Time for Another 85k Writing Challenge

If you’re looking for a new challenge to push your writing in the coming year, then I heartily recommend the 85K 90Day Writing Challenge hosted by Julie Valerie.

The Challenge (technically) runs from 1st January to 31st March every year.  I say technically because there are more steps throughout the year in regards to Editing, Prepping etc.

It just means if you completed the challenge and want continued encouragement, support and advice on the following steps in your writing journey, you can use the 85K Challenge to help.



So what is the 85k Writing Challenge?

The 85K Writing Challenge has been running since 2016 when it first came into being as the brainchild of author Julie Valerie who ran it through a private Facebook Group.

It’s pretty simple.  In 90 Days (January to March) write 85,000 words.  Boom!  You got yourself a book!

So, are you looking for a new challenge after NaNoWriMo?  Want to do a deep rewrite of an existing WIP?  Need some accountability and support?  Then check out this challenge.



WRITE – 1st January – 31st March

85K Writing Challenge - WRITE

The main part of the challenge is in the first three months of the year.  No more wasting time of writing resolutions, just use this challenge to get your butt in the seat and write under 1,000 words a day.  That’s all you need to complete this challenge.

We start sharply on the 1st January.  Simply sign up to the Website and use their Word Tracker system to input your daily word count as you go.

Join the forums on the website, reach out for some accountabili-buddies and you can even drop your word counts in the twice-weekly word count check-in.



EDIT – 1st May – 30th June

85k Writing challenge-Edit

When you get to the end of the challenge, if you decide you want to keep going you can follow along with the challenge’s other stages.

May and June, for example, are for Editing.  By having these two months set aside for editing, you can plan how you want to do it.

Maybe start with a brief read-through, then a structural edit, copy edit and finally a line edit.

You may even want to book in some time with your beta readers to get their feedback.



PREP – 1st August – 30th September

85K Writing Challenge - PREP

With your edits done, you can move to the next stage of your writing challenge, which is Prepping!

Prep time is where you focus on your Marketing Plan and work on your Strategy.  Some people seem to think marketing is done AFTER the book is released.

It’s ALWAYS preferable to start your marketing BEFORE your book is launched, oh and remember, you need to continue marketing after the book releases too.

So use this prep time to build up your Author Platform and create your Brand, design your marketing imagery and reach out to get interviews and guest posts on other blogs to build your exposure.

Remember, no matter whether you want to Self Publish or Traditionally Publish you will need to do your own Marketing.



PUBLISH – 1st October – 30th November

85K Writing Challenge - Publish

Towards the end of the year, the challenge moves to the Publish Stage.

October and November are designed to help you focus on taking steps towards getting your work published.

“encouraging writers to pursue publishing when the time is right for them and when their novel is at its best which may or may not be during the months the 60-Day Publish cycle is scheduled” ~85k90.com

Whatever you do, don’t rush to publish unless you are super ready to.  It’s not about getting your book out there, it’s about getting your best book out there.  Don’t ruin all the effort by rushing the last stage.

Use the Publish months to research your options and decide which route you want to take, learn about the industry.

If you are going to self-publish, then check out different cover artists and professional editors.  Research where you want your books to be sold and whether you want ebooks, paperbacks, hardbacks or a mix.  What about audiobooks?  Look for narrators etc.

If you want to go traditional publishing, look into querying agents and search for relevant publishers.  Check out their guidelines and write your synopsis etc



What about April, July and December?

85K Writing Challege - Finish

You may have noticed I didn’t mention these three months early.  That’s because these three are “Finish” months.

Once you finish the Writing Stage at the end of March, April gives you a little breathing room.  Didn’t quite finish your story?  Catch up in April.

Maybe you just need a few months to step away from it and come back refreshed in May or maybe you want to start editing early to give yourself more time.

NB: though I always recommend you step away from your WIP for at LEAST one week after completing it.

At the end of the Editing Stage in June, you have July as a Finish cycle.  Do you need it to do more edits?  Want to use this month for beta readers and critique partners?

Finally, December is the last finish month.  Use it to finish any further “Publish” stuff, or as a well-earned break or maybe even to outline your next story for the following year’s challenge.

Join the challenge via their Official Website

Then connect with the 85K community on their social media pagesFacebook Group & Twitter   

The Word Tracking Software – WriterStat


85K 90 Day Writing Challenge - Year at a Glance


Will you be doing the 85K Challenge?

~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~

Happy writing

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10 thoughts on “Time for Another 85k Writing Challenge

    1. Thanks for reading. Oh yes, I have to admit I think it’s important to have a strong plotline and if possible an outline to help keep you going through a challenge like this. I tried it a few years ago with a story that I was still percolating, it did not go well. 🙂

      (Apologies for the delay, I am trying to get back through all my comments)

  1. Sorry Ari. I just don’t believe a good quality book can be ground out in this manner. I think the only thing that will happen is a great many books, all of varying quality will be produced and remain unseen. Seems like a waste of time to me.

    1. Thanks for reading. I can understand that. In the end, each person decides the best way for their writing. For me, the challenge isn’t about writing a novel, it’s about creating a daily routine (which forces me to give my writing priority), gaining the support and encouragement of those in the challenge and building up the practice. If I get a first draft from it, then that’s a bonus as I can then start a heavy edit. I certainly think it’s best to use these challenges if you have an outline. 🙂

      1. An outline is totally needed if you’re doing this sort of challenge. Hopefully, most research has already been done. If a person attempts this and writes by the seat of their pants they’re wasting their time. I suppose these challenges can produce something readable…but I suspect all that will come out of the challenge are two possible outcomes. 1) An idea for what could be a good book or 2) the knowledge that you’ve been spinning your wheels wasting your time.

    1. I can understand that, and the attention you give your blog truly shows in how detailed and informative your articles are. 🙂

      (Apologies for the delay, I am trying to get back through all my comments)

  2. Pingback: Time for Another 85k Writing Challenge — – sandrafirstruleoffilmclubharris

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