Now that you have learned a little bit about me in my previous post, it is time to introduce my project. I simply call it a project but the term “challenge” would probably be more accurate. At the same time, it sounds more frightening than I want it to be. So just to make sure you are not misled, let’s say it is a project that I might ace or lamentably fail! 😉
There are two main inspirations I drew this idea from and I think I should present them before diving into the project itself.
The first one is the movie <i>Julie and Julia</i> staring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep. It tells the story of Julie who decides to blog about a self-appointed ordeal: cook her way through Julia’s cookbook within a year. 365 days. 524 recipes.
I found the idea of crafting your own significant challenge and reporting it on a daily basis quite interesting. It is a good way to push yourself further then where you would normally go, to get out of your comfort zone.
The second thing that inspired me is a challenge happening each November called the NaNoWriMo. It drives writers to start a novel from scratch and lay down 50,000 words in the course of the month. The focus is on quantity, not quality. The objective being to allow yourself mistakes for the sake of creativity.
This challenge requires a lot of commitment. Let’s face it 50,000 words in a month is a huge amount of writing when you are not doing it full-time. Still, the idea of just unleashing creativity to reach a goal has a strong appeal to bubbling minds like mine.
Roll these two ideas together, add a touch of me and somewhere in the middle ground, you’ll find The Writeaholic’s Blog.
The Writer’s Rules
1. I will write 1,000 words a week.
I chose this quantity of words because it is not too overwhelming. It is not a walk in the park either when you are juggling two jobs, a social life and a bunch of creative whatnot. I think this number strikes the right cord between “project” and “challenge”.
2. Each post shall be worth the reader’s time.
Here is the first twist: I shall not, under any circumstance, write a 1,000 words-long botched post. My objective is not quantity. That, I achieve without even thinking about it: I am really talkative. My objective is quality which is way harder to fit in limited space and time.
3. Each post should be snippet of an unfolding story.
That’s the part of the challenge that is really stressing me out. I want each 1,000 words post, give or take 50 words, to be like a chapter of a book: beginning, middle and end (ideally a cliff-hanging end.) 1,000 words is really short to do that and concision is my personal monster when it comes to writing. If I can manage that, you’ll have a coherent story to follow every week. Just like a very low-budget TV series!
4. The story is to come to a definite end at the 52nd week.
Not one chapter more, not one less. Yikes! Again with that concision problem… or it will be the opposite if I run out of intrigue before the deadline… Double yikes!
Why bother with these rules?
I know these rules can read as masochist throwing obstacles in her own way. I guess it kind of is: what can I say? If life doesn’t challenge me, I’ll challenge myself.
The good point of this, however, is that by the end of the year, I will have a 52,000 words story. This length is a bare 2,000 words over the minimum to be considered a full-blown novel. Yes, you have read right: by the end of the year, I will have written a novel in my second language. Hurray!
Moment of Truth
I have already laid out a rough outline of the story to use as a guide throughout this project. I am not jumping head first in this without a story to tell. I hope you enjoy murder… and a little supernatural. Nothing like a mystery-solving quest to provide one cliff-hanger a week. 😉
I have also written the 3 first weeks. This little jumpstart is all I allow myself to have: it enables me to be sick, on vacation, working overtime or whatnot and miss 3 weeks of writing over the year without failing my challenge. You know how life can get sometimes. I wouldn’t want to fail a year-long ordeal because I’m having another heart surgery.
The Reader’s Rules
I am very open to comments and constructive criticism. I will be pleased to hear from you and know that people read and are interested in my writing. I will be blessed to have you invested in my story. So do talk to me, I’ll do my best to answer comments. Do talk about me if you feel I’m worth your word-of-mouth.
That being said I want to set up one ground “demand.” I would have written “ground rule” but since I don’t really have a way to enforce it, let’s just see it as my special request.
Though I am not necessarily doing this to be published, it would hurt me to see my writings stolen and used without my name being mentioned. I do agree that once it’s on the internet, there is no real copyright and yadi yadi yada. But behind the internet are people who can be respectful. That’s what I’m calling for: respect.
I’m doing this for me. I’m doing this for you. I wish you’ll respect me enough and ask before borrowing my writing. I wish my name and the address of this blog will accompany any quotes you might want to use. I also wish I won’t read nasty hateful comments about my work but that, I’ll handle more easily then seeing my work plagiarized.
That’s it for now. I’ll be posting my first snippet of story on Sunday and every Sunday after that.
And for your information, this post is what 1,000 words looks like! 😉
September 17th, 2010 at 9:15 am
I think this challenge is an amazing show of character and quite a good idea. You remind me a lot of Rock Lee from Naruto (oops, my inner nerd is showing!). I feel compelled to copy your challenge but I think it better if I make my own challenge in some way. By the way, was that exactly a thousand words or just an estimation?
September 17th, 2010 at 9:51 am
I’ll have to check out that Rock Lee character. I never got around to watching or reading Naruto. Yet another item on my bucket list. *laughs*
Writing a serial is a good challenge. Some people write shorter chapters and don’t have a definite objective to end the story. It all depends on the difficulty level you’re aiming for and what your objectives are. I don’t mind you copying the challenge if it fits your goals.
And yes, it is 1,000 words almost to the word, not an estimation (Thanks to Microsoft Word’s word count feature, I don’t have to count them myself.) 😉