• Yuwanda Black
  • Self-Publisher's Writing Tournament (Day 1 Results): Write. Get Published. Start Making Money.
Self-Publisher's Writing Tournament (Day 1 Results): Write. Get Published. Start Making Money.
Written by
Yuwanda Black
October 2016
Written by
Yuwanda Black
October 2016

Yesterday, Inkwell Editorial's second ebook writing tournament got underway. Following is how the first day shook out.



Following are the stats for the group.

Number of Participants: 9 (we had one new person join last night)

Males/Females: 7 Women. 2 Men.

Word Count Goals: From 500 to 3750 words per day.

Missed/Made Goal: 4 made their goal; 4 missed their goal and one didn't report in. 

Fiction/Nonfiction: We have 4 non-fiction and 5 fiction titles.

Subject Matter Covered: Writers are working on diverse material. There are 2 romance novellas; 2 drama (an unspecified one and a 3-part cozy mystery series); 2 careers (one is a a workplace humor story; the other an unspecified career book); 1 self-help book (insomnia); 1 religious ebook (spirituality/prayer); and 1 what I classify as humorous fiction book (the 2 little piggies story).


Me (Yuwanda) -- Participant #1

STATED GOAL: Daily Word count: 3750. Romance Novella (25,000 words). I'm working on the latest installment of "A Taste of Tara: An Erotic, BBW, BWWM Romance."


Finished 1262 words. I obviously didn't make my stated goal. I was still tired from my trip to Kingston yesterday, and I was supposed to be in MoBay (Montego Bay) today, but am staying in to make up for lost time. More on this in the "Insights" section below.

Participant #2

STATED GOAL: My goal is to write a short non-fiction self-help book on sleep and insomnia. I'm aiming for at least 15,000 words, which would require an average of 750 words a day from me. 


Got 2,043 words today!

Participant #3

STATED GOAL: I am working on my first full romance novel and committing to 1600 words per day :)


I already completed today's 1905 words! Better to get it out first thing in the morning. :)

Participant #4

STATED GOAL: Non-fiction- Careers/ Self-Help. Daily Word Count Goal - 1500 since some of it is already written. Another 10-14 motivated days should get it done. 


??? (Participant did not report in)

Participant #5

STATED GOAL: 3K words per day. Type of Book: Nonfiction (Switched from non-fiction).


3225 words completed.

This participant switched from non-fiction to fiction. She explained, writing:

Well, I started down that path [non-fiction] but once I put pen to paper, decided to write fiction about two pigs (Dan and Glenn) who own a cleaning service (Clean Piggies) that specializes in cleaning exotic office cubicle situations.

For instance, they are hired to regularly clean a cubicle that is decked out like Central Park at Christmas or there is another cubicle that is guarded by little green toy soldiers and has an air freshener aerosol dispenser repurposed to spray a custom made scent of combat out across the cube farm. In the course of their adventures, they get arrested, meet odd and unusual people, and press the limits on what is permissible in a modern office cubicle environment.

Participant #6

STATED GOAL: 3500 daily word. I have a 2-hour daily drive to my place of work and I plan on dictating the majority of the words. The type of book I am writing is fiction: cozy mystery, first in a three novella series, and I am aiming for a total word count somewhere in between 15,000 and 20,000. My daily word count goal is still 3500.


Hi Yuwanda,

I am woefully short on my word count on the first day, but I discovered if I am going to dictate the story, I need to draft out my scenes a little more thoroughly. Plus, dictating while driving requires a little more skill than I was anticipating. No worries, though, I can definitely dictate this book on my lunch hour and develop plot during my drives. Onward and upward!

Tomorrow will be a better day! Hope your day one went well!

Participant #7

STATED GOAL: 1,000 words per day. Prayer/Spirituality. 


Hi Yuwanda,

#7 reporting!

Woohoo just made it. My count is 1006! I'm sure I won't have anymore words for tomorrow - lol! Just kidding sorta...I've never done this before and I'm feeling the pressure :-O!

Participant #8

STATED GOAL: I have a 10+ year old step outline I want to write. My goal is 3000 words per day. My book is fiction in the drama category.


Hi Yuwanda, Yesterday, I completed 1600 words. As such, I want to revise down my goal to 1500 per day. I think a goal that's doable is better than having one that will make me feel like a failure on a daily basis, lol. Also, I'm in Nairobi, Kenya, and the time zone difference between hemispheres gives me whiplash sometimes, so I guess I'll report around this time. It's 10am here and 3am EST. Hope your writing day was a success. Thank you!

Participant #9

Note: This is a new participant. He joined at the end of the first day, emailing me the following around 10:30 pm (U.S. EST)). 

STATED GOAL: My daily word count goal is 2,200 words. It's probably a little on the aggressive side but I just spent most of a year writing professionally and that was about content I didn't know as well as what I'll be writing about. This will put me just north of 30,000 words after 14 sessions which will allow me to edit down under the word count for a Kindle Single. 

The type of book will be workplace humor, it will tell the story of my first long-term job after college. This is a type of book I love reading and a type of story I love telling. I hope there's room for me! I'm going to get started as if I was already in.


Turning in for the night. 1,207 words. 

Less than my daily goal, but I've only been in the tournament for a couple of hours. Some of my work time was taken up by putting together a tentative outline and gathering some old chat logs that are going to be a lifesaver later in the book. Should have no trouble getting on track tomorrow.


I. Know Your Writing Triggers: One thing I've learned about myself when it comes to fiction writing is that I can't write when I'm tired or hungry (I can write non-fiction in my sleep). I tried to push through my tiredness yesterday and write, but it just didn't work out. So I kind of already knew that I wouldn't make my word count yesterday. I was hoping I would, but I didn't.

My point in relaying this is to know your writer's personality. So if you know going in what "writing triggers" can throw you off, you can adjust, eg, in my case, get in bed early so I can wake up rested. I wound up not doing that last night either, but I plan to write for a bit this morning, then take a nap and get back up and write until I meet my goal. 

2. Write First: One participant emailed me yesterday morning (Participant #3) around 10 am. She'd already finished her word count for the day -- and she went over by 300 words. As she said, "Better to get it out first thing in the morning." Solid advice.

I read somewhere once that you should do the most important thing on your list first thing in the morning. The rationale behind it is explained in the article, "Stress Relief: How to Give Your Brain a Vacation," which states:

Your brain doesn’t work when it’s overloaded

Studies suggest that different parts of your brain work when you’re giving your full attention and when you’re daydreaming. It can seem like your brain does all the heavy lifting when you’re focused, but when you let your mind wander and your creativity and introspection thrive. When you’re resting your brain is still hard at work processing new information, resolving tensions or stressful situations, affirming your identities and ethics, and to giving you a deeper understanding of your behavior. That’s why you may feel like inspiration hits when you’re daydreaming or zoning out.

3. Focus: "Your focus determines your reality."

This piggybacks on the last tip. Yesterday, because I'd been away from my computer the day before, I got hung up on catching up with other work (eg,social media, blogging, answering emails, etc).

So I didn't start writing until late, which meant, of course, that I was even MORE tired. So today, after finishing this email, it's breakfast, then writing. Then a short nap. Then writing more. I'm putting EVERYTHING else to the side today and just focusing on making my word count. The point -- laser focus; it allows you to get s**t done!

FYI, my goal today is 6242 words -- to make up for yesterday's missed goal.


One participant asked if he should send in his word count every day. And the answer is yes. As I wrote explaining to him:

FYI, the psychology behind it is, if you know you have to "report" daily, you'll be more likely to write instead of putting it off until tomorrow -- and we know where that leads; many tomorrrows with NO writing a'tall. :)


Good luck today. The next update will be Monday, so if you write this weekend (not a requirement, of course, as the tourney is for M-F), email me to let me know, ok?


P.S.: IT'S NO TOO LATE. YOU CAN STILL SIGN UP. I'll accept one more person into the tournament, which runs until the end of the month. Get the details and sign up here. Oh yeah, it's free!

P.P.S.: Get 4 Ebooks for One Low Price — The Ultimate Self-Publishing Package!

You'll learn how to:

-->Discern whether your ebook will be profitable;
-->Write an ebook -- fast; and
-->Market your ebook to start getting sales quick!

Get full details at http://dld.bz/d5fgZ.

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