Wordcount Challenges [Updated]

don_t-break-the-chain-calendar-year_smallReading around the blogosphere I notice quite a few writing friends are firing themselves up by participating in wordcount blogging challenges. Here are a few of good ones –


WIP500Cara Michaels is running this challenge for the second year in a row.

The challenge is to write 500 words a day on your work in progress. Over a year this amounts to 182.5k of words over the year. Sign up here.

100K in 100 Days 2013

Sally Quilford leads another round of this challenge – to write 1000 words a day, on the trot for 100 days, to make up 100K of words, enough for a novel – if you are about to start one for the year. There is a Facebook group this time also. No blog button for this one, and you can’t sign up, but you can follow along via the FB page, or Sally’s blog. The challenge began 1st January and ends 10th April.

Inky Girl’s 250, 500, and 1000 Words-A-Day Challenge

Header-DailyWords_002-250wDebbie Ridpath Ohi – Inky Girl, holds a constant wordcount challenge, with badges you can put on your blog. You can choose the amount of words a day.

The challenges expect you to write six days a week – a little better for me, but still not perfect, as I write during the working week days, not weekends.  However, the Words-A-Day format is quite flexible, asking us to be honest with our  progress. Daily Word Challenge.

word buttons

100 Word Challenge for Grownups

100WCGU7Julia runs the 100 Word Challenge (nicknamed for Grownups) which is up to Prompt number 71 at this point. This runs like a blog meme with link-backs – each time a new prompt is given, and you must write a piece towards that prompt, limited at around the 100 word mark (this word count can differ each prompt). Good for warming up, perhaps. 100WCGU.

Tools to Help You

I tend not to join up on such challenges because they never start when I’m starting a new project, and word counting during revision and editing is just too difficult to handle. And, I don’t write everyday normally, keeping the weekends for my family. But for those with this intention –

don_t-break-the-chain-calendar-year_smallDon’t Break the Chain Calendars-

Based on the Jerry Seinfield secret of putting a big red cross through a day on a calendar, this calendar is available for free via the Writer’s Store as a PDF download.

Or download Karen Kavett’s Chain Calendar for 2013 here as a PDF. Or find many more to download across the web (as per John’s comment).

WriteChain Appwritechain-mainapp-image

This free app for iOS users allows a writer to set a daily wordcount goal for a certain period, and sets up a chain for you, with a little leeway in breaking that chain (or slack). More about it here.


750words750 Words is a website you can log into, to type 750 words a day. Each month the slate is cleaned, and you get to start again, earning points for writing 750 words in a chain of days, and badges for achievements (a penguin for 5 days in a row, a cheetah for speedy typing).

Obviously, the site keeps statistics on your chain of days, speed, your writing mood and streak of writing; providing graphs and messages to encourage you. 750words.com

Write or Diewriteordie

Free as a web app, or available for a nominal fee as a desktop app or on iOS systems, Write or Die provides a negative reward system – you write in it, or horrible noises start being played. Or you can set it to start deleting your words if you stop typing.

Set word goals and target session times, just don’t stop typing during that session. For the masochists amongst us. Write or Die.

9 thoughts on “Wordcount Challenges [Updated]

  1. Hey Hunter, I love your refreshed site! There is also a challenge over at Kiwi Writers on Facebook – New Year Novella if anyone is interested, just jump on the bandwagon!

  2. Hi Karen. Happy New Year to you. I’ve got Kiwi Writers on my own list for the year. I have a semi-plan (if it fits in with my writing projects at the time) to join in with soCnoC this year, hosted by Kiwi Writers I believe.

    1. I have done several of these previously, and used most of the tools from one time to another, but my timing is out this month – I’m currently (meant to be) starting a full revision run on my WIP, not writing new words.

      But these challenges have provided a lot of community and success for many writers I know so I wish you the best in doing any of these also.

  3. Hi Hunter,
    Thanks so much for sharing these. I did NaNoWriMo for the first time this year, and now I’m feeling a little uninspired. I’ve tried Write or Die, but its too distracting for me, I think 750words.com is a great tool! I’m excited to use it and see what this new year holds!
    Thanks for sharing as always!

  4. I’m on a 319-day streak on 750words.com, and I can attest to the incentive of seeing that unbroken chain of “X”s. I don’t know why I didn’t figure out that’s why it’s been such a success for me. Duh! Just FYI, you can get free printable calendars for this purpose at timeanddate.com or at calendarlabs.com, and probably a hundred other places on the Web.

    1. Wow, John. Only another couple of months, and you’ll be celebrating that 365 milestone of writing.

      The writing chain is a wonderful tool to allow writers to form a daily writing habit, and thanks for sharing the obvious (duh!) web calendars we can all print off.

      I also realised – most office stationery stores sell large laminated full-year calendars for the wall. Those would look great with big crosses of writing all over them.

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