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Announcing the 2015 September Hour-a-Day Challenge!

Hard to believe, but another summer’s winding to a close.

For many writers, summer’s a slow time, what with family vacations and bored, housebound kids chipping away at their focus. For me, though, summer’s by far the most productive time of the year…because I’m a teacher, and the second I step back into the classroom in August, I barely get to catch my breath until late June.

Last year as I faced the return of my not-for-the-weak-of-heart day job, I vowed not to lose my summer writing momentum entirely: I committed to writing one hour a day for the entire month of September, and I challenged other writers to join me (see my original post here.)

And I did it! I really did it! I wrote an hour a day…well, almost every day. AND I GOT LOTS OF WRITING DONE even while the day job tried its best to crush me. (You can hear me cheering last October 2 here.)

The real, real beauty part was that the daily habit held out beyond September! If you were here for my 2014 NaNoWriMo Mid-Point Check-in and Final Reckoning posts, you know I avoided my usual binge-and-purge approach to getting my 50,000 words, and instead did slow-and-steady almost every day!!

Just take another gander at my final word-count chart (seriously, it felt like a miracle at the time…but a surprisingly do-able miracle):

winner-screen-1024x815It still makes me smile.

And, thanks to the Ruby Slippered Sisterhood’s Winter Writing Festival (the 2016 edition starts in January!! Watch this space for details!!), I kept up the pace through the dim, dingy months…and finished a new book in April.

YAY!!! The Tortoise beat the Hare for a darned good reason.

Well, I met 128 new students yeseterday, and the educational tidal wave is crashing over me once again. But I’m determined to make my hour a day happen this school year as well.

Who wants to join me for the month of September???

Last year, I set up an Accountability Group on Facebook so we could check in and cheer each other on, and I’d love to do that again.

If you want to join, let me know in the comments below. If we’re already Facebook Friends, I’ll send you an invite to the group. If we’re not, send me a Friend Request and we’ll get the process going.

Write on!!!

57 responses to “Announcing the 2015 September Hour-a-Day Challenge!”

  1. I’d love to join : ) I have a goal of 2K words a day, no matter what. Okay – earlier this week when I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia in both lungs and a sinus infection, I only wrote 900 words that day, but I made up for it the next with 3K words.

    I still have to figure out how to get my 2K on the weekends without making the family think I don’t want to be with them (which I do really, it’s just that my characters seem to listen to me more than they do, at least most of the time).

    Anyway – count me for an accountability page. And congratulations for sticking to your goals!

    1+
    • Elisa Beatty says:

      “I was diagnosed with walking pneumonia in both lungs and a sinus infection, I only wrote 900 words that day.”

      Only???

      Heather, you’re my hero!!

      I’ll be sending out invites some time tonight!

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    • Addison Fox says:

      Heather – I hope you’re OK!!! Walking pneumonia sounds like a very polite euphemism for “get back in bed!!!”

      Addison

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    • Hope Ramsay says:

      Heather, people with day-jobs take the weekends off. 🙂 I gave myself permission NOT to write on weekends a long time ago, and it’s really worked out well for me. The daily weekday habit allows me to produce lots of words 5 days a week. And then I don’t beat myself up about the rest of the time. Your family is more important than any book you might write. And feeling guilty about no writing (or writing) is a waste of time. Besides, you really do need some time away from the keyboard in order to recharge. I also choose to write some weekends — when I go on a retreat, or when I have a looming deadline. But, by and large, I think it’s important to take time away from a job. That’s why God invented Sunday. 🙂

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    • Rita Henuber says:

      Take care of yourself.

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Be sure to respond to my Facebook friend request if you want to be part of the Facebook group….it’s just a nice way to be able to check in about progress and cheer others on.

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    • Greta says:

      Hi, Elisa! Like Tamara, I’m not on Facebook, but consider me up for the challenge!

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  2. Kim Law says:

    Good luck with the writing goals, Elisa, and may you have an enormously wonderful school year!! 😀

    1+
    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Thanks, Kim! First day was great, but I’m already completely exhausted!!

      1+
      • Hope Ramsay says:

        Elisa, I’d like to take this moment to thank you on behalf of all the moms out there, for what you do. We would be sunk without you. And I know you don’t ever get as much appreciation as you deserve for a truly difficult and absolutely necessary job.

        So here’s hoping that this year’s group of students are all hard workers and behave like little angels.

        1+
        • Elisa Beatty says:

          Thank you, Hope!!

          Really, truly: working with young people is the BEST part of the job. They’re wonderful and inspiring and loving every day….even if they occasionally make me pull my hair out.

          It’s all worth it.

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  3. Addison Fox says:

    Elisa – go you on the goals!!! And count me in on the fun!!!

    Addison

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  4. Sonja says:

    I would like to join!

    1+
  5. Jean Willett says:

    Count me in! I’ve been working hard at regaining my schedule, so this will be perfect timing. 🙂

    and, Good Luck with your new school year!

    2+
  6. Hope Ramsay says:

    Hey Elisa,

    For about five years now, I’ve tried to put in at least three hours of writing time every weekday. (As noted above, I really try not to work on weekends.)

    This year I’m trying to step up my output. I’ve taken a little break in the publishing schedule in order to write a lot of content that will be released in quick succession. And I’m also trying to find the time to take that step into the hybrid author pool. So I’m definitely trying to bump up my chair time.

    Count me in on your accountability group.

    1+
  7. Keely Thrall says:

    Elisa! I’m in!

    1+
  8. Tamara Hogan says:

    Elisa, I don’t do Facebook, but I’m in – by default, I think. It’s my unshakable habit to write at least two hours per day, at least six days per week.

    1+
  9. Piper says:

    Send me an invite too! Happy school year!

    1+
  10. Jessica Darago says:

    Elisa, I’d love to get in on this. (This is the point where I have to admit that I am chronically distracted, disorganized, and overscheduled, so any tips on creating and protecting one’s writing time would me much appreciated. I used to use lunch hours…when I had lunch hours.)

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    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Yup, yup, yup….”chronically distracted, disorganized, and overscheduled”…that’s me, too.

      And lunch hours…that’s when I’ve got students lined up wanting help with college essays, or meetings with colleagues. I sometimes dream about getting to eat my lunch alone quietly in the park.

      But we CAN find an hour a day, somehow, somewhere, and keep the writing moving forward!!

      Glad to have you on board!!

      And like I said…I’ll try to organize some times in the chat room, which is an AWESOME way for the chronically distracted to find focus for an hour and get serious work accomplished!!

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  11. Talia Surova says:

    I’m in, Elisa! D goes back to school on the 3rd, and I want to kick into higher gear. I’m aiming for at least three hours a day, but one is a good minimum. (You should probably invite me as Tamar, not Talia. I don’t check the latter as often.)

    1+
  12. I’m in. I’m back to school as a parent and para educator. I’m trying to get back into an excercise routine, and I’m spending g way too much time trying to find that magic feather that will lead to better sales.

    What I’m not doing is writing.

    1+
    • Elisa Beatty says:

      We’ll get you back on track, Kristina!!

      And I’m thankful from the bottom of my heart every day for paras!! Our district has an unusually high percentage of kids with special needs, and paras work miracles all the time, helping those kids be successful in school in ways teachers just can’t give the one-on-one time to accomplish.

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  13. Kate Parker says:

    I’ll take your challenge. I need accountability as I have a lot planned and not a lot of get up and go.

    And Elisa, I am in awe of your stamina and enthusiasm for your job. Teaching isn’t something everyone can do.

    1+
    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Great, Kate!!

      And…I guess teaching really is a calling, as writing is.
      As much as it demands to do the job every day, I can’t quite imagine myself not teaching (or writing…just wish it was easier to balance the two!)

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  14. I’m in, Elisa! I really need to get serious about sticking my butt in the chair and actually writing.

    2+
  15. Christi Snow says:

    Count me in. I’m headed over to Facebook now to friend you. smiles…

    1+
  16. Katrina Snow says:

    Fabulous idea. I’m in!!!

    1+
  17. Sheryl Kaleo says:

    This is great. I’m in. I sent you a friend request!

    1+
  18. Rita Henuber says:

    What a great idea! It will certainly help to get everyone back on schedule.

    1+
  19. By September 1st I should have the sequel to Demon’s Wager plotted, so your timing is perfect! I’m in! We’re already FB friends, so I’ll wait for the invite.

    Thanks for doing this!

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  20. Elisa Beatty says:

    Okay…I’ve added everybody so far who’s a Facebook friend.

    A couple of you still need to Friend me on Facebook and/or respond to my Friend Request if you want an invite to the Facebook group (which, as I’ve said, is just a convenient way to check in about progress and cheer each other on). You can do the challenge without being part of the Facebook group, if you prefer, and you can just check in here on the Ruby blog once September’s done (I’ll have a post for a final check-in.)

    The group is getting lively!!

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  21. Jen Sako says:

    I’ve never done a writing challenge before so I’m intrigued. I’d love to be a part! I’ll send a friend request. Thanks.

    1+
  22. ME ME ME ME ME ME ME! Sorry I’m late to this, but I’d love to join in the fun!

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  23. Kathy Crouch says:

    I’ll join I need more motivation. Thanks for doing this.

    1+
  24. Ginger Calem says:

    I would LOVE to join you all. Elisa, I’ll friend request you right now. Looking forward to meeting and cheering on new friends and some much needed accountability.

    Ginger

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