Three Questions For Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

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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 (!).

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.

Plus some of us write more slowly than others and do more outlining and editing along the way, or have limited time for extra writing because of day jobs, raising kids, etc.

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

Hence, the 250, 500 and 1000 Words A Day Challenge.

What are the rules?

Try to write 250, 500 or 1000 words a day (pick one of these goals), at least six days a week.

As long as you are sincerely and consistently TRYING to meet your wordcount goal each day, then 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 1000 words (or whatever your goal happens to be), that's also ok -- but try again the next day.

The badge has to link back to the appropriate challenge page (click on one of the above).

Where can I get the badges?

Click on the appropriate badge at the top of this post for more info.

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.



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

Simple word counters

Writertopia Wordcount Script: just paste in your text, hit SUBMIT and you'll get back the number of words.

General wordcount trackers

Curious Device: another little progress meter: straightforward word counter.

Writertopia progress meter: provides two graphical progress meters that can be embedded in your web page or blog.

NaNoWriMo word meter

Wordcount tools for Wordpress

Scribometer Progress meter by David Anaxagoras. This is the one I use (see the right-hand column of David writes:

Nick Momrik's Post Wordcount

ProgPress: A progress meter plugin for Wordpress