Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Meeting, First Annual TOUR DE WRITING

Yes, I know, I need another distraction like I need... well, a dog in the peloton.  I have three kids at home for the summer (yay!), family in town this whole week (yay!), and a self-imposed(?!) deadline to finish a revision before an awesome on-line conference (yay!).  And, I'm still unpacking from visiting my grandparents (oh, and Tina!) in Chicago.  There is a lot going on. (<--look at my gift for understatement.)

Including the Tour de France. You mention words like:  peloton, king of the mountain, and stage winner, and my blood gets pumping.  If I had my druthers, the first 25ish days of July would contain only references to yellow, white, green and polka-dotted jerseys.  Oh, and my birthday (July 13th in case you want to get a jump on things).  Sitting down and watching 4 plus hours of guys on bikes is my idea of perfection.  Actually, it would be perfection if women raced too, but, oh well. It's awesome, anyway.

I thought that it would be too much fun(!) if we had our own Tour de Writing in the month before WriteOnCon, since it's great to have fun competition, and since the conference is a good deadline.  I'm still figuring out the details, but, there will be points and jerseys, stage winners each week, and four overall winners. AND PRIZES. You do not need to participate in writeoncon (although it's FREE) to win a prize here.  You also do not need to watch the Tour de France, although it is THEBESTTHINGEVER! 

You just have to write. Competitively.

Move over NANOWRIMO.  The TOUR DE WRITING has come to town.

There will be prizes, but I haven't decided what they will be (pretty sure they'll be bookish.) I'll post what they are this Wednesday. Here are the breakdowns of the competitive categories.

Tour de Writing Jerseys:

photo courtesy of

Green Jersey: This is awarded to the person with the most sprint points.  I will award sprint writing points for shear number of new words accumulated in The Practice Room between now and writeoncon.  This is a competition for drafters.  Please email me if you need help with The Practice Room procedures (it's fairly easy).    TPR is a blog of Tina's where you go, sign in, write "unplugged" for an hour, and then come back and chat about what you've written.  It's great to talk to other writers about writing (and other things) in real time.  Keep track your word tallys for the week, and post them in a comment on my Monday post.  (I'll be at the Practice Room when I can as well.)

Polka-dot Jersey: King of the Mountain!!  This will be awarded for most progress on a revision.  Subjective, I know.  Post your challenging goals here each Monday, and I will award the Jersey to the person best able to stick to or surpass their grueling revision goals.  Tell me each Monday Meeting posts why you think you have earned the coveted polka-dot jersey.  And it has to be more than:  I deserve the polka-dot jersey because I revised a page even though a kitten was sitting on my keyboard. (If that were the only criteria, I would WIN EVERY WEEK.)

White Jersey: Novice Writer jersey.  If you are relatively new to writing--if it is your first (or even second) attempt at drafting, or revising, you can qualify for this one.  Let me know your goals, and how you are sticking to them, in the Monday Meeting Posts.

Yellow Jersey:  Overall front runner.  This will be awarded to a writer, whether drafting or revising, who makes the most overall progress during the four weeks.  This is the BIG WINNER of the Tour de Writing.

How it Works:  Post goals and progress here every Monday.  Show up in The Practice Room, if you are going for the Green Jersey.  Every Wednesday, I will post who is ahead in each category, and who gets the jersey that week.  You get to "wear" your jersey until someone unseats you.  The person who ultimately wins the jerseys (and awesome surprise prizes) will be the person "wearing" that jersey on August 10th, at the start of writeoncon.

Think you are the Levi Leipheimer, Evan Basso, Alberto Contador,  or even Lance Armstrong of writing? Put your written words where your mouth is, and join in the Tour de Writing!!

My entry into The Tour de Writing:

This week's goals: To piece together the first fourth of my revision--I have to pull stuff from earlier drafts, move parts around and continue revising.  
My overall goals for the month: TO FINISH THIS REVISION (gasp!!)

Leave your goals for The Tour de Writing in the comments.  RACE ON!!

Stay tuned for Wednesday's post about prizes.  And, if you are utterly confused, email me: hegkelly (at)  Really?! A TOUR DE WRITING?!  Can't Heather do anything simple and not ridiculously involved?  Can't she just give stuff away for the sake of giving stuff away? The answer is, no.  No, she can't.

Happy racing, everyone!  Good luck.  I'm hoping for no major crashes (especially none involving Jon's sweetheart Belle)!!


  1. WHOA! That is a lot of awesome to take in. Clearly, I am in the White Jersey category, but I suppose I can shoot for a Green.

  2. Goals, J--goals. You can't qualify for any jersey unless you post goals here each week. Let's have 'em!!

  3. Woah, Jon wasn't kidding... that is a lot of awesome to take in. I may need to read it again, so I don't miss the awesomeness.

    But my goal for the month, FINISH MY BOOK (first draft). I have 2-3 more chapters to write... and I know I can get it done... I just have to do it.

  4. Marisa--I know, it's a bit dense (the post, not me, although...) I'm hoping we'll have some fun with it! Great goals. Finishing will be a wonderful thing!!

  5. Hm. Not thrilled with the color choices (I know, shoot me, but I'm a blue and purple gal), but I do want to finsh the last 130+ pages of this revision and I've been stuck in a rut.

    August 10th? Hm.

    30K words in 5 weeks is 6K per week. I really want to get done by the end of this month, but I think I've been shooting myself in the foot with lofty goals given the change in circumstances (having the wife home 24/7).

    So 6K words revised per week.

  6. Sarah--6K per week. Nice. I bet we can put J on prettying up the jerseys. (Because he has nothing else to do with his time :)) I agree that yellow, green, red and white leave something to be desired. Although, I do like the boldness of the polka-dots...

    Woo-hoo, the race is ON!

  7. Alright. Goals.

    I will 30,000 words by August 10.

  8. Oh, and that's write 30,000, not, 30,000, I'll go for 30 miles by then though.

    Sorry for congesting your comments.

  9. Sounds awesome! But I am inbetween projects and letting my new first draft cool off for 6 weeks until looking at it again. So I'm spending time learning, researching, and plotting my next one. So I don't really fall into a measurable category! Best of luck to everyone! Terrific idea, Heather!

  10. Jon--:) 30,000 alright. That's an awesome goal!!

    Laura--hmmm. Maybe I should have a thinking jersey. Hard to quantify. Have fun with the in between time!

  11. I'm revising right now on a 30K mg and working on a first draft of another. Definitely want the revision done by August so I guess that will be my primary goal.

  12. Solvang--Great goal. I love that you are revising and drafting at the same time. You could win all jerseys if you wanted to!!

  13. Good for you trying to write with family visiting. I'm not sure I'll be able to since I have family here and I have to go to work.

    My birthday is July 15th. Happy Birthday in advance. I'll be thinking of you.

  14. So I was going to set my goal at 5,000 words per week (20,000 words total) but now that I see Jon wants to write 30,000 words I have to beat him. So I guess that is my goal, to win the green jersy whatever it takes.

    I'll try to stop by TPR as much as I can. But Tina keeps on having the super early morning schedule so moms can write before their kids get up. I live on the West coast, and as much as I love you guys, I'm not waking up at 4:30 am.

  15. Wow, this IS ambitious! I'll have to check out The Practice Room -- this is the first I've heard of it. As for entering the tournament, let me think it over! My goals are pretty vague-ish right now, but maybe it's time to crack the whip.

    For me, as a teacher, summer vacation is all too short and I want to get as much writing in as I can.

  16. Natalie--thanks again for the awesome interview last Friday--you were stellar. :) We'll have to throw ourselves a mutual b-day party on the 14th! I hope you get some surprise writing done!

    Kate--Excellent spirit of competition. The gauntlet is thrown! Anyone going for more than 30,000 fresh words?? And, suggest to Tina times that work for you--she loves it when the West Coasters can join (and the late night writing sessions get super funny!)

    Dianne--Definitely time to crack the whip. I can't wait to see you in The Practice Room. It has a chat room style after the hour of writing. Tina posted the Practice Room hours today, so check it out!

  17. What a great idea, Heather. I so want to enter, but with the kids home I can hardly think. Hmmm...I'll do the best I can to partake but don't hold me to anything. I'm actually attempting to finish revisions, too. I'll commit to 5 chapters. Phew....

  18. First of all, I love, love, love your newest layout. LOVE! Especially since I know what your book is about (generally).

    Second, I told myself I wasn't setting goals since I'm still trying to get back on my feet. But, I'm having a hard time resisting. I think I'll shoot for 15-20k words. I don't expect to win the green jersey since I miss a lot of practice room sessions and I'm having trouble writing still (and others have higher goals than mine!) but it looks like that's the jersey I'll be going for. Sound good? This is fun!

  19. I'll be rooting everyone on from afar. I have goals, but I don't think they would translate well to your contest, as they depend heavily on my ability to rarely sleep.

    Good luck!!!

  20. Okay, I'm here!

    I love this place! The whole page is a beauty! And the space, in both senses of the words. I love it.

    And the Tour de Writing is a piece of brilliance. I am getting to a section of my book that I haven't seen in a long time, as I have continuously returned to the beginning on this thing. My goal is to rush through it in the next month. No wallowing in perfections. I want to push through it and find the gesture of the last half so I can finally see this whole novel together. How can I make that goal more specific? I will be back as I figure that out!

  21. I'm just pleased to know that there's another Tour de France geek out there. I'm watching it right now, as a matter of fact.
    My whole July is taken up with TdF and then I have this empty feeling when it's done.

    As for the contest, I can't enter because I would get crushed. Three kids + summer = no time to write.


  22. A second goal! I want to get ready to draft a new wip in November. So over the next month I would like to work on the snowflake ( for my story. I am currently on step three. Maybe I would complete the whole thing?!

    Okay, goals set!

  23. Casey--woo-hoo! Nice goals. I'm going to open up the sprint to include all words written from last monday, not just written in the practice room. YAY!!

    Anita--you are welcome to set whatever type of goal you want to, and I'm sure I can fit it into the contest. I wish that I didn't need so much sleep!!

    Tina--does that first goal qualify as revising to the end?? Because it sure sounds like it. And I love the second goal--definitely blows some fresh air into the writing--starting a new idea!!

    KLM--Yay tour-de-francers!! It's so addictive! I'm so glad you stopped by--I love your blog and keep forgetting to visit. So now, see, I plunked it into my blog roll! ------------->

    I always laugh when I stop by.

    Three kids make it super hard to write. I think that's why I am doing this contest!

  24. I will confess here that I haven't written ANYTHING in a while. But I'm about to embark on revisions with my agent, so I'll shoot for that category.

  25. I love confessions, Terry! Sounds great!

  26. Heather, this is awesome! Sorry I missed it!

    My July goal is to finish the first draft of my MG ms.
    I was away and missed this, so I probably don't count but I will pretend I am so that I have more of a reason to get my butt in gear!

  27. I'm coming into this late. I thought I posted last week but I don't see me.
    This is my first book and I'm in editing mode. BUT I'm going to do an experiment and change my MC's POV. Yikes! Lots of work and new words.
    I plan on working on 10 pages a day which is about 2000 words.