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2011 Write-a-Thon, Week 3

July 10, 2011

Hello, friends of Clarion!  As we begin Week 3 of the 2011 Write-a-Thon, everyone at Clarion is very impressed with the enthusiasm that our participating writers have shown right out of the starting gate.  The good news is that we are already nearly halfway to our $15,000 goal!

On the other hand, donations have slowed down considerably after that first rush of activity, so it’s time to buckle down and think hard about what we can do to entice friends, family, fans, and social-network acquaintances to happily chip in $5, $10, or whatever they can afford to ensure that Clarion has a class of 2012.  For that reason, I am leading off this week with the fundraising challenge, and putting the writing challenge second.  There is no Clarion Angel.  It’s up to you, friends!

First, let’s take a moment to look at our top ten donation-earners so far.  Kari Maaren got busy last week and jumped onto the list at the number four spot, while the rest of our names have held relatively steady.  Will Ferrett Steinmetz walk off with the top prize once again?  Or will Victoria Griesdoorn or an unexpected challenger rise up to defeat the reigning champion?

  • Ferrett Steinmetz
  • Victoria Griesdoorn
  • Amelia Bruce
  • Kari Maaren
  • Kelly Lagor
  • Liz Argall
  • Nathan McDaniel
  • Keffy Kehrli
  • Dallas Taylor
  • Donaya Haymond

Week 3 Fundraising Challenge

Sometimes if you want to get a little, you have to give a little.  A show of generosity toward your fellow writers can be returned partially, completely, or even tenfold!  Ask yourself how much you can spare for Clarion this year, then look over our list of participating writers and ask yourself who on that list is deserving of your appreciation.  Altruistic types can quickly grasp the warm-fuzzy feeilng that goes along with this type of “mutual admiration society,” but warmhearted givers aren’t the only ones who can benefit from this approach!

Her’s something for you more competitive types to chew on: while you may feel that you’re undermining your own chances by helping other writers, the math still comes out in your favor.  If you give $5 to 10 different writers, and even two of them respond in kind, you are already bumping yourself higher up the list than you have bumped anyone else.  The more you spread your love around, the more your chances of reaping significant benefit in return.

Most importantly, this kind of fundraising reminds us that despite the competition, we are all in this together.  We are in this to ensure that some of those who have been dreaming and writing and saving and hoping to go to Clarion for many years may finally have their chance next year.  You are ensuring that Clarion will be there for others, just as it was for our grateful alumni.

Week 3 Writing Challenge

During the last two weeks we focused on revision and editing.  But you’re not a writer if you only rewrite, so let’s churn out some new words this week.

How many?  That’s for you to decide.  Set a goal today, and post it in our comments section.  I recommend at least 500 words a day this week, even if you have a day job and a growing family to juggle.  If not, 1,000 or more a day should be quite attainable.  (These don’t have to be good words, remember, just new words.) You can chip away at a novel or start a new short story; it’s up to you.

Post your goal, and at the end of the week, post your results.  Those who succeed at their goals will be featured in next week’s blog.  If you wish to send any additional thoughts about your process or progress this week, email blog@the(x)foundation.org to tell us all about it, and you may be quoted in the blog!  (x) = Clarion, of course, for those of you who are not spammers.

Write on, Clarion friends!  We’ll see you next week.

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. July 10, 2011 1:08 pm

    I’ve been horrible at meeting writing goals in the past, plus I know I have some extra assignments for work this week so I’m going to keep my writing goal a bit on the small side. I’d like to accomplish writing 250 words of fiction this week.

    Being a journalist makes specifying fiction very important to me. It’s too easy for me to write 250 words a day if I allow myself to count what I write for the newspaper.

  2. July 11, 2011 12:49 am

    I can write 1000 words in one day, but I don’t get to do that everyday. I just wrote an additional 200 words a few minutes ago, but I’m about to write for another project in a different genre and I will work on another project after that. I’ll come back to the Write-a-Thon tomorrow.
    My goal this week is to add 1500 to my novel.

  3. July 11, 2011 5:25 am

    Alas, I need to mark 130 undergraduate English papers this week, so my goal is going to have to be rather small. If I pledge to write an actual story, I shall end up doing nothing but writing an actual story, as it is far more enjoyable to write stories than it is to mark essays. I shall therefore be boring and vow to do what I have been trying unsuccessfully to do for a week now: write the damn short synopsis of my novel. I’ve got a longer one, but now I must try for one that’s 500-600 words long. Just so that I won’t be accused of completely wimping out, I also pledge to write, draw, and ink five comic strips instead of the two or three I would usually complete in the same period. That, I’m afraid, is all I have to give this week. *Shakes fist of rage at pile of marking*

  4. July 12, 2011 11:02 am

    I’ve had a general goal of 2000 words a day, and I’ve been sticking with that pretty well. So I’ll keep doing that this week. ;)

  5. July 12, 2011 8:58 pm

    I’m a bit late, but I’d set up a goal on Sunday of getting 10k new fiction words this week. (I don’t have a specific daily goal because I know there are at least a couple days I don’t get anything done. But an overall goal works better for me anyway.)

    Onward!

  6. July 13, 2011 5:49 am

    I’ve generally had myself on a 500 words per day quota and have been keeping up with that. I’ll jump it up to 1k or 1.5k for my story this week. I’m going to include my Shadowfist writing in my final count, but I’ll leave that out of this one. This will be my own personal challenge. I’m also curious to see how much of this will be written from my phone.

  7. July 13, 2011 7:51 am

    Ow! I loved this Writing Challenge. I write something everyday, but determine how much I’ll write each day is more interesting and difficult. In this week, I’ll write 1000 words in Portuguese (I’m writing a novel in portuguese, and I can’t stop it now!) and 300 in English (writing in English is harder and I’ll lost more time doing it, so my “English Goal” will be small). I hope it’ll be enough.

  8. July 16, 2011 6:53 am

    After finishing my work for another project, I finally reached my goal of adding 1500 words to my novel. The 1500th word was in the middle of a paragraph. I finished the paragraph, so the number became 1511.

    Posting my goal here was like making a promise, so I made the Write-a-Thon my priority for the whole week because a promise shouldn’t be broken. Now, I can finally mind my blog, and all the other things that need to be written ….

  9. July 16, 2011 12:02 pm

    I agree with Charlene; I needed to complete my goal, even though it meant getting behind on my marking. Last night, I finished the comics I had pledged to write, draw, and ink, and this afternoon, I finally churned out the last of the synopsis (it’s a bit longer than I wanted it to be, but not irredeemably so). In addition, writing the synopsis made me realise how I could fix a flaw in my story’s climax. I wrote about three hundred unexpected new words for the story last night. I know my goal wasn’t huge, but considering how much other stuff I should have been doing this week, it’s somewhat amazing that I not only met but exceeded it.

  10. July 16, 2011 8:34 pm

    Hi, everybody! Should we publish our “homework” here or in another place? (I’ve understood it should be here, but as nobody has done it, I’m not so sure anymore….). Anyway, As I had 2 different goals, what means lots and lots of pages, I’ll publish them in http://www.euquedisse.net/clarionproject.htm . I hope someone reads it and comment by e-mail! PS: The English goal will be there just Sunday afternoon, because I need to type it (yes, I’ve written it on paper.)

    • Mishell Baker permalink*
      July 16, 2011 9:00 pm

      No one wanted to be first, that’s all. ;-)

  11. July 17, 2011 5:08 am

    Well, I reached my goal, but just barely. The idea of writing on my phone came very much in handy as it was put to a real world test yesterday. Everywhere I went, I was unable to bring my bag with me, but my phone was in my pocket so I had all I needed. I managed 856 words on my phone, which added to the 216 I wrote after dragging myself out of bed that morning. I averaged around 300 words per day by phone, excluding the last day. This was quite an interesting experience and I feel I’m likely to continue this, although without as much rigor.

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