May went pretty well—except for all the people who didn’t finish. That is not the goal. It needs to be a real challenge, but it also needs to be possible. Rules have been tinkered with for June.
In June, 2015, write for at least half an hour every single day.
Go for 60 if you’re feeling tough.
Yes, that’s it.
FOUR WAYS TO WIN
“A” TEAM: Write for 60 minutes a day
“B” TEAM: Write for 30 minutes a day
24-HOUR TIME TRIAL: 60 minutes a day for 24 days
12-HOUR TIME TRIAL: 30 minutes a day for 24 days
WHAT COUNTS AS “WRITING?”
IF YOU WRITE AT A COMPUTER: “Writing” means you are physically present at a computer, and your word processor is the only app that’s open.
IF YOU WRITE ON A NOTEPAD OR TYPEWRITER: It’s in front of you, and so is a pen or pencil.
In writer talk: Your ass is in the chair.
- Staring at the screen counts as writing, as long as you do it for the appropriate amount of time, with a word processor (and nothing else) open.
- Going to the kitchen does not count toward writing time.
- Going to the bathroom does not count toward writing time.
- Talking on the phone does not count toward writing time.
- Looking at your phone does not count toward writing time.
- Playing games does not count toward writing time. Yes, even if it’s your PROCESS.
- RESEARCH DOES NOT COUNT. Research is not writing.
- Interruptions do not count toward writing time. That’s right, even though they weren’t your fault.
CAN I BREAK UP THE 30 OR 60 MINUTES?
RULE CHANGE: YES. This is all on the honor system. You know if you did the amount you’re claiming.
CAN I MAKE UP TIME IF I MISS A DAY?
RULE CHANGE: YES, LIKE THIS:
- ONCE A WEEK, you accrue one “double up” day, for making up a missed session
- YES, your double-up days roll over to the next week.
- NO, they do not roll into the the next month’s challenge
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
You don’t sign up. You show up.
DO I NEED TO DECLARE WHICH CHALLENGE I’M DOING UP FRONT?
NO. You know what the four ways to win are. Aim for one. I don’t need to know which. (Though you can feel free to say so, either here or on the Facebook Group.)
WHAT DO I GET IF I WIN?
Also, there may be stickers.
WHY WOULD I BOTHER WITH THIS WHEN I CAN JUST SIT DOWN HALF AN HOUR A DAY AND WRITE BY MYSELF?
No clue. That’s your business.
WHAT DO I NEED TO PROVIDE AS PROOF?
Nothing. To quote the guy I ripped this off from: As is true for all worthwhile things, this is on the honor system.
YOU RIPPED THIS OFF? WHO’D YOU RIP IT OFF FROM?
Iron Rider, a fellow randonneur (look it up), proposed a 30-day cycling challenge in March: The “A” Team was challenged to ride 60 minutes/day, the “B” Team would ride 30, etc. It didn’t matter how fast, how much elevation gain, whether it was an official event or a grocery run, or even whether the bike had wheels. (Indoor exercise bikes were allowed.) The only thing that mattered was that your ass was in the saddle and your legs were pedaling.
I demurred, claiming (honestly) that I didn’t think I could commit to 30 days with my custody schedule being what it was. Next thing I knew, the “TIME TRIAL” options had been added, allowing more days off. So now I had to either do it or admit I’d been full of crap with my “I’d love to, but the kids…”
So I did. 30 minutes/day, 30 days. “B” Team. If it was snowing, I went out. If it was raining, I went out. If I had a long car trip, I put the folding bike in the trunk and stopped along the way to ride my 30 minutes, and when I got to my destination, I rode there too. But mostly I rode around my new town, aiming the wheel onto roads I hadn’t been on before. My Strava heatmap blossomed. When the challenge ended, I was riding again.
There are things about endurance cycling and novel writing that are the same, not least of which is this:
The truth is, you’re generally the only one who cares if you finish, except maybe your family, and mostly they just want you to be nicer to them.
That will be a blog entry for another time.
But fundamental to both is this: Put your ass in the right place, and keep it there. All things grow from there. (Not from your ass, wisenheimer—you know what I meant.)
OK, SO WHERE’S THE FACEBOOK GROUP?
Right here. Feel free to talk about the challenge, post pictures of your desk, or…you know…whatever.
Facebook does not count as writing.
WHO DO YOU EXPECT WILL DO THIS CHALLENGE?
Honestly? I have no idea.