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!


11 thoughts on “Challenge Check In

  1. That’s actually exactly my plan. I think 1000 words a day is a reasonable amount and basically, my goal is about getting me back into the drafting habit after a year in edit-mode. So if I don’t make 31k, it doesn’t matter as much as knowing that I spent as much time as I could writing.

    Haven’t written today yet because I picked up some sort of virus. But went to the doc and took some meds. Hopefully I’ll be able to get 15 minutes of writing down before I have to go sleep.

  2. I have been working on a prompt a day and have a not bad flash fiction story out of one. My field trip to the library for dynamic vocab words was not as successful as I hoped. But, I have a couple of days to go. What hasn’t happened is the 15 minutes of writing per day on my novel. Not worried, though. I will make the time up, hopefully this afternoon.

    1. Don’t forget that all the writing counts toward your daily writing time. You’ll get to your novel. And maybe the work on the prompts will leave you with some fresh inspiration. Glad you’re exploring different aspects of the challenge. Good luck!

  3. Did some word mining in microbiology and forensic anthropology which netted me some words and concepts that helped with a WIP. Loved a great prompt from Part Wild: In the night I can hear…
    Netted a short flash or some great sound/images for an older WIP. Word count has been low, but steady.

    1. Steady is the goal! And that word mining project sounds interesting. I bet you found some crazy new words. Great progress!

  4. I’ve been focusing on my serialized novel to get ahead for my biweekly posts (as opposed to just keeping up) and I’m getting back in the beat of sitting down to write every day.

    I’ve added a few prompts to my notebook by drawing one idea/theme/thread from each TV show episode I watch (my entertainment of choice these days).

    I’m also listing “scene prompts” to figure out the outline of a WIP I’d like to work on this month and finish during Camp NaNoWriMo next month.

    1. I like your TV episode idea. Fun place to find prompts! And congrats on getting back into the swing of writing every day. I’m so glad the challenge is inspiring you.

      1. Thanks for hosting the challenge!
        It’s all about making time to write, really. And the way my brain works, a little accountability goes a long way. 😉

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