Today is the last WorldEmber homework challenge, and there are just 5 days left until WorldEmber itself beings! This week, you’re making a promise to yourself. We’re scheduling butt-in-seat time!
WorldEmber Homework Challenge Week 4 – your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success!
If you find it hard to get yourself motivated to write, or even just tricky to make room for writing and worldbuilding in your life, then this week’s homework challenge is for you!
The aim of this week’s homework challenge is to set you up for ultimate success in WorldEmber. This week, we’re talking about scheduling your writing time, tracking your word goals, and stopping time theft!
This week’s submission should be a generic article called WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success (or something to that effect)! You can make it a child article of your WorldEmber pledge article if you like.
Task 1: Create a writing space
Since this week is all about setting you up to succeed, let’s talk about your writing space. First of all, you’ll need to make sure that your physical writing space is optimized. That might mean clearing out the clutter off your desk, or putting away that basket of laundry sitting in your writing chair. It might mean that you need to collect all the mouldy coffee cups you’ve been hoarding behind your monitor and throw them in the dishwasher. Whatever you need to do to optimize this space, do it now. You want it to be fresh for WorldEmber.
And, of course, your writing rituals. Do you always write with a pot of tea, a cup of coffee, or a glass of wine? Make sure you have your drink of choice stocked up. Sort out your writing playlist now, so you’re not tempted to remake it during December.
What you’re doing here is helping yourself by reinforcing helpful rituals which aid your writing. The smell of your writing drink, or the sound of your playlist, can help trigger your mind into that creative space you use for worldbuilding! A clear, clutter-free space can help prevent distractions or additional stress when you create. And finally, make sure that you’re removing any potential excuses not to write!
To submit: Take a picture of your writing space and add it to your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success. Add a list of the vital ingredients you’ll need for a successful writing session – drinks, music, headphones, equipment, and anything else!
Task 2: How fast do you work?
If you’re writing a little bit every day, you’ll need to write about 333 words daily in December to finish WorldEmber. That works out as at least 2331 if you’re writing one day a week. Most people will find that it takes them several hours to write that much all in one go.
This task will help you understand how fast you typically write. Over the next few days, do a few word sprints of your normal length, and work out your average word count per minute.
If you’ve never done a word sprint before, here’s a quick guide!
Open up a World Anvil article template and think quickly about what you’re going to write! Referencing your Pledge document from the first WorldEmber Homeworld challenge will help!
Set a timer for 30 minutes and start writing!
Stop writing when the timer stops, and count your words!
Add your total word count over all writing sprints together. Then divide it by the total number of minutes you spent wordsprinting. The result is your words per minute.
To submit: Create a section in your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success called “How Fast I write” and note down your writing sprints and final writing speed there!
Sprint 1 – 30 minutes, 536 words
Sprint 2 – 30 minutes, 396 words
Sprint 3 – 30 minutes, 890 words
Total word count (1822 words) divided by total time (90 mins) is your words per minute (20 words per minute!)!
Task 3: Schedule your writing time
Writing doesn’t happen by magic. It happens when you put your butt in your seat and write! In this task, we’re going to figure out roughly how long it’s going to take you to complete WorldEmber, and we’re going to schedule that time in your diary!
Now you know how fast you write, it’s time for some math. You need to work out roughly how long it will take you to write your 10,000 words and complete WorldEmber!
- Divide 10,000 by your words per minute (e.g. 20 words) to find the number of minutes it will take you to complete WorldEmber (500 minutes)!
- Divide that number of minutes (500) by 60 to get how many hours you’ll need (8.3 hours) to complete WorldEmber. So, you’ll need at least that amount of time to complete WorldEmber.
- Add at least 25% extra to that amount of time! This is to account for failed sprints, moments where your plans fall through, or those days when you just can’t. In this example, I’d say about 11 hours is a good amount of time to set aside.
Once you have your number of hours, look at your diary. Where can you fit those 11 hours in over the 31 days of December? I find the most helpful thing is to make ACTUAL APPOINTMENTS in my diary. That stops me from scheduling other things when I know I need to be writing!
- Can you squeeze in 30 minutes during your lunch break?
- Can you crack out a writing spring in the evening after work?
- Can you wake up early or stay up late to squeeze in some writing?
- Can you write on your commute?
- Can you squeeze in a few hours each weekend?
Wherever the writing happens, if you’re going to set yourself up to succeed, you should have some kind of plan as to WHEN you’re going to be creating all those worlds!
To submit: Create a section in your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success called “my writing schedule” and note down the times you’ve scheduled for your writing sprints and sessions!
Task 4: List your support groups
Worldbuilding and writing doesn’t have to be a lonely task! This task is to create a list of the people and communities that you personally find are helpful! For example:
- a friend or partner, who you can bounce ideas off
- a helpful community, like the challenge-discussion over on our Discord, or various worldbuilding subreddits, who you can turn to for advice and inspiration
- a writing group or chapter, who you can turn to for critique and who can ask focus, pertinent questions to help you improve your work
- broadcasters and write-ins, like those thrown by the Anvilite Streaming Corps and World Anvil’s live stream! These are a great source of motivation, pep talks, and give a great social experience too!
To submit: Create a section in your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success called “community support”. Write down your favorite people and communities to turn to for inspiration and motivation. This will be a helpful reference if you’re feeling like you need a boost!
How to complete WEEK 4 of the WorldEmber Homework Challenge
- Start by creating a generic article called WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success (or something to that effect)! You can make it a child article of your WorldEmber pledge article if you like.
- In task 1, detailed above, you’ll need to clear up your writing space and share a picture. You should also share a list of the things you need for a successful writing sprint.
- In task 2, detailed above, you’ll be figuring out how quickly you write, and how long it’ll take you to complete WorldEmber.
- In task 3, detailed above, you’ll be making plans for WHEN you’ll be completing your writing springs.
- In task 4, detailed above, you’ll write down the people and communities to whom you can turn for motivation, inspiration, and moral support.
- Once you’re done, simply write a comment at the bottom of this blog post, and copy the URL of your WorldEmber 2020 Plan for Success into the comment!