Our History

The 85K Writing Challenge began as a small Facebook group, running our first 85K90 during the first 90 days of 2016. In 2017, we took an important step forward; expanding our program from a 90-day writing challenge in a private Facebook group to a comprehensive 12-month writing system on its own website.

Still a grassroots effort, in 2020, our goal is to expand our reach by connecting with other writers through social media channels.

Beginning January 1, 2020, join the conversation by connecting with us here:



Our Goal

Our goal is simple: Write 85,000 words in 90 days. January through March.

Why 85,000 words? Eighty-five thousand words is the average length of an adult novel.

Why January through March? The spirit of the New Year strengthens the resolve to write. It’s winter in the Northern Hemisphere, a good time to “hunker down” and focus on large projects, and in the Southern Hemisphere, the warm days of summer are a good time to “settle in” and set words to paper. Around the globe, there are no major holidays in the first quarter of the calendar year to compete with writing time.

The 90-day time frame gives writers plenty of time to catch up when distractions and other commitments interrupt. And it helps that April is the first of three 30-Day Finish months, dedicated to finishing tasks and laying the groundwork for the next production cycle. Therefore, if you need a little extra time beyond the 90-Day Write cycle (January-March) then use the 30-Day Finish cycle in April to finish up before editing begins on May 1. Our calendar at the bottom of this post explains everything.

Binge write or daily pace? That’s up to you.

Writing 85,000 words in 90 days requires a commitment to write approximately 1,000 words (four typed pages), every day, for three months. Of course, many days, writers will write more than 1,000 words, setting themselves solidly on track to complete the challenge in the time allotted.

Busy life? Can’t write every day or don’t want to write every day? No problem. Many writers work weekends-only on their 85K Writing Challenge project.

When you write and how much you write is up to you, but for the purposes of running this challenge, we’re targeting 85,000 words in 90 days and we will speak often about establishing a daily writing practice.

This year-at-glance calendar explains everything:

IMAGE: 85K Writing Challenge Year-At-A-Glance Calendar

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