Before we launch into the history of the event, we’d like to raise a torch to all the writers who participate. Without these fun and adventuresome writing souls, the 10K Day would be merely a word count exercise.
But it’s so much more than that! — Milli & Jenny
JENNIFER TURNER ON THE ORIGIN OF THE 10K DAY
In 2002 I realized I’d been writing my historical for 3 years—creating chapters, researching, getting feedback, etc. I was so daunted by the rejection letters piling up that I decided it was time to write another novel.
This time I wanted to try a contemporary piece because I really disliked trying to find answers to a question
about 1735 England! Since I loved the romance and the violence in my historical, I figured a modern-day romantic
suspense novel would be best—but I had no idea if I could actually write one because I had never tried.
I got so hooked on the book that I wrote and I wrote and I wrote.
Back then I was part of a great group called Artistic License. We exchanged chapters or scenes (depending on length) once a week and chatted one night to discuss issues that we struggled with. I let them know I had started a new book. By the time I had gotten through a mere few chapters with them during our weekly meetings, the entire book was written.
The group members were shocked and wanted to know how I’d done that, since it only took about three weeks to write the first draft. Considering I had cut down my time from three years to three weeks, they all were interested to hear how this had happened. I said I would write up a quick article based on my experiences and share it with them.Various points in the article were all about addressing specific issues among group members. “No editing” was for someone who couldn’t move forward until a paragraph was perfect. “Stretching every 15 minutes” was for someone who was immersed in health and wellness. (Back then I was probably only getting more coffee and emptying the ashtray! I don’t smoke or drink much coffee these days.) “No researching” was for one of our members who would spend weeks learning about an intended plot point—such as using Greek mythology as a contemporary religion. The part about writing with a group came about because, of course, they all wanted to try it together.
Once I’d written all the rules, I came up with the term 10K Day because it had a nice ring to it, and it was a great target number to shoot for. Shortly after that we had our first 10K Day and I’ve been doing them ever since.
There has been little change in the way I approach those days. However, I find that as my time gets devoured more and more by my day jobs and daily living, I appreciate and look forward to my 10K Days like I never did in the past.
By the way, the name of the book I wrote was Bulletproof Bride.
MILLI THORNTON ON THE HISTORY OF THE 10K DAY ONLINE
In February 2006, my friend Jenny Turner (pen name J.R. Turner) convinced me to do something called a 10K Day. 10,000 words written in a single day. Being a champion of creativity, I at first thought this was counter-productive. How could anyone truly connect with their creativity while they were writing like a whirling dervish? However, I trusted Jenny and I also admired her output.
(To date, Jenny has 8 books published, produced between 2001 and now.)
I decided to approach my first 10K Day like a mild-mannered Lois Lane. I just wanted to have some fun and get into a writing groove—I didn’t think it was possible I could ever write 10K so I wasn’t going to force myself to try. I even cheated by getting out of bed late. And, yet, by following the rules Jenny gave me, I ended up with 10,277 words! There’s something about the routine of the 10K Day that produces super-human efforts—but with much less strain and resistance than I ever thought possible.
Back then the 10K Day was conducted by email. Pairs or a group of writers would give their reports and word counts by email, and that worked very well.
In June 2009, I was in need of a 10K Day for a special writing purpose but there was no one available to partner up with. I thought about the Fear of Writing blog. Why not do my 10K Day online, inviting my blog readers and @fearofwriting Twitter followers to take part? Thus began an incorporation of 10K Day events, tips and guest blog posts into my regular writing blog.
From autumn 2012 to mid-way through 2013 I took a sabbatical from the online writing life. The only thing that still got posted on the Fear of Writing blog was for the 10K Day: the monthly RSVP page and the monthly check-in page.
After a while it didn’t look like the Fear of Writing blog anymore—it looked like a site devoted to the 10K Day. So that’s what I decided to do with it. In November 2013, I converted this site to 10K Day for Writers. The Fear of Writing blog has been moved to a new location.
10K-sized THANKS to Jenny for nudging me in the right direction on that fateful day in 2006! — Milli
J.R. Turner lives in central Wisconsin. She draws inspiration from both the beauty and tragedy of the human experience. In her spare time she enjoys arts and crafts, traveling, and movies. Few things in life compare to her passion for the written word and time with family and friends, except perhaps the pursuit of chocolate.
Click on the image of her book covers above to see her line-up of titles at Amazon.com, or visit her at her website, www.jennifer-turner.com.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MILLI THORNTON
I’ve lived or survived life in seven U.S. states (not all of them states I wanted to be in) and lived for 25 years in Australia—my most favorite place in the world is still the Blue Mountains west of Sydney—but right now I’m back in New Mexico, a place I love dearly as well.
My hobbies now that I’m back in the Wild West include target shooting and 4x4ing in Brian’s Jeep Wrangler, affectionately known as BJ. Over at Milliver’s Travels, myself and my staff writers and guests enjoy writing about our travel adventures.
When I’m not partaking of a 10K day myself, I’m coaching writers over at Writer’s Muse Coaching Service and taking students at the Fear of Writing Online Course. I’m also busy writing a new screenplay and another book for writers.