Three Questions For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

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*** UPDATE ****

I have added more types of goal badges for more flexibility, especially for those who may be in prep or revision stages or who think in terms of time instead of words:

(Note: If you'd like a different-sized badge than the one provided above, scroll down further on this page)

The goal of the Inkygirl Wordcount Challenge is simple: to inspire writers to write. Here's my Nov/2014 blog post about why I started the Challenge and why I need to take it myself (!). If you are a writer who has no trouble finding time to write and are already super-productive, you can skip the rest of this post; you don't need this Challenge.

This Challenge is for those of us who are constantly putting a certain writing project on the back burner because other Stuff always takes priority. This Stuff could be bill-paying freelance work, a day job, family obligations, favors we're doing for other people, other commitments. You might be procrastinating because of insecurity or fear of failure.

Too often, I find that writers start motivational challenges like NaNoWrimo with enthusiasm and good intentions, but give up when they start missing their daily targets for more than a few days in a row...undermining their confidence and defeating the purpose of the original challenge.

I also wanted a challenge that lasted the whole year rather than just a month. 

What are the rules?

Try to write 250, 500 or 1000 words (or whatever wordcount or time commitment you choose) a day, at least six days a week.

As long as you are sincerely and consistently TRYING to meet your wordcount goal each day, then (if you want) you can post the badge on your blog or website. If life occasionally gets in the way, that's ok -- as long as you promise yourself to get back on the wagon as soon as you can. If you sometimes don't reach your wordcount, that's also ok -- but try again the next day.

If you opt to use one of the badges, I encourage you to link back to this page in case others want to take the Challenge and are looking for more info BUT it's entirely optional.

If you prefer to keep your writing challenge private, that's also fine...but I have found that making a goal public can provide extra motivation and make you feel more accountable.

Where can I get the badges?

You can download various sizes of badges here: Timecount Badges - Wordcount Badges

What's to stop someone from posting the badge just for show?

Nothing. But since there are no prizes other than personal, the writer is only cheating herself.

Be honest with yourself. If many days pass without you giving full effort to meeting your daily wordcount goal, then take the badge off your site. If you're going on a long vacation and you know you're unlikely to be doing any writing, then you should take the badge off your site. For the Challenge to work for you, the badge has to mean something.

What if I find I consistently write less or more than my wordcount challenge?

Switch your wordcount challenge to a goal you feel is consistently achievable. If you start with aiming for 1000 words a day but are getting frustrated because you always write less, try for 500 words a day. Or 250. If you can write on five days, not six, then that's fine. Feel free to suggest other wordcounts. If there is enough demand, I'll make more badges. If you find 250 words/day too ambitious, start with a lower goal (50 words a day? 100 words?) and then gradually increase once you start getting into the habit of writing every day.

Remember, the goal of this challenge is self-motivation and increasing your own productivity. If you're just getting frustrated, then you need to change the challenge.

What type of writing counts toward the challenge?

Again, this is up to you to decide. Some writers may just want to count words written for a first draft of a novel. Others may want to include how many words they've revised. Still others may count ANY words they've written, including blogs, Twitter, non-fiction, outlining, poetry and other writing. As Chris Brogan says, writing begets writing.


If you don't reach your wordcount one day, don't try to make up for it by writing extra words the next day -- that increases your chance for repeated failure, which increases discouragement and the tendency to give up on your wordcount goal. DON'T GIVE UP. Modify your wordcount challenge goal if you have to.



Tips For Writing In Short Blocks Of Time - by Elizabeth S. Craig

7 Authors Who Wrote More Slowly Than George R. R. Martin - by Yohana Desta, on Mashable

750 Words

List of timed artist challenges: includes other types of artistic challenges in addition to writing

13 Free Writing Meters, Progress Trackers, and Word Counters - compiled by Tracy Lucas

Margaret McGaffey Fisk's Excel spreadsheet word count trackers and other writing tools