Another Run at the Hill - BIAW Challenge April

I'm not sure if the saying "another run at the hill" is a Maine thing. Probably not, but it is something that my father always said when he was making another attempt at something. BIAW?! Never heard of it! If you're a writer then it's a smaller version of NANOWRIMO challenge that takes place each April. I've posted about it before, but I thought it worthy to post about it again. Each month Book-in-a-week.com revves up writers by giving them a self-imposed challenge to meet for one week. It can be as little as 10 pages or as much as... well, as much as you can write and not have to be committed to a hospital for lack of food, sleep or sanity. My challenge for this month is 35 pages. That's 10 more than last month and I made last month by a page. Doesn't sound like much to the average person, but I've found out a few things about the BIAW challenge that make it worth the effort.

1. It's a week. Not a month. I tend to lose motivation for pages when I have a whole months worth of work looming over me. A week is enough for me to write the first two chapters of my newest book. That's not a bad thing. But there were also weeks when I struggled to get the bare minimum of pages down.

2. Since it's only a week it's much more justifiable to the family. I tell the family "book in a week starts tomorrow" and then they are all prepared. With one computer in the house, we have to share and that means that hubby knows he's got to get his work done on it early so that I can write.

3. Noise cancelling headphones are your friend. Even if you can hear them screaming at you from the other side of the headphones you can act like you can't hear them and just continue on with your writing. I love to load up on podcasts and run them in the background while I write. The noise helps cancel out the sound of the TV and NASCAR, GOLF and the Xbox. Ughhhh!

4. I write at night. Always have. I think it goes back to the seven years that I worked 3-11pm when the kids were little and I came home and wrote until I fell over asleep in the chair. Find your sweet spot and stick to it.

5. There will always be outside influences. This week my daughter will be home from College in PA for Easter. Actually, she's been home almost like clockwork during BIAWeeks since she went to college. But she doesn't mind that I write and actually I'm pretty fast at it, so it's usually not a problem. It's all about balance... and getting the pages done.

5. Notebooks are your friend. I carry one with me everywhere and I write on breaks and lunch. Usually, I'll take my lunch during the BIAW so that I don't have to go find something and waste the time when I would have been writing. Make the most of it. Also, dinners are planned ahead. Pizza place is on speed dial and I've got a list of coupons for Subway if they start grumbling too much.

6. Stick to one project as much as possible. And if that doesn't work and you can't get the words to come then work on anything else that lets you free that muse. They can be fickle, but don't beat yourself up. The only person you are really competing with is yourself. Me? I'm the least competitive person in the world, except for when it comes to competing with myself. Push. Push. Push.

7. Social media hiatus. I know. I know. I'm addicted to Pinterest right now, but you've got to limit your time when it comes to Facebook, Pinterest, Farmville, etc., etc., etc. They are a time suck. Some of it must be done if you are promoting a book. I say, pay your teenager to do it for you. They are on those sites all the time anyway. Set it up ahead of time and let them go.

8. And lastly, know that you can do this. Even if you don't meet your goal then you've most likely gotten something down on the page and every page is an accomplishment. Go for it! You can do it! Push yourself! It's a win-win, when you take another run at the hill.

Book-in-a-week.com

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