It’s the Week One Check-In for the Winter Writing Festival!!!

The Eighth Annual Ruby Slippered Sisterhood Winter Writing Festival is fabulously under way, with the Ruby Sisters and dozens of their always-talented friends writing their hearts out!

Yesterday we completed our FIRST FULL WEEK, so today 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 and leave a quick comment about your experience with the Festival and your progress so far. That will put you in the running to win some of today’s Check-In prizes!!!! (See info on SWAG you could win, below!!)

A few bits of business before we move on:


A reminder to those who haven’t jumped in with the writing sprints yet: our Chat Room is open over at the 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 whatever chunk of time you want to stay for!

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 at the end of the day today if you earned all the points you were supposed to this 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 earned all your points for the week, 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 point-earning system if your original was a tad too ambitious. Really, seriously, it’s 100% okay to say, “I need to change my goals” or “I need to add in a less-hefty way to earn a point for my toughest days.”

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, or show your commitment on the social media of your choice!




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.

Want to invite friends? Feel free to borrow the image below to post on Facebook or Twitter:






Any participant who leaves a comment today will be entered in a random drawing for prizes, which include:

Now it’s YOUR turn, Festival-goers!! How did the week go?

Did you stay on target??

Are your point-earning system and goals working for you? If not, what changes do you want to make for the week ahead?

138 responses to “It’s the Week One Check-In for the Winter Writing Festival!!!”

  1. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’ll go first!

    So….I MADE MY GOAL!!!!

    I very purposefully set my goal small–just 30 minutes a day, averaged out over the week.

    And I did it!!! It felt so goooooood!!! And I can’t wait to do more writing sprints.

    Hope everybody else’s week went well, too!

  2. Jo Jackson says:

    I’m so excited to be able to say… I MADE MY GOAL!!!

    I wrote every single day, managing 500 words or more on a good few days.

    I also took part in my first ever sprints which was so much fun and so productive. Working life during the week means I’ll have to wait for the weekend to sprint some more but I definitely plan to join in again!!

    Hope everyone else’s first week has been awesome whatever your goals!

  3. Dana Britt says:


    *high fives all around* Yaay for Week One!

    My goal this week was simple yet sometimes challenging–stay focused for more of my sprints/writing sessions than not.

    I wander, y’all…oh, I wander…

    BUT–this week was a SUCCESS! Lots of progess made on my WIP with the bonus of new friendships begun in the chat room 🙂

    • Yay! Congrats on your progress, Dana!

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I said this over on the rsswwf Brag Blog, but I’ll say it again here, too:

      Many of us are prone to wander (hello, ADD!!!)…I find that declaring a specific sprint goal to the other folks in the Chat Room, like “I’m going to try to get at least 250 words this sprint,” can help me keep my butt in the chair. Knowing I have to report back to the group after that 20 minutes (or 30, or whatever it is), gives me that added edge of “fear of shame” that breaks through my ADD and makes me more motivated.

    • Congrats, Dana. It’s been so much sprinting with you.

  4. Elise Hayes says:

    Woot! Congrats, Elisa! Particularly during the winter doldrums, having this extra motivation to stick to–or even increase–your writing is huge.

    Good luck with the upcoming week!

  5. Elise Hayes says:

    Hi Dana B! I think we met in the chat rooms with Vivi this week (my first time sprinting).

    CONGRATS on making your goal! High fives!

  6. Lille says:

    DID MY GOAL!!!

    And more! I have 16 points. This is my first experience writing a book and with the RSSWWF, so I did more just to make sure. I am very grateful to Priscilla Oliveras (my writing teacher) as she directed me here. The sprints worked like magic….thank you everyone for the encouragement….you are all great!
    Now on to finishing my first draft and more!

  7. Elise Hayes says:

    Erm…so the two comments above were supposed to by replies…not sure what happened (although given my gift for screwing up tech, there’s a good chance the problem was me 🙂

    At any rate…I MET MY GOAL!

    My goal was 1 hour per day, (ideally) 5 days per week, for a total of 5 hours per week.

    I did it! I managed 4 days of writing, but caught up yesterday with a long sprint session in the morning. Whoo-hoo!

    I’m back into my book after a long time away and it feels good to be writing again. Thanks, Rubies!

  8. Elise Hayes says:

    Yay on the springs, Lille! They’re amazingly motivating, aren’t they??

    And 16 points–WOW!! Congrats!

    Good luck with the upcoming week!

  9. This week? I CRUSHED IT.

    I decimated my goal, got TONS of new words with excellent progress on my WIP and read two of my RITA entries already! I am a MACHINE, baby! And I want to keep this momentum going! Write on, everyone!

  10. I MADE MY GOAL! I’m ready to whip this bad-boy of a first draft into shape. Thanks, Rubies, for giving us this great accountability system!

  11. Alyssa Henderson says:

    I met and surpassed my goal. Woot!! Bring on week 2 🙂

  12. Lisa Olech says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!! (Plus!!)

    Thanks for the ruby slippered kick in the kiester!

  13. Debbie says:

    My main goal – editing my rough draft – I made and then some. Yay! But I came up slightly short on my other goal (500 words 5 days a week on the new project). I’m about 300 words off. I’ll try to make up for it this week. I also won a free ebook, Perfectly Charming, which I’m enjoying very much. Good luck everyone in week 2.

  14. Rachel Kolodziej says:

    I didn’t make my goal but I did make progress. I have a total of 6 points including the bonus point for signing up. I lost focus a bit and wasn’t sure what to write and it hurt my goal for the week. So, I’m going to spend some time today planning what I will be writing this week so I can sit down and get to work every day without hesitation.

  15. I met my goal–sort of. I did get 8+ points, but I didn’t work every day. I made a ton of progress on editing my WIP over the weekend, so that’s all good, but I want to get back into a rhythm of putting the butt in the chair for at least a little bit every day.

  16. Hana Sheik says:

    I did stay on target!

    I’m actually planning to step into the chatrooms today. I’ve been away from the computer, so I’m excited to be getting a BOOST from all that sprinting. 🙂

    My goals for Week Two are the same:

    -500 words/day towards WIP
    -1 hour of editing/reading over first draft

    I’m also tagging on, because my TBR pile for January is still hefty:

    -read for 2 hours

    Best of luck to everyone! See you in the chatroom~~~~

  17. Sadly, didn’t make my goal. Plan to catch up later when I don’t have so many other things on my plate, altho’ I got one new hurry-up task earlier this week that may cost me another day’s work. Will see. Otherwise, going strong!

  18. Nicole Terry says:


    I had an overall goal of 100 pages and so far (and thanks to Lizzie one day in the chat room!), I’m at 15 pages.

    And I even came up with a title. The rest of the story is rough but it’s slowly coming together in my mind.

  19. It was by the skin of my teeth, but …I MADE MY GOALS.

    It’s been an eventful seven days, and today is the third snow day in a row, but I’ve written the words, had some breakthrough brainstorming sessions with CPs on another project, and I’m pretty much on target for finishing by Feb.

    *Pours another mug of coffee*

  20. Panthera says:

    Although I didn’t make my goal, I did manage to end the week with five points and complete a first draft. I ended the week with stepping in to the chat room to sit through three sessions of sprints and wrote just under 1000 words. Now comes the hard part – Editing it down to 500 words. Thank you to the women who ran the sprints as well as the others attending who supported me in writing this difficult piece.

    Hopefully, I will be able to get into a groove (as long as life doesn’t keep getting in the way lol).

    Good job everyone!


    But must admit the enthusiasm is a bit fake as I got the points but mostly for the easiest of my five goals as the writing goal was the one most often missed.

    Determined to do better this week!

    • There are priorities in life. We all have them and sometimes are writing has to take a back seat. Don’t stress over those times. Know you made the right choice and move on.

      Join a sprint for only a half hour each day. You’ll make that writing goal.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      I second Autumn on the sprints!!!

      You WILL get writing done if you join them!

      You can do this!!!!

  22. Darynda Jones says:

    Congrats, everyone, who made your goal and to those who didn’t. You’re still working and making progress, so yay, you! I’ve ended the week with 7 points, so not too shabby IMHO. (I don’t have the best record.)

    Great job, everyone!

  23. Kali says:


    My point system is working well for me. I thought I’d have some trouble this week with the long weekend and my son’s school activities requiring extra driving but my point system allowed me to easily stack points early on so I didn’t fall behind.
    The sprints are totally helping to beat my procrastination too!

  24. MELANIE MACEK says:


    I didn’t think I was going to. I even asked about changing it. Thanks to the sprints, I not only met my goal of 3500 words in a week, I SMASHED it all yesterday. I ended up with 5918 words for the week, 4321 during yesterday’s sprints. I know the rest of weeks won’t be like that, but this was a great way to get me back into it. Thanks to Shelley, Autumn, Darynda, and Addison for running the sprints yesterday.

  25. Jennifer Brodie says:

    I MADE MY GOAL of writing 90 mins per day! And since I popped my back on the way to my first writing session I have the RSSWWF to thank for keeping me accountable. I never would have written otherwise. I always seemed to be out of sync with the chat room sprints!

    • Congrats Jennifer on making your goal. As far as the chatroom, check it out anytime. Even when a sprint isn’t scheduled there could be another writer in there looking to sprint. Many friends have been made during WWF.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Congrats on the goal!! Sorry about your back…

      And, yes, I second what Autumn says…hang out in the chat room and see if someone else stops in, or email a writer friend and agree to meet there whenever.

      If there are times that work well for you, you can mention them in your comments next week and see if they work for someone else as well.

  26. PennyH says:

    On track! Morning sprints (even though I can’t stay for the entire time) are getting things moving. Thanks, AJ! 😀

  27. Cynthia Huscroft says:

    Although I didn’t make my goal, I did manage 7/8 points & attend a 4 day knitting and quilting retreat where I polished my finishing techniques for knitting projects.

    However, while there, I did read the first three chapters of my WIP to my cabin-mates. One comment…”I can’t wait to read i to my granddaughter when it’s finished.”

  28. Jaycee says:

    The festival really helped me get in my groove last week!

    I joined 3 sprint sessions last week–one of them for 4 hours! I just couldn’t get enough 🙂 So that gives me 3 points.

    During that time (and in other writing sessions) I edited 7 chapters for a point a piece.

    And then I get the sign-up bonus point, so my total is 11 points! Whoot! I’m so excited!

    I’m really glad I have that cushion, since there is a tummy bug going around, and i have a feeling this next week is going to be under rather than over my goals.

  29. Sharing your work takes guts. I’m proud of you!

    • Cynthia Huscroft says:

      That’s what they all said, Janet♥ Oh…& btw passed through Tennessee twice…”waved”:)

  30. Jolie Mohn says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! And while my goal wasn’t terribly ambitious (just 500 words a day) it did get me 4,730 words for the week which is more than I usually write in January, so I’m happy. I have a total of 9 points right now.

  31. Catherine Moore says:

    No zero days so far- this is so keeping me on track- woohoo!

  32. delia says:

    I MADE MY GOALS! I’m going back through my WIP and reworking sections to make the story flow better. I’m really excited about how it’s going. Now I just need to make it to one of the sprints.

  33. Sonja says:

    I MADE MY GOAL! Butt in the chair everyday, and I’m rolling. Haven’t made many sprints, but I’m rolling.

  34. Made my 5,000 word weekly total! I’m so psyched!

  35. Geena Gallardo says:

    I almost made my goal!!!! I mean I still got all the points from utilizing my easy days, but I did not get to write every day like I was hoping, but I was able to scheme and scheme each day, which can be much easier for me to keep my muse a-moving. I definitely need to just slap myself across the face when I have free-time and tell myself to write, write, and write some more.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      Keep that muse moving!!

      Seriously, if you haven’t joined a writing sprint in the chat room ( you really owe yourself a session or two. TRULY helps get words on the page, and it’s fun and friendly.

  36. Patricia Mohn says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! I’ve written every day and have done one thing a day toward helping my writing. I even got the extra point for signing up. The Winter Writing Festival is really helping me stay motivated.

  37. Phyllis Mohn says:

    I MADE MY GOAL!!! My goal was to write 100 words a day and I have consistently gone over. I made a total of 9 points, with the extra point for the first day.

  38. Julie Findlow says:

    I almost forgot to check in but I made my goal! It has been a productive week of preparing for revisions. I’m looking forward to hanging out in the chat room more next week when I’ll be actually writing because that timer is very motivating!

  39. Betsy Gray says:

    I didn’t make my goals, but I did earn a few points AND I opened up my WIP and gave it a complete read-through. And I made story notes. That’s more progress than I’ve made in a while.

    I’m resolving to do better in week 2.

    • Elisa Beatty says:

      That’s so awesome, Betsy!! I think there’s nothing more satisfying than picking up the reins again after some time away.

      You’ll really get rolling next week!

      Do try the writing sprints in the chat room! You can see the schedule over on our site, or jump there directly at

  40. Elisa Beatty says:

    I’m so happy hearing about all the great progress and energy this first week!!!!

    I’m so proud of each and every one of you!!!

    I’ll choose our prize winners tomorrow and let you know you gets the swag!!!

  41. Rasha Selim says:

    Sorry I work a 12 hour day on Wednesday so it’s going to be hard for me to check in on that day.

    I have written 11,243 words and have posted twice to my social media accounts.

  42. Liz Jakes says:

    Joined late, did 2 sprints, then had to use an Emergency day, but life happens, so there we are–did manage 5 points, and hope to catch up this weekend. The sprints are great!!

  43. Colleen says:

    I made my goal and was able to edit about 24,000 words this week. Not too bad. Haven’t done my hour yet for today, but I have it scheduled.

  44. Elisa Beatty says:

    The swag winners are:


    They’ve been contacted by email.

  45. Stephanie Baassler says:

    I did not make my goal. But I’m not worried, I’ll catch up. Good news is that my butt’s been in chair today and I’m actually writing again. I feel positive going forward.

    Going to add to my ways to earn points. So now it will be:

    Write 500 words, 1pt
    Do a writing sprint, 1pt
    Plot/Plan/Outline 30 minutes, 1pt

    So as of 1/20 11:00pm CST, my points sit at 2.


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