The FCRW (First Coast Romance Writers) sponsor a contest for members of the chapter each year. It’s called Write the D@$! Manuscript Challenge. Members are encouraged to just write the D@$! Manuscript. We try to do fun things along the way to help keep participants encouraged.
So often the more we as writers know the less we are able to do. We fill our time with all kinds of things. After the basic rudiments of living, family, home, job, we find other time suckers to keep from writing the D@$! Manuscript. . . my space, face book, twitter, email, research, BLOGGING. oh my. And frankly we let the Internal Editor from He(( shut us down way to often.
So the Write the D@$! Manuscript challenge is an opportunity to take the time to make writing your priority again. Rather than the psychological suicide of NaMoWriMo in 30 days, our version gives you an entire year…ok ten months technically, to write a complete story arch accomplishing at least 40,000 words to a finish, the end.
We aren’t even so tough to expect the WIP to be finished and edited, polished and pretty.
So if you’re not convinced that this is a great activity for your writing group, here is what I got out of the D@$! Manuscript challenge of 2009. I wrote my WIP Dragon’s Mark. I finished the entire book in draft form between Feb and early October, some 100,000 words of the beast.
I had time to edit the first 30 pages and enter the Beacon Unpublished contest. I edited a little more and entered the Golden Heart. Edited a little more and entered the Winter Rose. Now a year later the work is finished, edited and polished pretty and I am beginning to Query and search for Agented Representation.
The entry in the Beacon 2009 won second place. Still waiting to hear from the others.
The point is I wrote the D@$! Manuscript. Didn’t matter that I didn’t win the grand prize drawing. I wrote.
So, now I am beginning the D@$! Manuscript Challenge 2010. I’m sitting here immersed in social networking and blogging. I haven’t started work on my manuscript entry. However, I know I have to have a word count for our meeting in two weeks to report with the other Challenge Participants. I sure don’t want to be standing there saying well I haven’t really started yet…. So, I’m going to get busy and Write the D@$! Manuscript.