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Posts tagged with: Winter Writing Festival

Announcing the 2015 Ruby Winter Writing Festival!!!

Caught up in the holiday frenzy?

Remember to pencil in a little post-holiday gift for yourself: THE FIFTH ANNUAL RUBY SLIPPERED SISTERHOOD WINTER WRITING FESTIVAL STARTS JANUARY 12, 2015!!!

If you’ve joined us for the Winter Writing Festival any time during the past four years, you know it can be a tremendously productive time, with lots of inspiring support and the magic of REGULAR WRITING SPRINTS!!

It’s completely free, and all writers are welcome—the more the merrier!

Through the bleakest part of winter—January 12 through March 2 this year (since February ends during a weekend)—the Winter Writing Festival will be here to keep your creative fires burning, with camaraderie, encouragement, fun prizes for participants, and as much virtual hot-chocolate (and virtual cookies!!) as you please. ‘Cause nobody’s Muse can resist a party!

Here’s the beauty part:  unlike NaNoWriMo and other writing challenges that (much as we love them!!) have a one-size-fits-all approach, the Ruby Winter Writing Festival is designed for you.

No matter what stage you’re at right now (brainstorming, plotting, free-writing, fast-drafting, slow-drafting, revising, layering, polishing…or any combination of the above) the Ruby Winter Writing Festival wants to give you fuel for your winter writing fire.

We use a “point” system, with a goal of earning one point on average per day.

Everybody gets one bonus point on the first day for stopping by the Ruby blog and making a public commitment to take part in the Festival. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including January 12), you work to earn an additional point—and YOU DEFINE WHAT IT TAKES TO EARN THAT POINT.

Here are some examples of the sorts of things you might define as worth one point (you fill in the variables with the amounts that work for you):

-writing X number of words or pages

-deep revising Y number of pages

-polishing Z number of pages

-freewriting / brainstorming for Q number of minutes/hours

-doing R number of 20-minute writing sprints

-keeping butt in chair and hands on keyboard for S number of minutes or hours

For instance, one person might commit to earning points according to the following terms:

-writing 500 words per day  OR

-deep revising 10 pages per day OR

-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day OR

-participating in an hour of writing sprints

Any day that person meets ANY of those goals, she gets a point.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO CAN’T PREDICTABLY WORK *DAILY* BUT KNOW YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH A GOAL BY THE END OF A *WEEK*, we’re also officially giving you permission (not that you ever needed it!) to set a weekly instead of a daily goal, and then give yourself 7 points when you make it!! (See? It’s SUPER CHILL AND FLEXIBLE around here.)

You can also give yourself BONUS POINTS for auxiliary goals, like writing new words every day for seven days in a row, or reaching a certain word count by the end of a week, or writing THE END on a manuscript. Be creative with how you set up earning your points. Make them work with your personal writing style and writing needs.

If you can’t meet your goal on any particular day (or week), you can certainly double or triple or quadruple your goal on another day (or week) to catch up.

And if you know ahead of time that you can never work on certain days (say, Saturdays) feel free to add something like “Keep balance in my life by taking Saturday off” to your personal list of ‘ways to earn a point.’ Yes, really, you can get a point for taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

Remember, we all have different life commitments and different approaches to our writing lives, so we all need to set our own goals. All goals are equally worthy. This isn’t a competition, it’s a supportive process for MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR WRITING.

Check in on the Ruby blog every Monday during the Festival to report your progress. If you reach March 2 with at least 50 points, YOU WIN!!

Because we’re the Rubies, and we like to do things up right (and…okay, because we have the awesome Liz Bemis of bemispromotions.com) we’ll even have a special sister website up and running during the Festival which you can access by going to rsswwf.com or by clicking the blue “Ruby Winter Writing Festival” button which will soon appear near the top of the Ruby site.

Everyone who commits to participating on January 12 will be able to download a cool “Ruby Winter Writing Festival Participant” badge (similar to what’s shown at the top of this post) to post on their own website or blog.

Plus, everyone who checks in on a Monday reporting that they’re on track with earning points will be entered in random drawings for cool prizes, like copies of craft books, copies of books by published Rubies, and expert critiques from the Sisters!

If you check in on Friday, February 28 and report you’ve WON, you’ll be able to download a “Ruby Winter Writing Festival WINNER” badge to post on your website or blog.

And of course you’ll have the satisfaction of achieving a small boatload of wonderful shiny writing progress (not to mention eternal fame and glory…and cookies!).

What’s not to love?

Decide on your personal terms for earning points, and join us back here on Monday January 12 to get started!! And spread the word on your loops, Facebook, and personal websites! The more writers who join us, the stronger we’ll all be!

Winter Writing Festival Closing Ceremonies

embersGreetings, Festival Goers! Once again, we’ve reached Day Fifty of the Winter Writing Festival!

 This is our Final Check-In Thursday and Closing Ceremonies rolled into one.

 You still have ALL DAY today to work towards your goals–nothing ends until midnight your time. (As always, the Festival is always about YOU.)

After that, though, the great Writing Festival Torch (yup, it’s real, carved out of a gigantic ruby and guarded by handsome cabana boys…right here next to me as I write) will be extinguished until next year. But we know the embers will keep on glowing, and the Creative Fires will continue to burn bright inside each one of you!

 In the end, let us know if you made your goals!!  Once you’ve have reached 50 points based on your personal point system,  you can copy the fabulous .jpg below and post it proudly on your own website:

rss_winterfestival-winner-badge-2014_300x150

 We hope you’ll continue joining us right here on the Ruby blog for your daily dose of writing inspiration as we continue on our collective writing journeys.

Be sure to stop by the Ruby blog next Monday, March 3, to share your Reflections on the Winter Writing Festival–after you’ve had a few days for it all to sink in, tell us what you’ve learned in the process, and give us advice and ideas for making the Festival even BETTER next year.

Also, starting in the next couple weeks, we’ll begin counting down to the Golden Heart and Rita Nominations for 2014. And be sure to join us on  March 26 for our raucous CYBER-PARTY as the finalists’ names are announced. We’ve got our fingers crossed for some of the WWF Participants’ names being announced and want to pop a bottle of cyber-champagne with you!!!

Many of you have been asking whether sprints might be continuing even after the end of the Festival. The Chat Room over at rsswwf.com will remain open. If any regular sprinting groups have plans to continue in your time slot, please say so in the comments below. Some Rubies have also proposed the use of a #rubysprint hashtag to call sprinters together. SPRINT ON, sisters and brothers!!

I want to take a quick moment now to thank our wonderful and amazing Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of bemispromotions.com who built both our websites! We could never have held this Festival without her!

 But now, grab a steaming mug of cyber-cocoa and some of our scrumptious Festival Finale cyber-brownies, and leave a comment below (jump to the Ruby blog, if you’re over on the WWF site) summing up your WWF experience.

 Of course, since we’re the Rubies, prizes are involved. Anyone who leaves a comment today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following:

 1) Captured Heart and Tangled Heart (set) by Heather McCollum.

2) A $10.00 Amazon gift certificate from Anne Marie Becker.

3) An e-copy of Capturing The Cowboy’s Heart by Lindsey Brookes.

4) A set of 3 books; The House of Steele Series: The Paris Assignment, The London Deception, The Rome Affair by Addison Fox. (USA only)

5) A $25.00 Amazon gift certificate from Darynda Jones.

6) A Kindle copy of PERFECT by Autumn Jordon 

7) A first chapter critique (contemporary romance-25 pages) by Kim Law and a gift pack of chocolate (US only).

cover check in 7

Plus, this year for the first time, we’ll be awarding our $250 Grand Prize Gift Card to one lucky Festival participant who checked in on every Check-In Friday AND can proudly say, “I EARNED ALL 50 POINTS DURING THE FESTIVAL!”

snow print

 

Thanks, everyone, for being with us this year!

 

It’s been such an honor to share in your incredible energy and creativity, and we wish you the best on your journey forward!

 

We’re hoping to meet as many of you as possible in person at Nationals…and we’re looking forward to seeing your Festival books on the shelves before too long!

Winter Writing Festival CHECK-IN (Week 5)

Here it is—already WEEK 5 !!!

If you’ve made your goals so far, you should have earned 36 POINTS! (The day one sign-up gave you a bonus point for the first day!) Don’t despair. You can always make up points. If you’ve fallen behind, just work on catching up over the next few weeks. Even writing nonsense is better than a blank page!

Here are a few suggestions on how to increase your chance of succeeding in making your goals.

Make your writing a top priority! Write SOMETHING every day, even if it’s just a chapter heading.

Set your goals to an achievable level to avoid discouraging yourself. You can always exceed your target. For example, I set my daily goal at 1,000 words a day, and I’ve been consistently writing over 1,500. So I have a surplus for the days I wake up feeling lousy or my electricity goes out.

Lose the all or nothing mindset. If you fall behind, don’t worry, just jump right back in and keep going!

Take advantage of our chat room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/. It’s open at rsswwf.com site. Check the times posted on the RSSWWF site (blue site) for your sprint hostesses and come join us. If there are no sprints scheduled, come hang out. Other writers frequently drop by hoping to find sprinting buddies. If you haven’t had a chance to try sprinting yet or if you’re not sure how it all works, Kim Law did a great post on how the sprints work right here.

The writers who sprint are usually more successful at making their goals and sticking with it to the end. I’ve gotten to know a lot of you in the chat room, and sprinting has been an invaluable tool to help me achieve my goals. Not to mention it’s LOTS OF FUN!

Now, share with us how you did this week and 5 lucky commenters will receive one of the five fabulous prizes below (1st winner gets first choice, 2nd winner gets second choice, etc.). So be sure to comment on this week’s progress, whether good, bad, or ugly. We want to cheer you on or commiserate. And remember—you can’t win the GRAND PRIZE at the end of the festival ($250 online gift certificate) if you don’t check-in every week.

Here’s the SWAG that’s up for grabs for Week 5

1) An e-copy of Her Hard To Resist Husband by Tina Beckett

2) An e-book Only in Vegas or Operation: Date Escape by Lindsey Brookes

3) A $20.00 Amazon gift certificate from Bev Pettersen.

4) Kindle version of Hotter in Atlanta by Liz Talley

5) A first chapter critique (contemporary romance-25 pages) by yours truly, Laurie Kellogg, and an e-copy of one of my books. RubyWeek 5 Checkin

*NOTE: If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), make sure you jump over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) before leaving your comment!

Here’s hoping you make lots of progress this week as we sprint toward the finish line! Happy writing! We can do it!

 

Winter Writing Festival: Check-In #4

 

Wow, are we at the halfway point already?! As Elisa’s post on Tuesday pointed out, we’ve crossed the halfway point in this marathon.

You may be chugging right along, pacing yourself perfectly to cross that finish line on time and with your goals met. Or you may have tripped over a loose stone, run smack into a boulder, splashed through a puddle, fallen and skinned your knee, or gotten stuck in a poppy field.

I’m here to tell you that finish line is still reachable. (*adopts drill instructor tone*) Get yourself up, dust yourself off, and push, push, push. You can accomplish amazing things. I know you can.

Tell us how you did this week and 5 lucky commenters will receive one of the five fabulous prizes below (1st winner gets first choice, 2nd winner gets second choice, etc.). So be sure to comment on this week’s progress, whether good, bad, or ugly. We want to cheer you on or commiserate. And remember – you can’t win the GRAND PRIZE at the end of the festival ($250 online gift certificate) if you don’t check-in every week.

Here are the prizes up for grabs this week:

1) Tamara Hogan: Tempt Me in winner’s choice of format.  (Print USA only)

2) His Forever Girl (winner’s choice of format) by Liz Talley (Print USA only)

3) An autographed copy of Last Chance Knit & Stitch by Hope Ramsay (US ONLY)

4) A $20.00 Amazon gift certificate from Vanessa Barneveld.

5) A first chapter critique (25 page max) contemporary or romantic suspense by Autumn Jordon

 

TamaraHogan_TemptMe_100pxHisForeverGirl_300-142x225Last Chance Knit & Stitch coveramazongiftcardperfectsml

*If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), make sure you jump over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) before leaving your comment!

Wishing you forward progress and happy writing vibes in the coming week! You can do it!

Winter Writing Festival Check-In Friday!

Hello Winter Writing Festival Participants! Welcome to our second Check-in Friday! So…how did you do this week? Did you meet your goals? Did your muse come out to dance, making your fingers fly across the keyboard and the dialogue flow without your conscious thought? Or were your kids home, demanding sippy cups and play dates until you had to lock yourself up in the closet to sprint to the end of your daily word goal?

We want to know! So make sure to comment on this blog on the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site for your chance to win one of the 5 following prizes (1st winner picks first, 2nd winner picks second, and so on):

Lindsey_RedneckthCAI7V1YXNaughtyKarma72lg-150x225[1]thCA47M2NJAnneMarie_DarkDeeds-150x225[1]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1) A Kindle copy of Romanced By The Redneck by Lindsey Brookes.

2) A $20.00 e-gift certificate to Powell’s Books from Shoshana Brown.

3) Two e-books (winner’s choice) by Vivi Andrews

4) A $10.00 Starbucks gift certificate from Tina Beckett

5) A first chapter critique (25 pages max) any genre by Anne Marie Becker.

 

If you are reading this on the blue WWF site, pop over to the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood site (www.rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) to comment. You must check in every week on the RSS site to be eligible for the grand $250 prize!

 

Wishing you every success this week!

Winter Writing Festival: Check-In #5

The Third Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is coming to the end of its fifth week. It’s hard to believe we’re on Day 36 of the festival – people have been doing an outstanding job meeting their goals and it’s time to celebrate!

Today we complete our 5th full week, and it’s time to officially check in!

If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog (the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far.

A few odds -n- ends before we get to the goodies.

1.  THE WWF CHAT ROOM – COME JOIN US!

Our Chat Room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/  is open over at the rsswwf.com site. You can check the times that are posted on the RSSWWF site (blue site) for your sprint hostesses and come join us.

If you haven’t had a chance to drop in yet or if you’re not sure how it all works, Kim Law put together a great post on how the sprints work right here.

2. If you’ve made your goals so far, you should be at 36 POINTS! (The day one sign up got you a bonus point for the first day!) Don’t forget, you can always make up points so if you’ve fallen behind, just work on catching up over the next few weeks. All writing is good writing!

If you made your goals, please add a line in your comment in all caps saying I MADE MY GOAL!!! You will hear us cheering loudly!!!

If you’ve fallen a bit behind, don’t worry, just jump right back on and keep going!

3. There’s still time to download your Festival Participant Badge right here:

If you’d like to post the badge to your personal site, you can grab it here.  Just right-click on the badge below, choose “SAVE IMAGE AS” and save it to your computer. You can then upload it to your own website as you please!

writing-fest-2012-template copy

 

AND NOW FOR THIS WEEK’S SWAG:

Anyone who checks in at the Ruby blog today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following prizes – don’t miss out!:

  • Synopsis critique (Amanda Brice)
  • A Breath of Scandal (print) by Elizabeth Essex
  • Edge of Light and 2-book set of Remnants series (eBook) by Cynthia Justlin: Her own Best Enemy and Intrusion
  • Ruby-slipper ring holder (Gwynlyn MacKenzie)
  • $20 Amazon Card (Diana Layne)

So come join us and let us know how you’re doing! How did Week #5 go? Did you make your goals?

I hope you dance

I’m sure you’ve all heard the song “I hope you dance.” It came back to me forcefully in, of all places, dance class.

I call the class “Line Dancing for Zombies.” While many of our classmates are young and active, we have one lady who is 91 and another in her mid 80s. One of my classmates had a complete knee replacement less than six months ago and is dancing rings around me because I dance like a pregnant water buffalo. A good reason to line dance. It saves on apologies to partners.

Today we had a man join our class who is on portable oxygen. He didn’t know any of the steps; none of us do when we first join. He had the extra weight of the oxygen tank to carry with him as we moved and turned. He shuffled through the class, watching what the rest of us were doing and trying to keep up.

He made it through the class. He had the choice to sit out exercise with his oxygen bottle or make the effort to come in to the YMCA and dance, and he danced. It was his own steps rather than what is choreographed for each piece of music as he tried to figure out what we were doing, but he danced.

We’re two weeks into the Winter Writing Festival. By now the first flush of excitement is over, and the tedious slog of doing what you said you would do every day is wearing you down. Things are coming up in your life. The dust bunnies are multiplying, the kids are coming down with the flu, a new project has come up at work demanding more of your time.

Like the man who had the extra weight of the oxygen bottle and lungs that must have quickly begun to burn from the need to rest, you have a choice. You can sit out putting those words on paper or on the computer screen, or your fingers can dance across the keyboard. I hope you dance.

How is the Winter Writing Festival going for you?

WOOO-HOOO: It’s the Winter Writing Festival’s Week One Check-In!!!!!

The Third Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is really rocking, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of their always-talented friends writing their hearts out!

Today we complete our FIRST FULL WEEK, and it’s time to officially check in!

If you’re reading this on the Festival website (the blue site), jump on over to the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog ( the ruby-colored site, at rubyslipperedsisterhood.com) and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far.

(See info on SWAG you could win, below!!)

A few bits of business before we move on:

1.  CHAT ROOM SPRINTS ARE FABULOUS!

A reminder to those who haven’t jumped in with the writing sprints yet: our Chat Room http://www.rsswwf.com/ichat/  is open over at the rsswwf.com site. The sprints have helped MANY Festival participants make amazing progress! You don’t have to be in first-draft mode either: the sprints work just as well if you’re in the planning or revision stages too. It’s just a great way to get butt-in-chair and stay focused for a couple hours!

If you’re still unsure, or feeling a little shy, check out Kim Law’s really helpful post about how the sprints work right here.

2. We’re at EIGHT POINTS! (That’s where you should be if you made your goals all week. You should have nine points if you got the bonus for signing in on the first day! And some of you have been heaping up extra points–so if you’re ahead of that already, good for you!

If you made your goals, please add a line in your comment in all caps saying I MADE MY GOAL!!! You will hear us cheering loudly!!!

If you’re a bit behind, NO WORRIES!! You can  always double up on later dates, OR revise your goals is your original ones were a tad too ambitious. The point is to KEEP WORKING and MAKE PROGRESS!! We can’t say it enough: the Festival is designed for YOU!

3. Git yer red-hot Festival Participant Badge right here:

If you didn’t get your badge up on your personal website yet, you can grab a copy right now.  Just right-click on the badge below, choose “SAVE IMAGE AS” and save it to your computer. You can then upload it to your own website as you please!

writing-fest-2012-template copy

 

4. Is it too late to join??? NEVER TOO LATE!!!

If you’re just discovering us, or if you’ve got friends burning with jealousy because they’ve heard of all of the progress you’ve made in the Writing Sprints, tell them to jump right in!! They can give themselves Super Bonus Golden Sunshine Points (or some less embarrassing name, if they prefer) to make up for any days they’ve missed so far, and move forward from there.

AND NOW FOR THE SWAG:

Anyone who checks in at the Ruby blog today will be entered in a random drawing to win one of the following prizes (just because we love you!):

Now it’s YOUR turn, Festival-goers!! How did the week go? Did you make your goals??

Third Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival Opening Ceremonies

roaringfireWe now declare the Winter Writing Festival OPEN!
Let the Games begin!!

To get your BONUS point for today, add a comment on the regular Ruby Slippered Sisterhood blog in which you:

1) define how *you personally* will earn your Festival “points”

and

2) declare your commitment to earning 50 points by the end of February. (Further details on goal-setting follow below).

That’s all you really need to do–we’re a pretty casual bunch around here. (Leaving a comment today also puts you in the running for some cool prizes–the first of our fabled Festival Swag, which we give out every Thursday from now until the end of February!!)

But to get the most from the Winter Writing Festival, leave your comment on the regular Ruby site, then jump over to our special Festival site, rsswwf.com, and officially register. Click on the “Member” snowflake near the upper right of that page, then click on “Register for the site.” When you log back in throughout the Festival, you can add points to your progress bar and see how far you’ve come.

The very BEST thing about the rsswwf.com site, though, is the CHAT ROOM, which we use for writing sprints. Those of you who’ve participated in the Festival before can testify that writing sprints are pretty darned miraculous at helping writers be super-turbo-powered productive–even if your busy life normally makes it hard for you to get much written.

You just click on the Chat Room link in the box near the upper left of the rsswwf.com site (right under “Sprint Schedule), and you’ll jump to the chat. Give yourself a name, and you’ll find yourself in a virtual space with other writers also eager to get work done. A Sprint Hostess will be there to greet you and show you the ropes. Sprint Czaress Kim Law has some great instructions here.

Typically, we chat (via typing) for a few minutes between sprints, then write like crazy for 20 minutes, then come back and chat some more. Just knowing other people are writing while you are–and waiting to hear your new word count when you chat again–will keep you in your seat and cranking out those words. You can get inspiration, great advice, and (in half the chats I’ve been in) just laugh yourself silly. DON’T BE SHY!!!! It’s fun and easy…and practically magic!

To help keep you inspired between writing sprints, grab yourself a Participant badge (right-click on the one below and then click on “save image as”) to upload to your personal website.  (You can also find the Participant badge in the About section of the Writing Festival site.)

writing-fest-2012-template copy

You can also check in daily at the Brag Blog (scroll down towards the bottom of the rsswwf.com site), where you can report on how your writing day has gone, and celebrate whenever you earn a point! You’ll also find inspirational daily quotes and links to Ruby posts on craft to pull you through when you’re feeling a little stuck.

Also, check out the fantabulous Winter Writing Festival swag you have a chance to win if you meet your goals each week. (You can also purchase some cool Winter Writing Festival swag yourself–including coffee mugs, tees, sweats, and totes with the Festival logo–at our Cafe Press store.)

The Swag you can win today just for leaving a comment on the regular Ruby site includes:

  • 25-page critique from Heather McCollum
  • 25-page critique from Anne Marie Becker
  • Set of first three books in the Death & Taxes series (print), by Diane Kelly: Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure, Death, Taxes, and a Skinny No-Whip Latte, and Death, Taxes, and Extra-Hold Hairspray
  • Choice of one of Laurie Kellogg’s books (eBook or Print)
  • $20 Amazon Card from Autumn Jordon
  • $20 Amazon or B&N Card from  Sara Ramsey

What’s not to love? (Our thanks to mega-talented Ruby Sister Liz Bemis of bemispromotions.com for designing both sites!!)

If for any reason you have technical problems registering today: don’t panic!! Just leave us a message here in the comment trail, and get started earning points for the Festival.  We’ll make sure you get registered ASAP.

You don’t want to miss out on those sprints!!

A quick review of the goal-setting and point-scoring rules:

Everybody gets one BONUS point TODAY for coming to the Ruby blog and leaving a comment that makes a public declaration of your commitment to take part in the Festival and a public announcement of your goals. Then, for each of the 50 days of the Festival (including today), you work to earn an additional point—and you define what it takes to earn that point.

Here are some examples of the sorts of things you might define as worth one point (you fill in the variables with the amounts that work for you):

-writing X number of words or pages
-deep revising Y number of pages
-polishing Z number of pages
-freewriting / brainstorming for Q number of minutes/hours
-doing R number of 20-minute writing sprints
-keeping butt in chair and hands on keyboard for S number of minutes or hours

For instance, one person might commit to earning points according to the following terms:

-writing 500 words per day OR
-deep revising 10 pages per day OR
-doing a final polish on 25 pages per day

Any day that person meets ANY of those goals, she gets a point.

YOU set the goals that meet your personal writing style and writing needs. (For more advice on how to set up your goals, see here).

If you can’t meet your goal on any particular day, you can certainly double or triple or quadruple your goal on another day to catch up. And if you know ahead of time that you can never work on certain days (say, Saturdays) feel free to add something like “keep balance in my life by taking Saturday off” to your personal list of ‘ways to earn a point.’ Really. You can earn a point by taking a planned day off!! Don’t be shy.

Remember, we all have different life commitments and different approaches to our writing lives, so we all need to set our own goals. All goals are equally worthy. This isn’t a competition, it’s a supportive process for MOVING FORWARD WITH OUR WRITING.

We want the Festival to work for YOU!

Check in at the Ruby blog every Thursday during the Festival to report your progress (and be entered in random drawings for some of the Festival Swag).

If you reach the end of February with a nice round 50 points, YOU WIN!!

Good luck all, and GET WRITING!!

Winter Writing Festival: Week Six Check-In

Where has the winter gone? It’s already time for the Winter Writing Festival Week Six check-in, and we’re entering the home stretch. There’s ONE WEEK LEFT (said in a British “Mind the Gap” voice, so as to incite calm progress rather than screaming panic).

Some of you have been plugging away at your goals and making consistent daily/weekly progress. If you’re one of those people, stand up and take a bow! I wholeheartedly applaud you (even while wondering how you did it, since ‘making consistent daily progress’ has never been one of my traits). You only have to keep it up another week. And once this week is over, hopefully you’ll carry those great habits into the rest of the year and achieve more than you thought was possible.

Some of you have been working in fits and starts, catching up some weeks and falling behind in others. That’s fine too! I’m a big believer in celebrating all progress, whether you technically hit your goal or not. If last week just wasn’t been your week, for any reason, don’t be shy about checking in anyway. No matter how much or how little progress you made, you’re still moving forward. You’re still eligible to win some of the book giveaways below (and get some encouragement/commiseration/motivation in the comments section). And you still have a week to catch up. There will be more sprints to help motivate you, and I’m sure you’re not going to be alone if you’re chained to your desk writing frantically this weekend.

We’re in the home stretch. The best part of this week is that it’s not quite the end — so you still have some time to catch up, wrap up, and end on a high note! And no matter whether you “win” or not, I would encourage you to think about what worked for you over the past few weeks and replicate it whenever you write, not just during the festival. If you love sprints, use Twitter to meet up with other writers and sprint there. If you like the accountability of a points system, suggest doing something similar with your critique partners. I would love to hear any strategies you’ve found useful for meeting your daily/weekly goals, whether you’ve applied them consistently or not!

Anyone who checks in today (on the Ruby blog – check in there if you’re reading this on the WWF site!) is eligible to win one of the following:

Covers for Week Six Prizes

In addition, if you report in and say I MET MY WEEKLY GOAL (in all caps), you’re eligible for the drawing for any of these awesome prizes:

  • 1 chapter critique from Liz Talley (chapter of winner’s choice)
  • 1 chapter (up to 20 pg) critique by Vivi Andrews
  • $10 Amazon Gift Certificate
  • Audiobook of Georgette Heyer’s Sylvester read by Richard Armitage and a copy of Elizabeth Essex’s The Danger of Desire
Best of luck, everyone! Here’s hoping we all meet our goals by February 29!
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The Latest Comments

  • Tina Joyce Beckett: Rhymes, we sure have them. Not to mention those haikus. A talented crew. (Ha…I’m...
  • Elisa Beatty: This is just amazing….and even your pile of dirty dishes looks way more aesthetically appealing...
  • Elisa Beatty: Congrats, Rita, and WOW WOW WOW….what a gorgeous cover!!!! I salute you for taking this big leap,...
  • Louisa Cornell: SO printing this out! Absolutely brilliant. Love goofy villains. (To the tune of Jingle Bells)...
  • Bev Pettersen: Brilliant, Hope! Thanks for the grin.

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