The 85K Writing Challenge began as a small Facebook group, running our first 85K during the first 90 days of 2016. Our goal was simple. Write 85,000 words in 90 days; January through March.

Writing 85,000 words in 90 days requires a commitment to write about 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? 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 (Jan-Mar) then use the 30-Day Finish cycle in April to finish up before editing begins on May 1.

This year-at-glance calendar explains everything:

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

Still a grassroots effort, 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.

Our goal will always be the writing of 85,000 words in 90 days every January through March, but for those writers wishing to continue, our broader mission is to embrace the writing life throughout the year by advancing the practice of productive writing from the first word to the first reader.

In 2018, we expanded our reach by connecting with other writers through the development of social media channels, and this website, which launched a short time ago, on January 1, 2017. We’ll have our hands full writing 85,000 words in 90 days while also building a community from the ground up. But hey, we’re the 85K90. We’re up for the challenge.

And now, here we are. 2019. Time flies when you’re having fun.



Commonly asked questions:

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.

Why expand the 85K Writing Challenge from a 90-day challenge to a 12-month system? Writing challenges are valuable, but so is continued support once the rough draft has been written.

85K Writing Challenge: Embracing the writing life by advancing the practice of productive writing from the first word to the first reader.

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