Posts Tagged ‘challenge’

writing blog picI’m in the midst of writing a short story. Since I mostly write poetry, this is a bit of a change. Especially since I’ve challenged myself to write every day. Consistency is not my strong suit—not when it comes to my own personal schedule. But since this story has grabbed my attention I’ve written for eleven days in a row (it’s a start…).

I think I read somewhere that you need to do something for at least twenty days in a row for it to become a habit. As much as I love to write, I’ve been inconsistent and haven’t made writing time a true priority. This was part of the reason for setting this challenge for myself—how can I seriously call myself a writer if I don’t take my writing seriously? I guess it’s not that my writing isn’t a habit; it just isn’t a very consistent one. That’s something I’d like to change.

Something I’ve learned during these past eleven days: I kinda’ understand why some authors drink. Ha! There have been moments, and tonight is one of them, when I’ve been nervous about writing. Not because I don’t know what I’m going to write, but because I’m not quite sure how it’s going to come out. I can totally see how a drink or two would relax you before you take to the pen—or keyboard, as the case may be. (Please understand that I’m writing this tongue-in-cheek. I’m not advocating alcoholism for anyone, author or otherwise.)

So tell me, does anyone else get nervous about writing a particular scene? I’ve been getting actual butterflies in my tummy at points. Typical? Or am I more neurotic than I thought?


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Picture from Yahoo Images

I wouldn’t necessarily say I’m a sucker for writing challenges, but I am definitely drawn to them. I gave some serious thought to participating in NaNoWriMo this year, but knew that it just would not have been feasible given all that was going on in my life (then, now, still, always…). But this is what I like about the ROW80 challenge. It’s a challenge that understands that not only do you have a life that can’t be put on hold for the duration of the challenge, it also understands that there is more to writing than just writing. There’s editing. And brainstorming. And research and character development and interviews and, and, and… This challenge is not about simple word counts. It’s quality over quantity. It’s about setting your own goals and then challenging yourself to reach those goals.

I like what this blogger at Challenge Corner has to say about making SMART goals. Goals should be:


Since the first Round starts soon (Jan. 3rd), it’s probably about time for me to figure out what my goals will be. I need to pay particular attention to the Realistic part of my goals. I have a tendency to over-extend myself, and then get extremely discouraged when I don’t meet my expectations. I’ve had my share of disappointment and discouragement in my life lately, so I’d like very much to avoid that in my writing if at all possible.

So what shall my goals for this round be? Hmm…

1. Edit “The Adventures of Elliott and Emma.” Hopefully get it in shape to be sent out into the big bad world of potential publication.

2. Submit a poem to a journal or competition at least twice a month. For several months now my goal has been to submit something at least once a month, and I’ve been successful with this. I thought about making this goal to submit once a week. But I know me, and I know there will come a week that it won’t happen, and then I’ll feel like I’ve failed and just give up. So twice a month is my compromise. We’ll see how it goes.

3. Post to this blog on a more regular basis, in a non-poetic way. I’ve mostly been posting poetry, but if I’m going to try to submit said poetry, I need to stop posting them, as most (though not all) journals would consider poems posted here to be previously published.

UPDATE: I realized after publishing this post that “regular” isn’t exactly measurable. So, taking that into account, I’d like to post to this blog at least once a week, and preferrably twice. I think between this blog and the blog I have going for Hugo House and the Words of the Day – not to mention my other goals – this should keep me busy.

4. On a related note, I’d like to write a new poem at least once a week. As evidenced by my attempt in November, writing a new poem every day just won’t happen. But I think one a week is not too much to ask.

5. Read one short story per day. Yes, I said read. But I wholeheartedly believe that it is crucial to immerse yourself in your chosen genre, and in addition to poetry I really, really want to start writing these short stories that have been rolling around in my head. While this is not writing, per se, I view it as a crucial element in my writing life.

So there you have it. Those are my writing goals for Round One. This is probably the closest I will get to making any New Year’s resolutions, since I don’t really believe in those.

Wish me luck!

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