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Book in a Week, that is.

If you’re a writer–or if you’ve had an idea burning in your brain for a long time but haven’t gotten around to putting words to paper–want to join me?

Don’t fear. You don’t have to complete a book in a week. You simply have to make a good start.

About twenty-three years ago, I joined the Romance Writers of America. Even though my books are mainstream fiction, I keep up my membership because there is much to be learned about both craft and business from these savvy writers. For a week each month, my local chapter challenges us to set a goal and check in daily to announce our progress (or lack thereof). So beginning this Saturday, February 7th, I challenge you to join me. My regular goal is fifty pages a week, regardless of the draft I’m on. However, since I’ll be on a retreat with fellow writers next week when I’ll have no excuse for not working, I’m aiming for 55 pages. 

If you’re game, spend tomorrow making that nice big sign to hang on your office door (Do Not Disturb Unless Blood is Involved!) and join me at the computer (or the notepad–writing by hand counts too!) on Saturday.


  1. Lindsay on February 6, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Ohhh… I’m so tempted. I went on a writing spree for a week prior to my vacation and I probably did write about 50 pages. But my inspiration hasn’t returned so I’m not sure I’d be up for it. I’m on nights at work this weekend so we shall see. Life is busy with assignments and work things going on though too. And I’m in the middle of a couple books.
    Excuses, excuses. 🙂
    By the way everyone, we had a conversation a couple entries back about movies we’d seen recently. I just saw SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE tonight and I adored it. I also saw REVOLUTIONARY ROAD this week as well. I liked it a lot as well- I was worried I’d find it as dry as I find the book but that wasn’t the case at all. I thought it kept a good pace. Leo (Kate too) was amazing! They’re both awesome, I’ve just always felt Leo is under rated re: his acting ability.

  2. Margo on February 6, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I’m not a writer but I’ll think of you this weekend Diane…and all the other writers on this blog who will join in putting up that ‘do not disturb’ sign as you/they create a novel. (-O:
    Diane, will your writing retreat be at the Mansion again, or the condo on the beach?

  3. Diane Chamberlain on February 6, 2009 at 10:34 am

    Lindsay, WHAT? You have no inspiration?? Have I taught you nothing? Inspiration is not the necessary ingredient. But I don’t really blame you. I think my biggest inspiration is, when I get out of bed in the morning, I think about paying the mortgage. That gets me writing faster than any ol’ muse. LOL.
    I, too, recommend Slumdog Millionaire. A wonderful movie, perfectly paced, a bit hard to sit through early on, but ultimately uplifting. Haven’t seen Revolutionary Road yet, but I’m looking forward to it.
    Margo, we’ll be at the mansion this time, and for the entire week. It’s a glorious old and slightly haunted building a couple of hours from my house. Serious writers can stay for free on the second level as they work, while meetings and luncheons take place downstairs. Most evenings, the downstairs is also available to us. There will be six of us, and the place is so huge, that we each have our own little favorite spot to work in and rarely even see each other during daylight hours. I’ll send pictures while we’re there.

  4. brenda on February 6, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Diane-Enjoy your week…I know we will benefit from your writing. I will spend the weekend grading endless papers…alas!!!! Have fun too!!!!!

  5. Lindsay on February 7, 2009 at 1:25 am

    Haha, I know I know. I can’t help it, I can’t force myself to write if I’m not feeling it. Well I can but in the past that has resulted in very dry, boring script that I usually wind up deleting.

  6. Gina on February 7, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Cute little wind-up toys. Looks like they are saying, “on your mark-ready-set-go!”
    I think I’ll leave the writing to the professionals. I consider myself a professional reader. LOL
    Keep those books coming, writers.

  7. Diane Chamberlain on February 7, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Gina, we need many more professional readers than we do writers. I personally thank you! And I’m off to the library for my stash for the week. Right now I’m reading Emilie Richard’s SISTER’S CHOICE, which is really good.

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