Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Thursday Review—MoGo 7000

Lost Your Mojo? Try MoGo!
a Review by Lynn Huggins Blackburn

Have you ever had this conversation?

Interested, supportive friend or family member: “So, how’s your book coming?”

Shame-faced, sad-eyed you: “Um, well, you know, I’m really busy and. . . uh. . . ”

That’s how it’s been since the beginning of 2011. Somehow, after sailing through NaNoWriMo, I lost my fiction mojo. It was just . . . gone.

I’m still a new writer and this has been a learning experience. Your mileage may vary, but if I quit writing, no matter how valid the reason, even for a month or two, the passion wanes. After four months, I couldn’t drum up any enthusiasm for my novel. By the six month mark I had to admit I was 52,000 words into a novel I couldn’t figure out how—and didn’t want—to finish.

Much of the conventional writing wisdom says to write 1,000 words a day, or 5,000 words a week. I’ve done it before. But right now, 5,000 words a week is as unattainable as me squeezing my post-pregnancy body into a Size 4, 6, oh just forget it, ANY bathing suit.

My friend Lori Roeleveld challenged me to write 10 minutes a day. Every day. I committed, but I wondered…just how much fiction could I write in 10 minutes a day?

And then I remembered MoGo7000. MoGo7000 is the brainchild of Vonda Skelton. She noted that if you set a monthly goal of 7,000 words, by the end of the year, you’d have an 84,000 word work of fiction or non-fiction on your hands. And that’s nothing to hang your head in shame over.

And she made it easy. If you want to participate, all you do is write 7,000 new words for your book (blogs, devotions and articles don’t count). Then tell Vonda about it on her blog, and get yourself entered into a drawing for $100 cash.

So in July, I decided to give it a shot. The first few days were painful. The words didn’t flow and those brief ten minutes felt like torture. But I kept at it and after a week or so, I was churning out several hundred words in my ten minute sessions. Even with that, I’ll admit that it came down to the wire. I was writing at 9PM on July 31st but I finished the month with 7,524 words. (In honor of my achievement, I treated myself to some celebratory chocolate & I highly recommend you do the same!)

MoGo7000 taught me several lessons…
  • Writing ten minutes a day will keep me motivated. Give it a shot—you’ll be amazed.
  •  I’m apparently willing to try just about anything if you dangle $100 in front of me.
  • A monthly word goal is ideal for me right now. Instead of feeling like a failure for not meeting a daily quota, I feel energized by my success. 

The most important thing I learned in July is this . . . If I lose my mojo, there’s a simple solution. Start writing and keep writing until I get it back.

So how about you? How’s your book coming?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. On her blog Out of the Boat she writes about faith and family while her blog Perpetual Motion documents the joys and challenges of loving and rearing a child with special needs. A graduate of Clemson University, Lynn lives in South Carolina where she writes, reads, knits, takes care of three amazing children, one fabulous man and one spoiled rotten Boston Terrier.
Follow Lynn on Twitter @lynnhblackburn


  1. Wow, Lynn, what a nice surprise to see your great post about MoGo7000 this morning. I had no idea you were doing this!

    I did, however, see your total for the month of July...and happy danced for you! Yay! Keep up the good work.

    I believe the 7000 word MONTHLY goal will help writers finish their books. With life moving at such a chaotic pace, we can't always meet a daily or even weekly goal. But most of us could churn out 7000 words in a month, even if we had to pack it into a couple of sleep-deprived days. :-)

    I hope MoGo7000 will encourage lots of writers to take up the challenge and finish their books! And maybe win $100 in the process. :-)

  2. Great post, Lynn. I feel as if I've lost my poetry mojo since the conference. My perfectionistic tendencies have kept me frozen for months, but now I feel them melting away thanks to your post -- and to the 100 degree weather we're experiencing! :) Lori's advice is full of wisdom (as usual!) and your willingness to share your struggles has encouraged me to tackle my own. Thanks Lynn!

  3. I tried to meet the MoGo7000 goal last month, but I only made it about halfway. This month, I'm determined. But the difference is, last month I worked on a WIP I struggled to write. This month, I set that aside and started another WIP that is flowing right along! Yay! I'm actually enjoying the writing, which makes it so much easier to produce.

    An extra special thanks to my mentor for saying, "Take a break from it. Write something else." She knows who she is! :)

    Love the pointers, Lynn! I'll be joining you in celebrating with chocolates.

  4. I'm glad to know other people struggle with this. Once I start writing, I do well; it's getting started that's hard.

    I'll try the small goals, like 10 or maybe 15 minutes a day. Maybe that'll help, instead of thinking about the fact that I have a hard time stopping. That could be what's holding me back.

  5. I've been thinking about the November contest, can't remember how to write it, lol, but I love this idea. I'm going to check it out. And ps, I love the humor in your writing!

  6. Yes, I've been asked that question many times.
    I've been doing this! It helps keep me motivated and every now and then I actually write over my goal, which is a nice surprise. And when I don't it just makes me more determined to write more the next month.

  7. Vonda - surprise!! Thanks for the encouragement and for coming up with such a great idea.
    Cathy - Lori is full of great ideas! Can't wait to read some of your poetry.
    Alycia - Glad you're enjoying your new WIP!
    Ellen - Let us know how a smaller/shorter goal works. It's helped me tremendously.
    Debbie - MoGo is a great way to prep for NaNo. Thanks for the kind words.
    Ashley - Glad I'm not the only one that gets asked that question!

  8. Oh, that's a great idea. I DO work for chocolate or money. teeheee. I feel the same way you did, right now. No mo' mojo. I need to buckle down and get to it. Thanks!

  9. Lynn, thanks again for the great post - we all look forward to your wisdom and wit!
    Vonda, we so appreciate you finding another great way to encourage us all to meet our goals - even when our lives don't seem to cooperate.
    Blessings All - E