The "Write a Book in a Day" Challenge

The ChallengePhoto license

The “Write a Book in a Day” Challenge

The Book in a Day challenge is a miniature version of the Book in a Week challenge. You might actually write a book in the week long challenge. Very few can write a book in a day. I’d say nobody can, but then there’s Ryoki Inoue. Instead, the goal is to be ten times more prolific than normal for one day. If you get comfortable with the one day challenge, you might want to move on to the one week challenge.

This challenge forces you to massively increase your writing output for one day. Everything you write is in first draft. You do no planning, outlining or editing. The ideal goal is ten times your normal output. If you usually write three pages a day, you’re going for thirty. If you write 2000 words a day, you’re going for 20,000.

In the days leading up to your Book in a Day challenge, get some outlines and synopses ready to go. You want to have ten days worth of first draft writing planned out. Let everyone know when the challenge day is and that you won’t be available for anything else. Take care of that day’s tasks the day before and schedule appointments for future dates. Make a meal plan that minimizes the amount of lost time for cooking and eating.

On the day of the challenge, go straight into first draft writing. If what you’re working on requires editing or you seem to have hit writer’s block, stop that project and move on to the next piece of first draft work.

.Accepting the Challenge

I’m accepting the challenge for tomorrow. My daily word count average for the last 28 days is 1087. This makes my goal for tomorrow 10,870 words.

You might be wondering, if a person can write ten times as much, why don’t they do that all the time? Writing isn’t all first drafts. It takes time to come up with ideas and to shape those ideas into sensible outlines and synopses. Completed first drafts need to be edited and revised so they will be enjoyable and easy to read.

When the writing’s done, that’s not the end of it. The end product must be formatted for submission somewhere. For the internet, there is different formatting for every web site and it can take time to find an interesting creative commons licensed picture to go with it. For submission to offline publishers, there are different formatting requirements and a printed copy usually needs to be mailed somewhere.

All of those components of writing that are not the first draft tend to keep the writer’s daily word count or page count down. What this challenge does for writer’s is shows the value of concentrating on only first draft writing. If a writer can stick with only first draft writing for four hours a day, they can get a lot more written than if they were to keep jumping from project to project switching gears as they go.

The major project I’ve been working on is a book on making money writing online. It’s around 30,000 words so far and certain to go well over the minimum 60,000 word count for a book. It’s heavy on research so it wouldn’t work for the Book in a Day challenge. Instead, I’ll work on my crime novel. It’s a bit over 20,000 words at this point so lots of first draft work. In case I get stuck, I’ll use the Bad Boy Brook sequels as my alternate first draft projects.

It’s safe to say that part of my writing day during the challenge won’t be writing an article about how it went. You can expect a report on the results the day after tomorrow.

Article by Ivan Izo.


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