The 85K90 Writing Challenge

2019 is going to bring a lot of new and fun things. I’m excited about what I have planned and I can’t wait to share them and implement these ideas and try new things in general.

One new thing I’ll be trying is the is 85K Writing Challenge.

85k90 Writing Challenge | I'm Participating | Creativing Writing | RachelPoli.com

I had originally heard of this challenge from Ari a while back. It was something I had looked into from time to time always telling myself I’d do it and then I never did. In 2019, I’m finally going to do it.

What is the 85K Writing Challenge?

This is a year-long challenge catered to writing, editing, and publishing a book. Of course, I supposed you don’t need to participate in the whole year. If you already have a novel needing editing, you could only do those months if you wanted.

Here’s how it works… every step of the challenge is done in 90 days, which is three months.

January, February, and March are “Write” months. This is where you get your writing done. Duh. You have 90 days to outline (if you outline) and write the first draft of your novel. April is used as a “Finish” month in case you need some extra time or you’d like to take a break.

May and June are the “Edit” months with July being the “Finish” month. So, you have two to three months to get your editing and revising done plus room to take a break before you move onto the next step of the challenge.

August and September are known as the “Prep” months while October and November are known as the “Publish” months. This includes all your planning and prepping for publishing, actual publishing, along with marketing and the like.

December is then, of course, a “Finish” month. Whether you’re finishing up your publishing step or you want to take a break before the new year and a new challenge.

Yeah, so? What makes this so special?

The 85K Challenge website has blog posts, forums, and a writing tracker to aid you along the way. There’s encouragement and support on the website but also ask around and see if anyone you know on your social media and within the blogosphere is doing the challenge.

We’re all in this together and it’s great to have others keep you accountable. Having a website and a tracker definitely helps as well.

Why am I doing this?

I need to get into a better routine with my writing. I know I say this a lot, but I always try different routines and none of them end up sticking. When I said routine, I mean I need a timeline and deadlines for myself to get things done.

I have so many different ideas and want to do them all. Sometimes I end up working on multiple projects and ones that are close to being done get pushed to the back burner. I need something to keep me accountable to follow through for every single novel I write through the end.

This writing challenge starts at the writing stage and ends at the publishing stage. With this, I could have a book a year out.

This is my first time doing this challenge, so we’ll see how it works for me. I’m eager to start though! I can’t wait to get into a better timeline and have deadlines throughout the year. I make deadlines for myself, but… sometimes I don’t always keep them because there aren’t any true consequences.

What about NaNoWriMo?

I still plan on participating in Camp NaNoWriMo and NaNo. Those months are April, July, and November. April and July for the 85K challenge are “Finish” months. So, it won’t exactly be a break for me but it’ll be a break from that current project. I can work on my Short Story Sundays or Wattpad.

November is a “Publish” month for the 85K challenge, but again, I can work on other things while I do the technical side of publishing for the novel I can work on something else.

Ambitious, I know. But I always give myself way too much to do, so the tradition needs to continue.

I have five days (holy crap, 2019 is in five days!) to come up with a plan of action for both the 85K challenge and NaNo throughout the year. I need to figure out my self-publishing schedule along with Wattpad because I do want to stay active on there.

So, I’ll be coming up with writing goals for the new year. That will be its own blog post though in the new year… which is in just a couple of days… so you’ll know it soon.

Are you participating in the 85K writing challenge in 2019? Have you done it before? Are there any other challenges you do? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday [July 2018]

So here we are. Halfway through July, which means we’re halfway through 2018. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m going to continue making the most of each day and work hard toward my goals. I have a lot I want to accomplish this year. Here’s how I’m doing so far.

WIP Wednesday July 2018 | Creative Writing | Novel Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Camp NaNoWriMo

We’re almost done with our second and final Camp NaNo session for the year. For me, I have about a week left of writing since I’ll be going on vacation the last week of the month.

I’m counting hours this month, which is something I’ve never done before. I’m editing and my goal was to edit about 2 hours a day (one hour for each project). It totaled to about 44 hours (I forget how I calculated it) and that was too much.

A lot has happened this month in real life and things have been busy. Plus, counting hours is really unmotivating. I don’t know why. I thought counting hours would be easy since it usually takes me an hour to write 2,000 words. It takes me an hour to get through a chapter of editing (sometimes). But for some reason, when counting hours, I just stare at the clock and can’t wait until I can stop writing to go play video games.

So, I dropped my hours from 44 to 31 so that I have to do an hour a day. That’s been more doable for me, though I do have a get a little ahead since I won’t be doing anything next week. Still, things are going much smoother.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

It’s back to the drawing board with this one. I started off the month editing, changed a bunch of stuff (meaning, the way the plot is executed) and now I’ve written myself into a hole. I was retyping the last draft I edited and I can’t go much further because I’ve changed too much. I have to completely rewrite about 80% of the novel.

This book just won’t end. Did you know I’ve been working on this since 2011? This will be the third time I’ve had to do a complete rewrite.

I feel I’m getting close though. I’ve started the outlining and planning process again trying to decide what to keep and what needs to be changed. I’m looking at the novel with a different approach. Hopefully, this is just what I need to finally complete this novel.

Please, let this be it.

Patreon Project

I’m also in the editing stages of another project. I can’t say too much on this project yet as it’s exclusive for my patrons on Patreon at the moment.

If you want to learn more about the project, I encourage you to check out my Patreon where you can support the project for as little as $1 a month.

What’s in it for you if it’s only temporarily exclusive to my patrons? Well, for one they already know what the project is and they get sneak peeks of my process and where I currently am in production of the said project.

Plus, when the project is released, my patrons will get some special goodies as a special thank you for supporting me and my creative work.

You can check out my Patreon here.

What projects are you currently working on? Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Another Camp NaNoWriMo Session Has Arrived

2018 has been zipping by and we’re already into our second and final Camp NaNoWriMo session for the year. I’m not working on as much as I did during the April session, but my plate is still pretty full.

Another Camp NaNoWriMo Session | Creative Writing | Editing | Novel Writing | RachelPoli.com

I’m spending the month editing more rather than writing. I have so many projects that need some TLC rather than me adding a new project to my ever-growing list.

This month, I’m not even counting words either. I’m recording my progress by hours, which is something I’ve never done before. I’m working on two projects and have aimed to work one hour a day on each, which is two hours a day.

Even though we’re only 5 days into the month, I’ve already gotten behind. There has been a lot of life stuff happening so yesterday and today I’ve aimed to work for four hours instead of two. So far, it’s been working and I’m sure I’ll catch up in no time.

As I said, I’m working on two projects this month.

George Florence & The Perfect Alibi

Yes, this one again. I’ve changed a lot so I’m retyping the last draft I edited while editing it some more and editing my edits. I’m planning on one more round of editing before prepping it to be released into the world.

Secret Patreon Project

I’m working on something new, something that’s already in the editing stage. This is a special project for my patrons over at Patreon. Anyone who supports me over there, even if it’s as little as $1, will get an exclusive look at the project as I work on it as well as some fun goodies when all is said and done. If you want to know more, feel free to check out my Patreon. The money helps me keep this blog running as well as allow me to do what I love for a living. So if you enjoy my writing or any content I post here, please consider supporting me. You’ll get fun rewards based on your tier and it’s a great exclusive community for me to get to know you guys better.

So that’s that. Two projects are in the editing stages, both are almost done with the editing. (I think. We’ll see how it goes.)

It’s going to be a busy month, but progress is happening!

What are you working on this month for Camp NaNo? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!

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Wrap Up: April 2018

2018 April Wrap Up | Creative Writing | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

Reading

I’ll admit I didn’t get much reading done this month. Two of the reviews I posted were books I had already read at the beginning of the year and never wrote reviews for. I was on vacation for a week and Camp NaNo took up a chunk of my time. I’m sure I’ll get back into my reading habits next month though.

In the meantime, check out my Goodreads and Reading List on this blog to keep up with what I’m reading and their reviews.

Writing

My writing was pretty successful this month. Thanks to Camp NaNo, I outlined my next novel project, edited the next draft of my mystery novel, finished my Short Story Sunday stories for the rest of 2018 and got a head start on 2019, and wrote a mystery short story. All this resulted in over 80,000 words for Camp NaNo.

I feel pretty good.

Blogging

Blogging was slow. I was really into it at the beginning of the month and then I lost my groove after being on vacation. I thought the break would do me some good and while it did, I felt like taking an extended vacation from blogging. So I’ve only done the bare minimum for the blog pretty much this entire month.

Though I think I’m ready to get back into the swing of things for May and beyond. I ordered my new blogging planner (mine is July – June for some reason) so I’m eager to start filling that one up.

Overall

April was busy, but not in the way I expected it to be. I got a lot done and spent a good amount of time with friends and family, so who’s to complain? It was a great month and I’m sure May will be even better.

Posts To Remember

1. April & May 2018 Writing Submissions [Writing Contests]
2. A Million Dreams [Life]
3. Editing/Rewriting A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo

How did April treat you? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up

There’s less than a week left of Camp NaNoWriMo. I don’t know where April went, but we’re hitting May before we can do anything about it.

Camp NaNoWriMo Wrap Up April 2018 | Creative Writing | NaNoWriMo | RachelPoli.com

I’ve worked on a lot of projects this month – 5 to be exact. I wrote flash fiction for Short Story Sunday, wrote a mystery short story for Perplexed, edited the second draft of George Florence, typed up and published Take Over on Wattpad, and outlined Brave.

Due to being away, I didn’t write or do anything from the 12th through the 18th. But I got right back to work on the 19th.

Day 19: Wrote 2,232 words of Perplexed.
Day 20: Wrote 3,298 words of Perplexed.
Day 21: Edited about 8,995 words in George Florence.
Day 22: Edited about 9,980 words in George Florence.
Day 23: Wrote 1,038 words of Perplexed.
Day 24: Wrote 1,029 words of Perplexed.
Day 25: Wrote absolutely nothing.

I’ll admit I’m starting to lose steam a bit. I’m almost done with the short story for Perplexed and I have just a few more chapters left to edit in George Florence. I’m planning on finishing the short story on Friday and finish the edits on Sunday. The last day of NaNo is Monday, so I should be good to go.

One more week, guys! We can do it!

How did Camp NaNo treat you? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo

This month I’ve been working on a lot of various projects. Camp NaNo is so flexible that some people write novels, short stories, poetry, or even edit their work.

I don’t know if anyone has ever attempted to outline a project during Camp so they could work on the writing part when the month was over. Well, that’s one of the things I’ve been doing and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

Outlining A Novel During Camp NaNoWriMo | Creative Writing | Novel Outlines | RachelPoli.com

It’s no secret that I enjoy outlining my novels. I like to be organized and have some sort of idea where the story may go, even though I know the outline isn’t set in stone.

Usually when I outline I summarize how each chapter would go. I make up scenes along the way, some may stay, some won’t. But I end up with a clear beginning and end at the very least. I also have a basic idea of how long the novel may be.

I’m not doing that this time.

I’m outlining Brave, my next Wattpad story. (Take Over was published yesterday, so go check it out!) It’s a fantasy that I attempted writing before. It was originally a Short Story Sunday I decided to expand upon.

I didn’t get far in it because I had a lot of world building to do. So, that’s how I’ve been doing my outline.

I created a list of characters, wrote the basic gist of the plot, and then I got to work on the make-believe stuff. I created the Kingdoms, towns within them, and jobs that the people can have. I haven’t gotten this far yet, but I need to create a list of routes, forests, lakes, and other places that are within the world the characters may come across on their journey.

Dragons are a huge part of the world and I’ve spent a good amount of time creating different species and coming up with their names. I’ve come up with them on my own though some are based off “real” dragons.

Lastly, when that’s all done, I’ll be summarizing the plot points. I don’t want to summarize each chapter like I have done in the past, but I’m going to list the plot points that keep the characters moving forward. What makes them go on the journey, major dangers they face on the way, finding what they’re looking for, then the final battle.

Honestly, that’s pretty much the gist of the story.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with it and I’m looking forward to starting writing it next month.

Have you ever worked on an outline during Camp for your current project or the next one? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Writing A Mystery Short Story For Camp NaNoWriMo

I’ve talked about short story writing before and I’ve written plenty of short stories. Of course, I most dapple with flash fiction.

A couple of my short stories have been broken up into 4 or 5 parts for Short Story Sunday on this blog. It’s rare I write a short story straight on that’s longer than 2,000 words.

I’m working on a short story collection that’s made up of mysteries, each one being between 5,000 and 10,000 words long. It’s hard to write a short story, but it’s harder to work a full mystery into it.

Writing A Mystery Short Story for Camp NaNoWriMo | Mystery Writing | Creative Writing | Short Story | RachelPoli.com

I had originally planned to write one or two short stories for this collection a month. It’s been a lot harder than I anticipated it to be and honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to keep up with my original deadline.

I come up with mysteries all the time for my novel series, so why is coming up with mystery shorts so hard?

Part of the reason is that I’m trying out different characters and not just having every single story star George and Lilah. Plus, a lot of my ideas are actually already in the novel series with George and Lilah, so… Yeah.

I want to keep up with it though. I do have a couple ideas I want to try out and I didn’t want to lose my groove so I had decided to try to write a mystery short story during Camp among everything else.

It hasn’t been easy because I’ve been writing different shorts here and there, three of them being handwritten in notebooks. I’m trying to still with the same story, start to finish, this month.

So far it’s been good. I haven’t finished the story yet, but I’m enjoying the new characters who have introduced themselves to me and I’ve done something a little different with this mystery that I have with any other mystery I’ve written.

And yes, I mean I’ve been dipping my toes into the supernatural world.

It’s been fun and I’ll be happy when the story is complete so I can say I’ve finally written a full short story for Perplexed!

Have you ever worked on a short story for a Camp NaNo session? Have you written a mystery short story before? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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WIP Wednesday: April 2018

Happy middle of the month (kind of)! Happy Work in Progress Wednesday!

Work In Progress Wednesday | WIP | Creative Writing | RachelPoli.com

This month has been great so far. Even though I haven’t written in the past week due to being away, I got a lot done the first week of Camp NaNo and I’m sure I’ll get just as much done when I get back to work tomorrow.

As you know, I’m working on a few different projects this month. I’m outlining a new novel/novella, writing a mystery short story, writing various flash fiction, and editing my mystery novel.

Here’s the breakdown of what I did before my vacation:

Day 1: Edited 2 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 9,148 words.
Day 2: Outlined Brave for 2 hours. Wrote 3,123 words in flash fiction.
Day 3: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,078 words in flash fiction.
Day 4: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,022 words in flash fiction.
Day 5: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,101 words in flash fiction.
Day 6: Outlined Brave for 1 hour. Wrote 3,091 words in flash fiction.
Day 7: Edited 3 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 9,994 words.
Day 8: Edited 3 chapters of George Florence equaling to about 7,863 words.
Day 9: Wrote 1,045 words in Perplexed. Wrote 2,021 words in flash fiction.
Day 10: 
Wrote 1,406 words in Perplexed. Wrote 674 words in flash fiction.
Day 11: Wrote 1,023 words in Perplexed.

What have you been working on this month? Are you making great progress? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Why Taking A Break In The Middle Of Camp NaNoWriMo Is A Good Thing

My vacation is just about over. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll be on a plane on my way home. I won’t be getting back to work until Thursday, but it’s kind of weird to think that a week has already come and gone.

I have to admit though, I think I’m ready to go back to home and get back to writing.

Why taking a break during Camp NaNoWriMo is a good thing | Creative Writing | NaNoWriMo | RachelPoli.com

I’ve always found it hard to take a break in the middle of a NaNo session and then get back to the writing. Usually during November if I skip a day or two, I get flustered. My OCD doesn’t like the fact that my stats chart didn’t change for a couple of days.

Plus, depending on how behind I end up getting, I lose motivation to finish because I feel as though I’ll never be able to catch up.

It’s good to take a break though. It’s a good idea to pace yourself, allow your mind to rest and recharge. A week seems like a long time during a NaNo session, but since I’ve been working on so many projects this month, I think a break was definitely needed.

I wasn’t feeling burned out at all from any of my work either. I left for vacation late on the 10th so I had only been cramming words into my work for a little over a week. I’ll start writing again on the 19th and I’ll have another 11 days. This vacation was planned well right in the middle of the month allowing me to work during an even amount of time.

I certainly feel refreshed, though a little tired from walking too much and all the excitement. I don’t want my vacation to end, but I am ready to go home and get back to writing.

My only hope is that I don’t lose steam once I get back.

Do you take breaks during Camp? Or do you go all month long? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Why Camp NaNoWriMo Is Great For My Writing

I’m pretty good at writing. When I say that, I mean the act of writing. Not the actual writing part. Not at first, anyway.

Throughout the years I’ve whipped out a couple manuscripts. I have a good amount of completed first drafts. I will most likely never touch them again. They will most likely never see the light of day again.

Ever since I started writing during NaNo though, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve found a new appreciation for my work.

Why Camp NaNoWriMo Is Great For My Writing | Creative Writing | NaNoWriMo | RachelPoli.com

NaNo allows me to finish what I start, which is something I don’t do often. I’ve gotten better at it, but NaNo has helped me evolve as a writer and has taught me a lot. I know there are people out there who don’t agree with NaNo or it just doesn’t work for them and that’s totally okay. For me, though, it works.

I’ve never been one to be a “rebel” during the NaNo sessions though. I like to take up the challenge that’s already presented to me. Of course, Camp is a little different. It’s flexible in what goal you want to set – words, time, pages – and also what you want to write – a novel, short story, script, poetry.

For a few sessions, I still wrote a novel at 50,000 words because that was what I was used to and I knew I was good at it.

Now, I use this time to get done whatever I need to. Sometimes it’s writing a new novel. Other times, like this month, I take it to catch up on some projects I’ve already started.

This month is the first time I’ve decided to work on more than two projects at once and also it’s the first time I’ve set my goal higher than 50,000 words. And guess what? It’s working. I honestly think part of it is the stats chart and the fact I’m in a silent competition with the other people in my cabin.

This month I’m outlining a new novel, writing flash fiction, writing a short story, editing a mystery novel, and prepping a novella to be published on Wattpad (April 23!)

I’m working at every stage of writing – outline, write, edit, publish – all in one month for various things and it feels so good. I’m actually confident with what I’m working on and excited about each and every project as well.

NaNo is honestly one of the best things I’ve ever come across and I couldn’t imagine life without it.

Why do you love Camp NaNo? Has it changed your writing? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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