Labor Day weekend I set off on what I thought would a fun challenge to fill up my extra days off work. Over the past year, I’ve found some great authors on Twitter both traditionally published and self-published like me. One of those amazing people, Tasha L. Harrison, invited other writers/authors to join her as she attempted to write twenty thousand words in the course of the holiday weekend and end up with the first draft of a romance novelette.
While I wasn’t interested in starting a new book I did see it as a great way to finish one short story novelette and work on my first thriller, tentatively titled The Key of D. I didn’t have to go to my regular job from Saturday until Wednesday. If I started Friday night I could use the time to really put an effort into writing, right? Friday night I got home, made dinner for the kids and sat in front of my laptop with a full bottle of water, some snacks, and the drive to start. I opened my Google doc to my next Travel Trysts volume and picked one of the four shorts to continue. Everything was going smoothly – until my brother called to chat. Two hours later I started again and managed to get out a few hundred words before the kids went to bed. Once the house was asleep I proceeded to write my last sex scene of the book – and then erase it because it was horrible. At 11 pm I called it a night and shut off my laptop. Word Count: 701, not bad for half a day and a lot of distractions.
Saturday morning I woke up as usual at 6 am wanting to get in at least two hours of writing before the kids got up. Of course, that meant that they got up at 7 and started asking for breakfast soon after. A quick break to cook and I decided to check my email because somebody might really need to email me on a Saturday morning. I deleted every new email but one, an early morning ad from my favorite store that I can never buy anything full price, Lane Bryant. Now usually I scan and trash quickly because it’s something I don’t want or need but today was different, today they were having a doorbuster sale, on bras!!! For those of us who fit into the “special size” range of bras, you know that a $25 bra from Lane Bryant is a rarity. The store didn’t open until 10 am so after I showered I got in a whole hour of writing before I went. I scored two really cute bras and after a side detour into Trader Joe’s, they were in the same shopping center so I had to go in – I needed snacks and we all know TJ’s has the best. I got back home around noon, fixed lunch and dived back in. The kids went to their Dad’s for the next two days so I was pumped. A long detour on YouTube and a few episodes of The Good Place (yes I watched it already but I love it) had me at 5 pm. I buckled down and opened up my thriller hoping to have a good sprint and it worked – until I fell asleep at the computer. I gave up and shut it down. Word Count: 1492, abysmal but at least I doubled the count from Friday.
Sunday was amazing! I set my alarm for 5 am, no kids meant a whole friggin day to write. I had the good snacks from TJ’s and nothing but free time. When I say I went hard, I WENT HARD! With nothing but bathroom and meal breaks I opened my thriller, kicked ass and took names. Shout out to Trader Joes’ Truffle and Mozarella flatbread and their macaroons! Word Count: 9200, this stellar day put me back on track to make 20K a possibility. If I could write 4600 per day on the last two days I could do it.
Monday being Labor Day meant another full day to write, no school runs and with the kids still at their Dad’s I had until he dropped them off at 4 pm to write. I set my alarm for 6 am but woke up at 4:30 am with a migraine, just great. I took some ibuprofen and curled up in a ball, no laptop or tv lights, until noon. Once I felt better I wrote on both of my WIP’s for a while. Word count: 4768, I managed to get a decent day of writing in but I was feeling pretty bad most of the day.
Tuesday morning brought the start of school for the kids so I was up at 6 am getting them ready but I didn’t sit to write until after 10 am. I made a lot of progress on my thriller and I feel really good about it. I set a cut off time of 9 pm and stopped so that I could get a decent night’s sleep. Word Count: 4508, not bad for a slightly busy day.
My final word count for the challenge was 20,669! I came close to finishing my short story novelette, Amorous Autumn coming out Sept. 23rd, and I added over 14K to my thriller. I was skeptical in my ability to get it done, I’d never written close to that amount in less than a week and as you can see I’m not the most disciplined when it comes to setting aside time to write. This was a big test for me as a writer. I would love to do this full time and one day I will but I need to get serious about it first. I have so much free time that I fill with binge-watching shows and Youtube that, while I try to write while watching, I never get much done. I plan to do another challenge during the Thanksgiving break (haven’t decided on a word count yet), I want to be more serious about it this time. Treat it more like a job and not a hobby. If I can do that then I can start making serious plans to write my thriller with the intent on shopping it around. Though I’m self published I’d like to find a literary agent for my non-romance titles.
So that was my adventure in the #20Kin5Days challenge. Thanks to Tasha for coming up with this challenge. And I’d like to give myself a pat on the back for not only accepting the challenge but putting in the effort to see it through to the end. I had fun despite the migraine and I’m glad I did it.