Challenge Check In

We’re not quite a week into the month and a few days into the week. If you’re participating in the March Madness Challenge for Writers, you should have accumulated some new pages by now, as well as a list of potential writing prompts, and those of you tackling one of the Circuit Training for Writers exercises should have some additional work to show for it — new story openings, dynamic vocabulary words, or even a couple of short stories. Congratulations on your progress!

Remember to pace yourself. Unlike with¬†NaNoWriMo, the goal here isn’t to finish an entire book draft (even a short one) in a month. If you feel like taking on that sort of word count, of course, you’re welcome to, but for the challenge itself, the idea is to stretch yourself in a sustainable way. Develop habits that you can maintain throughout your writing career. It might be fun to push and see how much you can manage in a month, but then come April 1st, you’ll be ready to crash. I’d much rather you aim for slow and steady. Make yourself sit down and get some writing done even on those days when you’re tired or busy or not feeling inspired. Train your mind to produce on demand. Get yourself well and truly hooked on that feeling of accomplishment.

Not every day’s words will be gold. They don’t have to be. Just get something down so you’re no longer staring at a blank page. Give yourself a framework, a project to work with, and know that you will edit and polish at a later date. Tell your internal editor to take the month off, and just go, go, go.

Happy writing!