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Sunday, March 1, 2015

MARCH MADNESS is Here! Day 1: Set Your Goals!

If you’ve been looking for a challenge to get your writing into gear, you’ve come to the right place! Through the month of March we will be cheering each other on to meet challenging goals with our writing, reading, blogging, or illustrating.

Basically, anyone who wants to challenge themselves regarding books and win prizes for it!



Today is goal-setting day! 
(But if you don't make it here on the first day, not to worry.
Feel free to add your writing goals here any time during the month of March).

March Madness officially begins today, March 1st, and this is how it works.

1. Set a goal here (anything writing, reading, blogging, or otherwise book related). It can be as small and simple of a goal as turning off your Internet while you write, or finishing reading a book you've been trying to get through during the month of March. Or it can be as large as writing or revising an entire book.

2. Check in daily through the month of March at our designated check-in points. Let us know how you're doing with your goal. Share your victories and struggles. Encourage others. The key is support and camaraderie.

3. We give you prizes just for stopping by and letting us know how you're doing, and for encouraging others!
Sounds easy and fun, right?! The following will be the check-in points for the month of March. Check in as often as you can, as we will be announcing prize winners throughout the month on all of the different blogs, but we're writing too, so we don't have time to chase around anyone who has won.

We plan to have check-in posts up and running by 9AM PST (noon EST) each day.

Mondays  Check in with Kim Baccellia -  http://kimbacceliasweblogfantasy.blogspot.com/
Tuesdays – Check in with Shari Green – http://www.sharigreen.com
Wednesdays – Check in with Mary Ann Scott - http://thebrokentree.blogspot.com
Thursdays – Check in with Carol Garvin - http://careann.wordpress.com
Fridays –  Check in with Tonette http://www.tonettedelaluna.com
Saturdays – Check in with Dawn Ius - http://www.dawnius.com/blog
Sundays –  Check in with Denise Jaden – http://denisejaden.blogspot.com

The prizes! We have some truly awesome prizes up for grabs this year! I'll start by giving away a prize to one person who comments below with their goals within the next 24 hours!

Here are the prizes that are up for grabs (these are in no particular order and have been donated by my generous co-hosts for this event!) I've added in brackets where we are able to mail each prize:



A critique of your first five pages - (courtesy of Denise’s agent Michelle Humphrey – INT’L)

A handmade bracelet - (courtesy of Mary Ann Scott – INT'L)

A surprise book on the craft of writing (courtesy of Dawn Ius – US/CAN)

An audiobook of Writing With a Heavy Heart  - (courtesy of Denise Jaden – INT’L)

A FULL Manuscript Critique! (courtesy of Tonette de la Luna - INT'L)

A Writing-on-the-go Writer’s Kit – (courtesy of Carol Garvin – US/CAN ONLY)

Book of Choice (to $20 Cdn) from Book Depository (courtesy of Shari Green - INT’L)

A swag pack from Anne and Henry and Falling For Alice - (notebook, charms, bookmarks – Courtesy of Dawn Ius – US/CAN)

A surprise box of YA Fiction - (courtesy of Denise Jaden – US only)

A package of fiction books, including KI, SPIRITED, and possibly an ANNE & HENRY ARC – (courtesy of Dawn Ius – US/CAN)

A beautiful Van Gogh Sunflowers Canvas Cuff Bracelet (courtesy of Kelly Calabrese - US Only)


Some popular high-demand advance copies of YA fiction – Choose one or two from the following selection (courtesy of Kim Baccelia – US/CAN)


Isn't that quite the ARSENAL of prizes?! Wow, thank you to all of our awesome hosts!!


(Also, check back, because in the past I have had March Madness participants so eager about their progress  or about the great camaraderie that they have offered additional prizes during the month!)

Why do we do this, you may ask. Well, I can only answer for myself. First of all, people who set tangible goals and stay accountable with them are as much as 90% more likely to achieve those goals. And I REALLY want to achieve my goals this March. Secondly, I love the camaraderie. This business makes writers feel lonely enough, so any chance I have to feel like I'm not in all of this alone, I'll take it! I love NaNoWriMo each year, but this group is a little more personal. We get to know each other and care about how we're doing on our projects and in our lives. And if one check-in a day is not enough camaraderie for you, we also hang out on Twitter under the hashtag #WIPMadness, so please join in on the conversations there as well.

As for this year's goals, I'd like to draft a book that I outlined over a year ago. I haven't even looked back at this outline for months, so I'm still unsure of how it will hold up, but I'm jumping in with both feet anyway! 

How about you? What are your goals for this March? Have you done this challenge with us before, and if so, how has it worked out for you? I'd love to hear!

Don't forget to leave your goal(s) in the comments below, and head on over to check in with 
Kim Baccellia -  http://kimbacceliasweblogfantasy.blogspot.com/  tomorrow! Remember, the more you check-in and encourage others, the better chance you have of winning some of the above awesome prizes! And if you set your goal within the next twenty-four hours in the comments below, you have a good chance at winning one right away!

ONWARD, Fearless Writers!

42 comments:

  1. Oh man, first to comment? THE PRESSURE!
    But, honestly, my goal for this month is to FINALLY finish this draft of my novel, which will include limiting my social media to about an hour every day (not including days I enter/get the results of contest because, man, March seems to be a busy month for those), and hitting 1k of words daily. I know I won't hit it every single day because of life, but I'm going to try at least doubling that count on my days off.
    There! Now I'm all accountable.

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    1. Great to have you here, and you have reminded me that I should definitely include a social media goal! All the best on reaching (and surpassing!) your goals!

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  2. My MAD MARCH Goals:

    1. To write 2k words a day (1st Draft of my new YA) + Keep the 1st draft judgement gremlins away!

    2. Lose 3 pounds! --- If I stop judging myself so much, my 'load' should lighten easily :) Still, I'll also eat healthier!

    #Accountable #LetTheMadnessBegin

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    1. So glad you're here, Kelly! I'm working toward a physical goal as well as a writing one. I may talk a little about that next week, as it seems to be a trend on March Madness this year. I look forward to hearing about you completing your goals. Yes, let the madness begin!

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  3. My MAD March Goals:

    1. Get back to my YA diverse thriller revision. Revise at least 10 chapters.

    2. Send off CROSS FIRE to editor.

    3. Use notebook to sketch, map out YA diverse thriller more. Carry notebook in purse so I can seize those moments when an 'idea' comes my way

    **Watch those sugary snacks/drinks and be more consistent in tracking my points with Weight Watchers.

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    1. Yay for lofty goals, Kim! Thanks for being here, and thanks so much for co-hosting. It's going to be a great March!

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  4. My goals for March:

    1. Finish the outline for Storm Maker and write two chapters.

    2. Polish and submit a minimum of five short stories.

    3. Draft a minimum of two new short stories.

    4. Finish drafting novella, Ida and the Island.

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    1. Wow, those are some lofty goals, Katherine! I'm so glad you're here with us. I have no doubt you will make them happen. :)

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  5. Thanks for hosting this, Denise, and good luck to everyone setting March Madness goals this month!

    My goals:

    1. Hit the 35K mark on my WIP.

    2. Complete script revisions.

    3. Begin outline on "new shiny" — without giving into the temptation to start working on it!

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    1. It's great to have you along as a cohort and a co-host, Dawn! All the best on meeting ALL of these great goals!

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  6. 1. Weave in new story element into my YA fantasy (five chapters a week!) - and keep sending new drafts to my amazing CP Kelly C. :-D

    2. Query my YA thriller to at least two agents a week.

    3. Work out four days a week (a healthy procrastination alternative).

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    1. Yay, I love it when critique partners both show up for the fun! Wishing you all the best with your YA fantasy AND with finding an agent, Diana! (and the workouts will come...I'm sure of it!)

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  7. 1. Finally start my new WIP.
    2. Write at least 500 new words a day without giving into the temptation to edit.
    3,. Finish another round of edits on finished MS.

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    1. Hah, I'm glad we're giving you incentive to jump into something you've been putting off. Great to have you here, Kati!

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  8. So excited to welcome some first-time Madness participants!! Awesome! :D

    I've got a project I've been meaning to get to for a while, so I'm dividing it up into 28 sections, to allow for a couple non-writing days this month (like today, in between nightshifts). So, my March Madness goal is a finished first draft of this secret project!

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    1. There's Shari. I knew your reply would be here when you were between night shifts or whatever you are doing. Thanks for being so faithful, Shari. It's great to have you here as a participant and a co-host!

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  9. I don't know if I'm feeling anticipation or terror right now, but I guess there's no putting off a commitment any longer. I've had a muddle of too many projects on the back burner for way too long, and finishing my current novel is one of them. So my goal for March is to give it some priority and get back to adding chapters. I'd *like* to finish it this month, but I'd be happy if I could add a chapter a week. I'll set that as a minimum goal, and see if I can maybe surpass it.

    Sounds pretty wimpy, eh? Hey, I'm just being realistic. ;)

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    1. Not wimpy at all, Carol! And may I remind you that terror is sort of the norm for you at the beginning of these things? AND you always go on to accomplish great things. I have no doubt you will do the same this year :). Thanks so much for co-hosting again.

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  10. Hugs to familiar 'faces' and a warm welcome to the new!

    Fall semester was intense but after a regular blogfest over the Christmas break, I stopped blogging. According to my Facebook feed, I haven't blogged in 43 days. tsk tsk

    I'm currently enrolled in 5 courses and doing homework/writing compositions, stories, or scripts in three languages. Why? I'm a writer (and by default a bit of a masochist! LOL).

    My goals for March:

    1) Write/Revise two 4K short stories.

    2) Write/Revise a 30 minute short film script.

    3) Reconnect with the online writing community via social media/blogging.

    While some of these goals a grade-related, I plan on continuing with the characters I created to put together a collection of linked standalone stories.

    Unfortunately, I can't work on extensively on my previous WIPs, but I'll try to spend at least an hour a day doing non-academic fiction writing/planning/outlining to keep my synapses firing on all cylinders.

    I'm grateful for March Madness because doing the Friday check-in posts will help me stay connected with my fellow writers. It's been too long since I've joined in the weekly #WIPMadness fun.

    Looking forward to writing/blogging/tweeting/cheering you on!

    Tonette

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    1. You are proof that ANYONE can fit these kind of goals into their schedule, Tonette. It's great to have you here and we will be rooting you on the whole way!

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  11. Hi everyone! It's so nice to meet you all and to be powering through March together. I have totally neglected writing and any of the other creative avenues I love over the past year, so I'm thankful for this space you created, Denise. I've been reading your Fast Fiction, and I'm excited.

    My March goal is to write each weekday, shooting for 2000 words per day, and continuing into April to complete the draft. We have family coming and some other things that I need to give priority certain days, so for me, success will be weekday writing.

    I'm a mama of 3, ages 6-16, and I'll be writing from our 200 year old Maine farmhouse, in between tending the kids and the farmyard critters. I've put my own creative work totally on hold, and I need to invest in it and find what balance will look like for this season of life.

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    1. So glad to hear you are using Fast Fiction, Shannon! I hope it provides some extra inspiration for you. So glad you are here, and I'll enjoy watching you attain your goals along the way. Congrats on investing your creativity! It will pay off, in all aspects of your life.

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  12. Outline my next novel and write 40,000 words

    Erin Dawson 😜

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    1. Yay! Glad you're here, Erin. I was just about to reply on FB that maybe it was because I was on here taking over the comments that it somehow stopped yours from working. But I'm glad you got it going now. I will be rooting for you with your outline and your 40k!

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  13. Hmmm...I can't find my comment. I'm not sure what happened, but I'll try this again. As I'm just beginning to transform the first 16 chapters of my WIP into a graphic novel, my goals are a bit broad. After lots of research, I am diving in, so here it goes:

    1. Build a kick-ass first page to introduce the MC and her world.
    2. Get at least 2 chapters complete
    3. Get a better sense of where my final work will end up so that I can lay it out for the illustrator effectively.

    Let the thrill ride begin!

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    1. Uh-oh, I hope other people's comments are not disappearing! Thanks so much for co-hosting Mary Ann, and I can't wait to hear when you get that kick-ass first page written!

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  14. Thanks for the inspiration and reboot this provides!
    My March Madness goals:
    - 500 words per weekday on my WIP
    - Resist the temptation to edit as I go
    - Start to exercise a few times a week.

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    1. Yes, resisting temptation to edit is a hard one, isn't it? I'll join you on that one, and the exercise. Glad to have you with us this month!

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  15. First time trying this but I'm excited!
    my goals are to complete one short story a week- doesn't matter what length based on the old photographs that I collected in the summer

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    1. We're excited to have you here, Sere! Wishing you all the very best on your short stories. I can't wait to hear more about your progress week by week!

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  16. So, I'm late, but I was off running a 15k and got home yesterday and promptly turned into a puddle of goo. Goo is not conducive to writing, or much else, I have discovered.

    Anyhow, goals: 40,000 words. I need to prove to myself that I can write more than I think I can, and that the words I write don't all need to be chucked (I am very bad for chucking out whole drafts, and that is not good on all sorts of levels). Eep. Looking at that goal is a little like looking at the big, long hill I ran up on Sunday....

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    1. Just remember, you made it up that hill...

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    2. So glad you're here with us, Catherine! Stick with us, we won't let you chuck that work, and we'll pull you up the rest of the hill, so to speak, if we have to! :)

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  17. March madness will be the theme of my goals this month. What a wonderful idea and so fun to watch others progress. I have integrated at least an hour of "writing" related activities into every day, whether it be actual writing, time on research, reading blogs, learning cover art, or brainstorming. This month I'm going to Disney World for Spring Break. This means that I have to cram 2 weeks of work into this week and I'll need to work longer hours when I return. So my goal will be to continue to put in that 1 hour of "writing" time in even through the madness. Hopefully, I'll even hit my "wish" goal of revising 10 more chapters in my WIP. But I'll be happy if I can keep up with the 1 hour a day goal. Bonnie

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    1. Let me give you a little added inspiration... two years ago, we took our nine-year-old son to Disney World. He and I were both feverishly writing for NaNoWriMo at the time, and he still wrote two pages every single day, before heading off to Disney. (Which of course inspired me to write all my words before heading out!)

      Not saying you have to do this...but I am saying it's perfectly possible to find a way to reach all of your goals this month, with or without a fun vacation intermixed. I'll look forward to hearing of your success!

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  18. Well, I guess I'm late to this party...

    You guys have such inspiring goals. For this month my only goal is to finish drafting my YA SciFi. Fingers crossed I can make it happen!

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    1. Never too late, Claire, and that's a great goal! Finishing any writing project can play with our minds. We can procrastinate or self-sabotage. But not with March Madness! I have full confidence you will get to the end!

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  19. Hi Denise. Dropping in on behalf of Earlene, who is committing to March Madness with some blogging, reading, and writing goals. :) She took part another year (last year, maybe, or the year before) -- I'm so glad she's joining us again!

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    1. Yes, I recognize the name! Welcome, Earlene, and I wish you plenty of productivity this month!

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  20. Wow, I won a prize. So exciting. Can I select the Critique for tge first five pages or is the prize pre-selected? Thanks so much. Bonnie

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