January Challenge – Week 4

Ahh, the final week of my January challenge and it could not have come around quick enough!

It has been a fun but exhausting challenge and one that has certainly helped me get into the swing of writing as much and as often as possible. It has been fantastically energizing at times and thoroughly exhausting at others.

One of the main reasons that I wanted to undertake this challenge was to see if I had what it takes to compete in NaNoWriMo this year and I hope that by the 31st Jan that I will have got somewhere near the total of 50,000 words. If not, I hope that I’ve got pretty darned close to it….

For the sake of creating a whole new post for the 30th and 31st, I have decided to lump all nine remaining days of January in together 🙂


23/01/14: 1428 – I’ll be honest and say that I struggled today. I felt lethargic and weak during the afternoon and the words that I did get down were probably not my best.

24/01/14: 1306 – I had a massively long day at work and I knew that by the time I had finished that I would not be able – much less inclined – to get any writing done. Like the trooper that I am, I got up early and thrashed out just over a thousand words before the work day began.

25/01/14: 1062 – I had started to feel unwell the day before and had hoped that a good night of sleep would make me feel better. It did for a couple of hours, before I cultivated the mother of all headaches. As sick as I felt, I still managed to eek 1,000 words out – something of a minor miracle considering that my brain felt as if it were seeping out of my ears…

26/01/14: 2410 – I still felt ill, yet I pushed myself to write both in the morning and the evening – my headache was beginning to reach migraine proportions but was ebbing and flowing in waves. I made the most of the periods when I wasn’t feeling as if I were about to toss my milk and cookies and got as much down as I could – words, not milk and cookies!

27/01/14: 1352 – After finishing work by mid-afternoon, I made myself sit down for an hour or so to get a few words down. You may see a pattern emerging in the fact that I STILL had the mother of all headaches at this time.

28/01/14: 1552 – I was just about ready to cry at this point. I had been feeling sick and dizzy since Friday (24/01) and had barely eaten during the last four days. By now the pain in my head/neck/shoulders had become unbearable. I admitted defeat and rang the physiotherapist to book a sports massage ASAP – I also got another 1,500+ word in, t00.

29/01/14: 1398 – Knowing that my visit to the therapist was going to be not only painful, but also vomit-inducing, I made sure that I got my daily word count in before I had seven shades of you-know-what pummeled out of me. I can’t complain though, the therapist was lovely and gave me hints and tips on how to improve my posture while I write. True to form, I felt as if I had been kicked in the face by a horse by the time the lovely therapist had finished with me.

30/01/14: 1394 – Despite feeling as if an elephant had sat on me all night, I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and decidedly headache-less (much to my joy). I knew that I would have a long day at work and so I woke up early to get my word count in for the day. I had to adjust the height of my typing chair as I could barely raise my arms much past my hips all day. I also implemented the tips the massage therapist gave me by placing cushions behind my back to keep myself straight while sitting. She also told me that I stuck my chin out a lot – I decided not to take offense at that and instead practiced getting as many double chins as I could by pulling my head back instead of letting it hang down. Someone once told me that my head was too heavy for my neck – now I think I understand what they meant – they weren’t just accusing me of having a fat head, were they?

31/01/14: 1604 – Felt slightly less like an elephant had sat on my back today, although my poor shoulder muscles are complaining that they have extra work to do now that I have corrected my posture. The massage therapist advised me to keep my forefinger on the seem of my trousers while I walked but this has made me look like a penguin. When my two and a half year old nephew mimicked my penguin waddle I knew that I was making a fool of myself. I’ve decided to walk along with my hands in the back pockets of my trousers (channeling my inner-Kate Moss)  and am praying that I do not trip up – otherwise I will face-plant straight into the ground….

Total word count for the week: 12,078

Total word count for the month:50,268

It’s been a long month and one hell of a long challenge, but I can proudly say that throughout each and every one of the thirty-one days of January that I have sat down and written – no matter how tired/ill/narked-off I was feeling. I do think that it has had a positive effect on my writing and my level of creativity. I’m planning to carry this on throughout the rest of the year and find out how many consecutive days I can keep up the ‘writing every day’ rule up for.

Posture-related aches and illnesses aside, it’s been darn good fun these last four weeks. Thank you to every single person who has ‘liked’ or commented on my progress throughout the challenge, sometimes it has only been the thought of letting you guys down that has stopped me from giving up when things seemed to get too hard or painful.

Here’s to February!




Filed under Starting out

12 responses to “January Challenge – Week 4

  1. Heather!! I’m so proud of you! WOW… “narked-off” lol…I’ve never heard that phrase before.

    I’m sure you felt the need to quit, but I’m thrilled you stuck with your goal. It must feel wonderful.

    Have a great weekend and celebrate your new challange ahead.

    Audrey xxx +x You rock!

    • Hi Audrey,

      Thanks so much, I feel quite proud of myself at the moment!

      I think that ‘narked off’ is pretty much a British bit of slang and would probably translate to ‘annoyed/aggrieved’ etc. in US-speak.

      I am going to treat myself a little at the weekend and maybe even have a JD and coke or two to celebrate!

      Heather xxx

  2. You rock, Heather! I know what a struggle it was for you the past week, yet you persevered. You continue to inspire me! Very proud of you. 🙂

    • Awww, thanks, Kate!

      It was a real grind this week but I am glad that I stuck with it (even though I didn’t want to at times). I am going to treat myself this weekend just to celebrate!

      Heather xxx

      • Well, I think a celebration is definitely in order! (I celebrated with you by treating myself to a new laptop – which I am using right now!)

      • Congrats! I feel that my celebration of two Jack Daniels and coke last night is rather underwhelming when compared to yours. Mind you, I am having fruit pie and ice cream for desert tonight….. Really pushing the boat out!

        Heather xxxx

  3. Congrats on completing the challange against all odds. Looking forward to more of your work.

  4. Pingback: A Bit of an Update (Part 2)… | The Evening Room

  5. Wow! That’s a very impressive achievement, and at the start of the year. What will the rest of 2014 hold for you? 😀

    • Thanks, I’m hoping to keep the daily word count up and am currently on 34 days straight. With the turn of the year I really wanted to push myself to the next stage of my writing journey and felt that now was the time to get ‘serious’ about it.

      I hope that the rest of 2014 holds excitement, adventure and many a good friendship with fellow bloggers.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting, it is truly appreciated.

      Heather xxx

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