Simon Cantan’s Acceptance Speech

Recently the Self-Publishing Roundtable sponsored and took part in our friend Trish McCalan’s ‘Last Author Standing’ challenge.

The idea was 15 authors would set a daily word count goal then write every day against 14 other authors. You had to hit your word count and update a joint spreadsheet before a specific time each day, or you were eliminated. If you made it a week, your word count had to increase by a minimum of 50 words per day.

I personally decided to take part (and get behind it) as I’m a binge writer. I will have days where I will hit 10,000 words, but then not write for a week. I wanted to develop better habits and a more controlled average word count.

The competition was set to teach us just that, hitting daily (and longer) deadlines (self imposed but still important) and be held accountable for your writing.

In the end, I felt the daily writing actually ended up hurting my average word count. It also hurt my creativity. I hit my daily goal, but would then lose interest. I decided to drop out just under 40,000 words in. I can see the benefit of this for most people. I highly recommend you try something similar.

I think every member of the 15 got something from being in the contest. We are now running a reverse version for November (Start at 50,000 and race to the bottom) in honor of NaNoWriMo.

I learnt how what worked for me and managing my time. I got to meet some other authors and build relationships with them. I also confirmed my suspicion that I’m a binge writer, and that works for me.

I wanted to share some of the stats from the competition, which ran from early September to 14th October 2013. Simon Cantan was the eventual winner, but I’ll get back to him in a minute.

  • 15 authors wrote a total of 430,134 new words on WIP’s in just over a month.
  • Only 3 of the 15 authors didn’t write over 10,000 words during the competition.
  • Four authors wrote over 20,000 words.
  • Three more wrote over 30,000 words.
  • Two writers wrote over 60,000 words.
  • The highest individual word count was 96,757
  • The winner’s word count was only the third highest, but the most steady.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers & statistics.

Now onto the winner….

Simon Cantan and Gregory Lynn made it to the end. As I said, they didn’t have the highest word counts in the competition, but they showed commitment and continued discipline to get to the end. Simon was finally crowed the winner on 14th October 2013, when Gregory failed to make his daily word count goal.

We had asked the winner to come on the Self-Publishing Roundtable live to discuss their experience. Due to Simon being in Europe, the timing just didn’t work out. He has instead provided us with a pre-recorded acceptance speech at the top of this post.

Simon won a $25 gift voucher and the respect of his peers (haha). Congratulations.

What are your writing goals?

Do you binge or have a daily habit?

Let us know in the comments.