I’m in the middle of a two week writer’s challenge with my local writing buddies. Unlike National Novel Writing Month, which has a 50,000 word goal, or Book in a Week, we set our own individual goals. It could be a word count, it could be dedicating a certain number of hours per day to writing, or it could be something specific like finishing an outline. We email back and forth with our daily goals and progress, pulling out cyber-champagne or wet noodles as needed.

It’s going well, despite the several snow days we’ve had. Although we’ve had to deal with our beloved offspring more than we planned, all of us have soldiered on and gotten more done than we would have otherwise.

The idea of group challenges isn’t unique to writing. I haven’t done Weight Watchers but I think they use the same concept. My husband is making continued progress on his stroke recovery through a group water exercise class at the YMCA.

I think there are at least two reasons that this sort of group challenge can work.

  1. Accountability. It helps to declare a goal and have friends who will know if you achieved it, or at least gave it a good shot.
  2. Camaraderie. It’s great to have someone to bitch to when it gets difficult, to share tips and tricks and to celebrate achievements.

What do my writer buddies and I get out of it? Increased productivity and bragging rights. Oh yeah, Mimosas and cake at our next meeting. 🙂

Do you participate in any group activities or challenges? Do you feel you get a boost out of them?