be cheering from the sidelines!

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