As a procrastinator, a lot keeps me from writing: checking out webcomics, watching tv, the fact I don’t want to look at a computer screen after 10 hours of doing so at work, lack of inspiration, fear (which is silly, but very real), and probably a million other things I could list if I thought about it long enough.
These first few writing challenges are going to focus on what keeps us from writing. We’re going to start off easy and focus on the physical things that keep us from writing.
Write a scene of the last activity that won out over writing. Maybe it was work, or watching tv, maybe you spent the whole time thinking about how you should be writing. Whatever it was, I recommend you write in the same style you usually write, or aspire to write in.
In yesterday’s post, I talked about the importance of having a goal. That goal will likely have a form. If you want to write a fiction novel, write the scene as fiction, with a character that is you or represents you. You can even fit the challenge to sci-fi, romance, or whatever genre you specialize in. If you write poetry, write a poem. If your goal is to publish a memoir, the post can almost be a diary entry, or in the tone you’d tell a story about yourself.
If you’re still figuring out what your writing goal is, just play with it. Take the prompt in whatever direction you want. I’ll post my response to this challenge tomorrow. Feel free to share your response in the comments below or post it on your own blog and put the link in the comments.
One of my blog posts that brings in the most search traffic is my “30 day writing challenge” post. My friend Beth found a writing challenge on a tumblr account and we started it together. I lasted about 5 days. But I had outlined the challenge on my blog, and that post does bring in some organic traffic.
The sad thing is, I doubt many people from that post check out my other pages. So I had the idea to create a 30 day writing challenge of my own, post it, and get some more interaction. The problem is that I never finish writing challenges. NaNoWriMo, writing prompt books, anything that requires my daily attention falls through the cracks. Usually because if I miss one day, I don’t feel like it’s worth it to catch up.
Of course, concrete goals are useful in achieving your dreams, but I feel like “writing every day” isn’t a goal- it’s a means. It’s the strategy you use to achieve a result. But if you make it your goal to write everyday, that larger result gets lost, and it’s easy to get frustrated when you fall behind or, even if you do write everyday, it doesn’t lead anywhere.
So instead of doing a writing challenge that requires you to work every day, (which in my mind makes it easier to just quit if you fall behind), I want to make a series of challenges that just focuses on improving your writing. No pressure to do one every day. Just focusing on one little thing at a time to become a better writer. Some will be vague, some will be specific. All will be focused on improving the self as a writer. I suggest you make your own personal goals (finish a story, write a collection of poems, be published) and set a deadline of your own, but that is something that will be most effective when you do it yourself, not be told by some blogger you’ve never met that being published by december 31 is the only way you’ll meet your dream of becoming an author.
I’ll be posting a few challenges a week. The day after I post the challenge, I’ll post the writing I did in response to the prompt. This way you have time to write based on your interpretation, but you also get mine as an example if you’re stuck or if you just want to see my writing too.
I hope you enjoy these challenges. The first one will be posted tomorrow. I’d love to get feedback on what you think about them, what obstacles you find in your writing that you might want help addressing, and of course, if you’d like to share your writing inspired by the challenges, I’d be thrilled.
Happy Writing Everyone!
So, I’m a bit behind on this 30 day challenge thing. I guess I’ll just keep trucking and if it takes me 47 days, then so be it. Here’s Day Number 5. I wanted to edit it to make it more “show”, less “tell”, but this draft has been open for three days so I decided to just post it. So here ya go.
A ship is meant to soar across the raging sea, to battle wind and wave and arrive at its destination, perhaps a little harrowed, but still able to fulfill its duty.
This ship, though, would never see an ocean. The craftsman had spent weeks, drawing plans, carving stone, polishing the ship, adding gold accents. Now he had a beautiful ship, destined to a life of identity crisis. Read the rest of this entry
So, not doing so great on the writing challenge so far. Fairy tale still in progress, and I’ll have to post my fanfic for day #2 at a later date, so you’ll get an extra post one of these days. But I did manage to write a story for today’s prompt, which is: Write a story that takes place pre-1950s. It’s short, but it’s a post. 🙂 It’s set during the potato famine, which I’ve always wanted to write about, with two characters I’ve wanted to follow for a bit. This is just a dialogue between the two; hopefully I can expand it into a story one of these days. Read the rest of this entry
My lovely friend Beth messaged me a week or so ago. “Jeriann! want to do a writing challenge with me?!” She accompanied this excited question with a link to a writing challenge. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) It’s a thirty day writing challenge, with a prompt for each day. I’m not sure if the person who posted it on Tumblr realizes that February is only 28 days this year, but that’s ok for me, because I found a 25 day writing challenge that I can do after that, so that it will be the end of March before I have to come up with my own ideas for posting again.
I’ve done writing challenges and similar things before, and I can’t guarantee that I will follow the prompt each day, but I will try my hardest to be inspired by it. I figure as long as I write every day, the challenge is met. If you’re interested, you can find the challenge I am participating in here: 30 Day Creative Writing Challenge
I would be posting the first day’s writing, except for two things. Read the rest of this entry