Hour-a-Day Challenge: The RECKONING!!

Well, it’s October!!!!

And that means the September Hour-A-Day Writing Challenge has come to an official close.

How’d we do?

Pretty damn well, thank you very much! Enough that a core group of us are re-upping the challenge for the month of October. (WOOOOOOT!!!! I’m so excited about this!!!) Also enough that I’m going to give away that $25 gift card that I promised if I “succeeded” in the challenge. Leave a comment below to be entered in the drawing!

I can’t say we were all perfect this month—I certainly wasn’t. Since my mid-month check-in, I had a couple more stumbles as the teaching job had some especially overwhelming days (damn you, long school days that merged into late afternoon meetings that merged straight into late-night power grading sessions that kept me up till 1 a.m. and had me up at the crack of dawn the next day!!). But I wrote ALMOST every day, and I certainly stayed immersed in the stream of my story far more than I usually can in the early weeks of school.

That daily expectation to put the butt in chair for at least a minimum amount of time truly is a powerful momentum-builder.

Here are a few more comments posted to our Accountability Group’s Facebook page on our “final” (but not actually final after all) day:

  • “Given that today is the 30th, I probably won’t finish the rough draft of my novella by midnight tonight… But I should definitely finish it this week… And a good measure of credit has to go to this group and this awesome collection of ladies. While some days were less productive than others, I wrote every freakin’ day since I signed up to do Elisa’s challenge. Ya-Hoo!” 
  • “That month went by fast. I didn’t get an hour in every day, but I didn’t miss nearly as many days as I would have had I not had this group giving me the fish-eye! LOL And the very best result is my novella is DONE !! …..Thank you, ladies, for cheering me on…..[Tomorrow] is the perfect day to start another month of writing every day!….I’m counting on you to keep me on the straight and narrow! Let’s give October writing hell !!”
  • “I can’t believe it’s been a month already. I had a bad weekend and skipped 3 days in a row …. urgh!! That will be 4 days missed in September … but trying to remember that this is a new habit and I’ll stumble … and I still wrote 26 out of 30 days this month! Pretty awesome!!

And from today, because we’re looking forward now:

  • “Welcome to October, oh intrepid challenge comrades! Writing today may be a bit sporatic–my sinus meds haven’t kicked in–but write we will. Never give up! Never Surrender! (Yes, I like Galaxy Quest).”

I want to give a HUGE shout-out to everyone who joined me in this writing challenge, and to all those who are forging ahead with gusto into October!!

I also wanted to re-post a comment Ruby Sister Hope Ramsay made on the original Hour a Day Challenge post, just because I found it so reassuring and inspiring:

  • “I’m jumping on to congratulate anyone who is seriously pursuing this 1 hour a day commitment. Because I know it works! This is how I wrote something like 15 novels over a period of 20 years while trying to make my first sale. It’s really amazing the way the word count grows if you give a little time to this every day. I still do it, although since I’m writing under contract, I devote more time these days.”


 If anyone else wants to join us, just shoot me a message on Facebook: I’m Elisa Beatty.

 Full steam ahead!!!!!



36 responses to “Hour-a-Day Challenge: The RECKONING!!”

  1. I’m up late working on editing my novella so I am checking in with the Rubies to let them know what a great experience the September challenge was for me. Thanks to the challenge and the amazing Kate Parker kicking my butt on a daily basis my Christmas novella is finished and I am doing final edits before this puppy goes to the member of our anthology who will be formatting it for publication! You read that right, Rubies. Thanks to Kate’s generous invitation my very first published work will be coming out before Christmas. How cool (and SCARY AS HELL!) is that??

    I am definitely in for the October Challenge so I can finish my current full length WIP and enter it in the Golden Heart.

    We’re going to give October Writing hell !!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That is sooooo wonderful, Louisa!!! And it’s a terrific story–perfect for Christmas, with my very favorite kind of wounded, passionate hero!! Sigh!

      I can’t wait to see it out in the world!

  2. It was great fun to know we were all reaching for the same goal albeit for different reasons, at different times, and even in different parts of the world. Did I write every day? No. I missed one or two, but that’s a great deal better than I had been doing, and I made up for those missed days with a couple of all night stints. Of course, my house needs a cleaning crew and the gardens aren’t at their best, but the dirt and weeds aren’t moving until I move them (I do vacuum every day; with seven animals in the house, that’s just plain self-defense), so I’m not going to sweat it.

    Bring on October!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      If you’re vacuuming every day, you’re way beyond me! (Though we did have guests over for dinner last night, so frantic cleaning happened for the first time in a month.)

      Yay, Gwynlyn, for getting back in the writing groove!!!

      I know you can be a binge writer like me. Here’s to making this more steady method a long-term thing!!!

  3. Lynda Bailey says:

    For me, the best thing about the challenger month was that it kept my head in the game…er…story. 😉
    When I started my newest project – the 3rd novella in my Heartache and Hopeful series – I was still hung up on my last project and had a tough time relating to the new characters. But sitting down and working everyday on GRACE solved that problem! 😉
    Huge thanks (again!) to Elisa for organizing this wonderfully supportive venture.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      WOOOT, Lynda!!!!

      Here’s to forward progress and problem solving!!

      Your excellent good energy has been a great motivator for me all month!

      On to October!

  4. Vivi Andrews says:

    Congrats Elisa and All! Sending up cheers for all of you. I’m more of a feast or famine writer – I’m better at concentrated blocks of writing binge than the steady progress you have made. I bow down to your progress! 🙂 Here’s to another great month with the writing habit.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Lordy, I wish I HAD concentrated blocks of time for writing, but I just don’t, at least not frequently enough to really be productive. So for the time being, small, regular increments has got to be my path.

      I did my morning sprint with my sister, so I’m good to go for the day!

  5. Ladies,

    What a wonderful goal. I only write 5 days a week and keep the weekends for my family. It’s quite a commitment to write for an hour everyday so I commend you.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      On the weekends, I usually wake up hours before my family and sprint with my sister or far-flung writer friends. It’s my best writing time of the week, since I don’t have to stop after an hour to race to work.

      Luckily, the teenager sleeps in now, and the little guy usually gives me at least a couple quiet hours before the cartoons start blaring.

  6. Way to go to all those shooting for the goal! And especially to those who made it. I did…not. But I will try again in October. These pesky kids (who are tracked out for 3 weeks) are cutting way into my productivity. Maybe I just need to get over my mommy guilt and tell them to watch TV all day : )

  7. Tamara Hogan says:

    Congratulations to Elisa, and to all the writers, from (to use Vivi’s ‘feast or famine’ analogy) someone who writes in appetizer-sized servings, each and every day. 😉

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I’ve really taken your advice about writing in the morning to heart….it really is fantastic not to feel guilty for the rest of the day, knowing I got at least that much in.

      The other great benefit is that I can turn story details over in my mind throughout the day, so I have fresh materials ready to put on paper when I sit down to write again.

  8. Kim Law says:

    Great job to all of you!!! Setting goals like this and working together helps so much. Good luck in October!

  9. I joined late, and still didn’t make an hour every single day, but seeing the reports of other people did make me buckle myself into my chair on days that I might have skipped writing. So way to go you guys for encouraging the rest of us to keep at it!

  10. Liz Talley says:

    Awesome jog, Elisa, and everyone else who completed the challenge. I wish I had. I got a lot done but there were definitely days I didn’t crack open the wip.

    Way to go and I wish you all the best of luck for October!

  11. Keely Thrall says:

    I wasn’t in the right headspace to sign up for September, but would love to jump on board for October!! Where do I sign up???

    I love group accountability and group cheers. They make the lonely writer a little less so!!

  12. Carrie Padgett says:

    I love this! What a great concept for getting words done and stories told. I want to sign up for October, but I’ll be gone for all of next week on vacation. Although … I’ll surely be able to get some time in and some is better than none!

  13. Carla says:

    I must confess I didn’t get in an hour every day; some more, some not at all. BUT I did have some emotional experiences IRL that translated into the story really well, and that got me excited to finish the MS. It’s not completely finished yet (the pesky day job got in my way) but I know how I want it to wrap up. I just need to get BICHOK and I’ll get there! Thanks for the push, Elisa!!

  14. Jessica Ruddick says:

    Fantastic challenge! I just went back to work after having the summer off, and it’s been difficult to get back in the swing of things again. Something like this would definitely help me get my butt in gear…err…in the chair with the hands on the keyboard, I mean!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I hear you on the challenges of going back to work after a summer off….teaching really is a regular job (or two, or three) compressed into ten insane months.

      Keep your chin up!!!

      Want an invite to the Facebook Accountability group? It’s encouragement rather than pressure.

  15. Nikki McIntosh says:

    Elisa … a very big thanks to you for getting us all together!!! It was not only great to get the writing in every day … but to meet new writers and cheer each other on was icing on the cake!

    You rock!! Can’t wait to keep going in October!!

  16. Holly Mortimer says:

    Thanks Elisa for having me in the group. Made some of the most major accomplishments during September made possible by the amazing support group!


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