Office Hours: Writing Groups and Chapter Word Counts
Responding to Questions from My Dear Readers
I want to begin today's post by saying how appreciative I am of everyone who participated in the inaugural Publish Not Perish Writing Sprint! It was five days of online accountability, community, and goal progress, and I loved learning a bit more about my dear readers! Each day started with a general question and a list of daily goals, and it ended with everyone checking in to see how things went.
On the final day, I asked participants to reflect on what they had learned in such a short period of time, and many of them said it reminded them of good habits to carry with them after the sprint:
[I learned that] I definitely needed external support to push out this project, and it made me more productive. Maybe it's the extrinsic motivation I need when writing a project with an internal deadline?
I re-learned that setting time aside and articulating a goal is really helpful…I also relished the support of the group; it was so invigorating to have the support of the group and learn about each of you; thank you, Jenn, for organizing this and for your lovely, generous, and useful prompts. I also re-learned (again!) that I love writing.
I was reminded in a very generative way that if I set goals for a week (not just each day), it is very motivating. I often think through a day but less often set mid-range SMART goals for a five-day period. I definitely got more done and pushed myself more in a good way.
During this sprint, I (re)learned that small chunks of time—an hour a day—can add up quickly. I've also rediscovered that writing can be fun rather than all struggle.
Stay tuned for future writing sprints after the resounding success of this one!
Now I will answer a few questions that have recently come up during office hours. (Reminder: Paid subscribers can ask anonymous questions via a Google Form!) The first is about forming writing accountability groups, and the second is about how long is “too long” for a book chapter.