Create wordcount for your new project. 30K – sounds reasonable!

As part of the May Carnival of Creative Possibility, one of our activities is producing words.  We’ve set a reasonable aim of just shy of 1000 words per day. 30k in May sounds better than 31 but it also gives us a little bit of leeway if we want to take a day off and CHILL which is always a good idea!

If you’d like to join in, just sign up in the comments below and also use the comments to document your progress whenever you feel you’d like to or moan about your obstacles!  Similar to the #nanowrimo venture in November, I’ve always found the camaraderie and group spirit good for getting motivated. Don’t worry if you’ve discovered this post well into May, THERE ARE NO RULES, just join in and do the equivalent words necessary to get you to the end of the month. Set your own target if 1000 seems too high! It’s all about getting started!


Don’t forget to sign up in the comments, talk about your project and document your progress!

And now, get going!





  1. I’m working on my novel with a ‘May feeling’ Eat! I have a good chunk of a first draft but I want to add a lot more of the story with the 30k in May. Focus does me good. It’s 3pm and got a chance to do 400 words before school pickup so hope to do the rest later today!

  2. I’m working on my nonfiction book about bridging the career divide between academia and activism. I have a bare bones outline, but since I’ve been working on my dissertation simultaneously, this project hasn’t received as much attention as I’d like. Using the little corners and gaps in my day to get to those 30k in May! I love a challenge 😉

      1. I did something I don’t usually do. I kept my manuscript word document open on my laptop, so anytime I found myself with a spare moment, there it was, waiting for me. I wrote over a thousand more words than I normally do today, so I’m counting that as a huge win!

  3. I am 35,000 words in to my first novel and had a run of missed writing time due to holidays and ‘mid-way malaise’. I’ve got lots of planning done but need to immerse myself in regular writing to get closer to the end of draft one. I’m planning to do a bit of reading first before knuckling down to 1,000 words in an hour. Words in, words out.

    1. Hi Amanda, I always struggle with the balance of planning versus getting words on the page. I’ve also done quite a bit of planning on this I don’t know about you but if I leave it too long without adding content I start to feel a bit despondent and withdrawn from the project. 1000 words in an hour is a very possible aim especially if you have a scene in mind I find. Its all about balancing the research and reading as you say with production rather than trying to produce words from ‘fumes’ or only vague ideas. Will be interested to hear more on how you’re proceeding. A

  4. I’m just starting this today, but hopefully I’ll catch up! I’m working on several different projects at the moment and I’m finding it hard to decide which one I should be concentrating on – with the result I’m not getting much done on any. However, one of them is a novel idea that’s been rattling around in my head in various shapes and forms for a long time and that’s very close to my heart, but it keeps getting sidelined in favour of contracted stuff or ideas that are in the same genre as what I’ve had published so far (this is different).

    It’s called Strange Currencies and I have about 18,000 words so far, so I’m going to use this challenge to commit to growing that.

    1. I love that phrase ‘close to my heart’! So many projects, I understand that but following the one that draws your heart, following the love for as long as you can is a good idea. I’ve had interuptions to the one I’m working on now so I’m hoping to find the love again with this and really immerse myself. I love the working title of your book and am really looking forward to hearing how you get on!

  5. It’s just over a third of the way so I just wanted to check in with how everyone was doing. I’m flagging quite bit at about 6500 words. For one reason and another I haven’t been able to find a good seam from which to mine and develop a long scene out of it. I think this is because I’ve done a lot of the book already and there’s lots of filling to do rather than big chunks of action. I must admit I would be happier to have some more content but am happy with the ideas that I’ve come up with. I’ve also made the characters deeper and more well rounded which is absolutely vital at this stage.

  6. I’ve written just over 10,000 words, but I ended up needing to take three days off so far. It’s all well and good at the beginning of the month to say, for certain, that you will write every day, but sometimes life happens. And you can’t beat yourself up for the things in your life you can’t control. So, I’ve tried to double up on my word count to make up for those days, especially on days when I have more free time to do so.

    Most of the writing I have done is ideas, rather than actual solid content, but I think that’s part of the process. By the end of the month you may realize that you have sentences and paragraphs that you absolutely want to keep in the wip, and then next month, you can build on those.

    This is a really great challenge for me at this point in the year because there are so many changes going on with school and work that I needed a solid commitment to keep my writing practice going. Good luck to everyone!!

    1. Hi Jennifer, I completely agree, life happens and yes, it does seem to be a particularly full on time of year. As I said in an earlier post about orientation and as you say here, we can’t beat ourselves us, just turning to the task and trying is commendable and gets us further than not trying at all. I’m the same with it being more creating ideas and connections than solid content but it all adds to the feeling of the book and is the context within which we’ll make editing choices later. Great to hear from you.

  7. Day 19 and I’m at 12, 500 words, some of which include research. I’m getting myself organised this week, there are several items I need to work on and I want to be able to focus my mind to produce material for this new project but also swap over then to some editing work. I’m not taking a very strict approach with this wordcount addition – anything goes, synopsis, character development, ideas, comments and research material. Ideally I’d just be writing material that would go into the finished product but I think that I’m still at exploration stage. I’ll just need to be brave when slicing out anything that doesn’t really work in future. Is there anyone else still with me and if so, how are you faring? Are you writing linearly?

    1. I am absolutely not writing linearly 🙂 My mum visited all of last week and my writing habit fell by the wayside, and I’m struggling to get back into a pattern of writing this week. I’m like you, organizing and prioritizing, which I realize now I should be doing more of in general. I also find that if I take too much time off from my writing, it’s harder to come back to. I’m in a situation now where I know what I need to do, I know what needs to get done, but for whatever reason, I’m having a very difficult time making myself focus and work on only those things that are top priority. Is it a fear of failure? Rejection? That I’m working on something that only I think is important? It shouldn’t matter. If I, as an author, consider my project worthy of my time, then I need to make time for it and keep it sacred. I’m at about 20,000 words, but believe me when I say only about half of those are for my top priority projects. Refocus. Reorganize. Recommit. That’s my mantra!

      1. Why can’t you focus when you feel your project is important and really care about getting it done?! Ah yes, I’ve grappled with the same question. While I don’t believe in general writer’s block, we can get fatigued being on the go with life and not allowing ourselves any down time for freethinking, reading or staring at the clouds. I know I sometimes panic about production but what I need is time for ideas and characters to emerge. On the other hand, no matter how much we love our projects we can still, as you say, take a while to really get into them, we have to almost court them to keep ourselves in love! We have to keep coming back to why we want to do this in the first place. Another reason we falter might be a technical problem, lack of research or that we haven’t really got the whole picture of the novel in our heads and we struggle as to where to begin. Sometimes it’s only when I’ve got a pretty clear scene in my head already that the wordcount flows. I’m not saying this as an expert, rather from my own faltering progress. I’m struggling today for wordcount as it’s character exploration rather than an incident from the book so we’ll see how it goes. Hearing about your experience is very interesting. I set aside particular hours yesterday for particular things, it worked a little bit but not fully but I’ll look again at it and rejig the aims!

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