I’ve just emerged from my writing cave after an intense month participating in RWA’s ’50ks in 30 days’ event. Similar to NanoWriMo, ours is a little more flexible in that you can choose your own goal and choose whether to write new or edit.

Last year was my 1st 50/30 and I chose the brave goal (for a struggling writer) of 25K, and succeeded. It also took me to almost the end of my 1st manuscript, which I completed a few weeks later. Apart from learning to lock up my inner editor, one of the main things I took from my first 50/30 was not to be precious about my writing environment. I used to think I could only write in total silence, tucked away in my little room or somewhere else totally alone. I learnt that I could write anywhere, anytime – in the car waiting for my son, sitting at his karate class with kiais going on around me – longhand, by keyboard. I still prefer my quiet little room, but I can write anywhere if I have to.

This year I edged closer to the full monty and went for 40K. I made it on the final day. I completed the 1st draft of Elsie’s Place and am about 16K into a new book, as yet unnamed.

A few things I learnt this year:

  • I need immovable deadlines 🙂 No great surprise – I was one of those who turned out their best work in school the night before it was due!
  • The 0 word count days killed me. If I could have at least written 100 words on those days, I would have been a lot closer to my goal at the end date.
  • My most successful day was 3,500+ words (on the final day). I think I sat down about 11am to write, had a lunch break and watched some TV with the family and finished about 4:30-5pm. I never thought I could ever write that much in a day but it showed me that I can!
  • Other days when I made big totals, it was 30 mins here and there throughout the day that added up. Valuable information to know…
  • Once again sprints in the chat room and the camaraderie of fellow RWA 50k’ers helped push me through. Love your work ladies!
  • I need a maid / housekeeper – or more self-sufficient family 🙂

Did you take part this year? Or have you taken part in previous years? If so, what lessons have you learnt doing 50/30 or Nano?