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Monday, March 21, 2011

MARCH MADNESS Check-In Day 21!

Week Three! You know what that means, don't you? It means that if you're still here, you WILL succeed in making it until the end! It's also a known fact that March Madness participants who make it until the third week are 97% more likely to succeed with their goals. (It's also a known fact that 72% of statistics are made up on the spot.)

Anyway, I'm thrilled at how many of you are still here! I think almost all of us have had challenging days (or even weeks) since the beginning of March, but the difference between us and the rest of the world is that we've come back to try again. Perseverance. It's an essential quality for success.

My husband often quotes Batman (during his training) to our seven year old son:
Husband: Bruce, why do we fall down?
Son: So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.

You, all of you, have learned to pick yourselves back up again. So congratulations for that! Many people just give up when faced with a little bit of adversity. While we here are all rockin March Madness! Great to have you along for the journey!!!

I've drawn another random winner to pick a book from my shelves! This week, the winner is...
Jeni Bell!!!

Congratulations, Jeni! Please pick something from my shelves below (I've added a few new ones this week!) and email your choice, along with your address to d (at) denisejaden (dot) com

Don't forget to log your progress below and head over to Shana Silver's blog to check-in tomorrow!


  1. Ugh, today feels like a Monday. I'm rockin' my second cold of the month and had to work this weekend, so didn't get much agent research done. But lots of reading and I'm on book 7/8. I think I'll make my reading goal, or at least be close.

    Yay for Batman words of wisdom!

  2. How did we get to day 21 already?! Well, my progress came to a screeching halt last Thursday when this sinus infection finally laid me out. But my trusty Z-Pak has arrived to save the day and pull me back together. So after 3 days in bed, I'm propped up at work and ready to steal some WIP time all day long. And time to notify my agent...won't quite make my deadline :(

  3. Ah, Batman. Your husband is a man after my own heart. Batman is definitely my favorite of the superhero persona. Except not Michael Keaton Batman. Although Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman!? Me-OW!

    As you know, my work has come to a sudden stop. It doesn't help that my WIP is partially post-apocalyptic, and I really am getting enough of that locally and in the news right now that I don't feel like writing about it. In fact, I think I have to re-prioritize my goals for the rest of the month. I'll post about it on Friday. Will I get in trouble? Please don't yell at me! I crave acceptance!

  4. Whoa! Already day 21? Amazing how the time really is sliding by. Week Three and I am going to use it to find balance. The focus on daily (ish) blogging and reading has tipped that balance away from writing. The idea was to work on the writing MWF--going to try write everyday this week--even if it is "only" for five minutes.

    Congrats Jeni and happy week three everyone!

  5. Craig - we accept you - goals as is, or goals as new. I hear you on the gloom and doom report.

    As for me, I'm actually feeling great about this crazy challenge. Hello, my name is JRo, and I am a goal geek. I've reached 16.2K of my goal of 20K for the month. So unless I get derailed by a train or a second bout of flu....well...shhh...I'm not going to say it. I'll just smile. Anybody up for April? LOL!

    Congrats to Jeni on the book win. I'm reading Ship Breaker right now and I can't stop thinking about it - especially since I was born and raised on the Gulf Coast.

    Back to work.

  6. Congratulations Jeni!

    Craig, we all need to revamp at times. Completely understood and accepted.

    I am trudging along, and I do mean trudging. I have had a rough couple weeks (unfortunately, they've been rough because of my own mental pondering). I have learned to pick myself back up again, for real this time. While I may fall short of my goals, I will still have moved forward. I have some catching up to do on the thesis revision, but I have found my groove.

    I would like to echo Denise in reiterating the fact that the important part is that we are still here. You all rock.

    J.Ro - April is Script Frenzy ( That is where I will be, and I think that it would be lovely if we could maybe still keep in touch with everyone here. So, I'm in. Everyone has been so supportive and encouraging, I'd love to keep the support network going. Thoughts anyone?

  7. It is so great to see the progress - great work, JRo! And Jenn B., I'd love to keep in touch and keep up once March ends as well. I was at a novel retreat this weekend, and by the end of the weekend, I extended my goals for the next couple of months, so I am going to remain busy!

    I'm on track, and am hoping to finish up my 20K goal in the next few days, and then I'm moving on to tackling a detailed outline of the full WIP. Coming back to work on the WIP will be a reward after working on outlines and other similarly painful tasks. :-)

    Good luck to everyone for a productive week!

  8. Yes, we're still here and it sounds like we're all geared up for a productive week. We'll support you in your new goals, Craig!

    Got revision notes Friday from my agent, so I spent the entire weekend working on that. Today it's back to the first draft (7,000 words down, 3,000 to go). I think I'll make it:-)

    And yes, I hope everyone will keep in touch. I'll post about that on my last blog post of the month.

  9. I would love to keep the check-ins going through April. Right here on Mondays? So glad it is helping for so many.

    Craig, absolutely cool with us. Maybe you should outline a new project - something lighter, like a companion to your last one? Of course writing is not the priority at this point, but it might be a good distraction...

    J.Ro - I nominate you to head up our Goal Geek Squad! You're rockin' those goals. And so sorry to those of you who have been rockin' the sicknesses!

    I know Monday is kind of ugh. It is for me here too. But lets all push through together and tomorrow will be better...

  10. Thank you so much! And congratulations to J. Ro -- I love reading her word count updates on Twitter, because they inspire me, too.

    I've learned something about myself as I keep up my goal of writing daily. I've learned that I do best if I write first thing in the morning, even a little, because then, I've at least gotten my goal for the day out of the way, and the chances that I'll come back to the story to write more later on are stronger. When I do this, I also end up thinking about my story on my commute to work, and the ideas I come up with during that quiet hour to myself are often the strongest.

    Cheers to everyone this week! Jeni

  11. This weekend was a big fail thanks to last minute prep for my sister's wedding. I suspect this entire week will be unproductive and this coming weekend is out completely. Sigh! I really want to work on my book but it doesn't look likely.

  12. Happy Monday, y'all! Congrats to everyone making such great progress! And, for those who've been derailed a little by the stuff of life, we've all been there--you'll get back to business when you can.

    I'm still on track for my March goal, maybe even a little ahead of schedule. That means I can inject a little more madness into my March by working on a shiny new WIP while I wait for one more critique on my rewrite.

    Have a great week!


  13. I finished the first draft! It needs a subplot, but I got the main story down. Thanks for the March Madness!

  14. hi everyone! both kids are on the mend from sickness, which means it'll hit me full force in the next couple days.

    but i'm feeling good - excited even, since my goal is being ready to query by April 1. i know if might be a long road after that and will quickly lose its thrill. but that's okay.

    and i'm 99% sure i'll be ready, unless one of my readers makes a comment that makes me suddenly realize i need to completely change the POV or something.

  15. Wow, everyone's doing great! And Shana, weddings are worth missing out on writing, think of all the future book fodder.

    I'd love to keep meeting up somewhere. For those of you not doing twitter we've been doing the hashtag #wipmadness and cheering each other on.

    I write from about 5:15-6:15 every morning before I leave to teach. I've missed a few days, but find most mornings I can get 700 words or so in. Weekend days 1,500 words seems to be the magic #. Slow but steady adds up! I know at least 2 chapters are garbage, but I always need to get the first draft done, before I go back.

  16. Day 21.

    Doing well on some of my goals - my first week I added three new entries to my livejournal and crossposted those to my new blog. Plus I think I'm acing the whole limiting my Pepsi intake.

    As for the other goals, well there's still 10 days of March left. :-)

    Plus now I have this new shiny idea that wants some attention. And of course shiny new idea isn't too sure if it's a short story, a novel, or a screenplay.

  17. Congrats to Jeni Bell and everyone else.
    I've done more plotting and planning than I've ever done for any prior manuscript and that's just exiting. I can't wait to start writing it.
    For this week I'm hoping to get some subplots to thicken the main.
    thanks a bunch March Madness. :)

  18. Last week wasn't good...I was so busy and that left little time for my goals. I'm trying to catch up, but I don't know if I can do it.

  19. Thanks for the super-encouraging post, Denise! :)

    I'm another one who's had to totally re-vamp goals, but that's okay. I'm excited about my new and improved goal, lol, and with 10 days left, I think it's do-able if I totally work my butt off.

    Great to read all the progress people are making! Keep it up, you guys! And for all of you dealing with sickness and setbacks, hang it there.... Wishing you very healthy and productive last 10 days of the month! :)

  20. Thanks, Denise, for the reminder to pick ourselves back up again.
    I've released one goal to the wild (swim, little one, swim fast!)and feel quite relieved. In future, I shall set only one goal.

    The goal that is progressing is the pencils, now up to 19 pages, drawn and scanned. So what if readers keep mistaking the man for a woman? When we get to the end of March, I'm taking myself out for coffee and sketching nothing but manly men. Talk about carrots on sticks.

    Keep going, everyone, there's still ten days left.


    Weekly Word Count: 1,800
    Daily Word Count: 1,800

    My second goal was to finish this draft of Zooey's story and I'm pretty sure that's going to happen this week. This chapter is the last long one I have to do and after that there'll be a lot of much shorter chapters as I jump cut like crazy between her and her sister (who has the other half of the book).

    I was wanting to do a weekly word count goal anyway, but March Madness has really kicked my butt into gear with it, which I'm so glad for.

  22. The weekend was a bit exhausting and sleep-deprived, but I went to the gym twice as per Shari's recommendations and had several revelations that helped me move forward. But I still felt a bit stalled. Yesterday I wrote 555 new words (according to Microsoft Word) so I am delighted about that. And then I promptly passed out, so sorry for the late check-in. I now have maybe six or seven scenes to write, not counting the epilogue, so I'm happy. I can do this!

  23. Karen! Congrats on finishing the first draft!! That's huge!

    And yes, many have had to re-vamp goals and overcome some major obstacles so far in March, but trust me, being flexible and being able to do that will be a very useful quality, especially if you're a writer.

    I'm just really impressed with all of you - even those of you who feel like you're falling way short of your goals. You're still checking in and you're still ready to keep trying. That is a winner's attitude, my friends!

  24. So... I got to the halfway point, had a minor revelation about certain characters, and had to go back and start at page 1. Again.
    Just got back to the halfway point yesterday, and I might still make it through a complete start-to-finish revision this month, if I buckle down!

  25. This week is going to be reminiscent of last week... too many distractions! I've accomplished one of my goals but have had to revamp the other one to something more realistic for the time that's left. I'm in awe of how the rest of you are doing!