I love the idea of daily or weekly prompts when it comes to writing. I prefer to use any semblance of consistency with my attitude to writing on my own work. I also love some of the work I didn’t plan to do last year.
I started writing a piece that got dark enough to make me uncomfortable through the subject matter, and a story that was incorporated into my marriage proposal. No, they weren’t the same story.
I thought I needed to do something along those lines ago. I don’t have to propose (we’re married now!), but aside from the pieces I want to work on (previous nanowrimo novels, new concepts, blogging), I also want to push my writing further. Hence the idea for a writing challenge. The day that I realised I wanted to do that sort of thing was the 8th, which meant I’d gone an entire week without jumping into a challenge. While I don’t hold to having to start a new activity on a clean date, missing the start is probably too much for my desire to keep my attitude neat and consistent.
The last time I participated in a regular (fortnightly) set of writing prompts, it soon became clear that most people weren’t really doing them. That didn’t hurt me, but it did mean my incentive was reduced. Perhaps that set of writing was flawed because it wasn’t about me. I did actually enjoy what came out of those prompts, mostly because I treated each of the 100 word sprints as a unit, but also carried on the tale from the previous with each. That idea of something small being part of something greater was very influential on my writing, though it was something that came about organically. We weren’t directed to join them, but I thought “heh, that’d be interesting”. Three prompts in, and I was actually hooked on what was happening.
Fortnightly could work, but I wanted more than just 100 words this time. The competition I started writing for (but didn’t finish) is probably one of the main reasons for this. I need to push my writing further, to take it to extremes to see what bubbles underneath the surface of my excruciatingly safe prose.
That’s why I’ve gone for monthly. This month isn’t over yet! It’s not not-begun either, but I can work with that. Yes, part of me still wants to say “No, it’s the 11th today! It’s the 11th today. 11th of January. That’s 10 days gone and another on its way. IT’S TOO LATE.”
That part of me can be an idiot. It’s not too late.
The future challenges will be posted around the start of each month, but yes January’s is late. I can’t really do much about that (backdating it seems deceptive), but I’ll just have to embrace it and go all meta with it.
A third of the month has gone. At this rate, you’ll get nothing done this month despite your best intentions. You want to wait until February so you can start with a clean slate, or even on your birthday or Chinese New Year. No. We’re going to make the best of it. This month, you’re just going to write prose. It doesn’t matter what, but you’re going to write something dag-nab-it! You can write imperfectly. You can write something you would rather burn than read yourself. This month, it’s writing for writing’s sake.
The guidelines for each challenge are:
- The target is 1000 words. 950-1050 is equatable, and you can go by whatever wordcount your word processor says unless you have reason to doubt it.
- Unless otherwise stated, it should be something new and original. No reusing something you did earlier.
- Care about what you’re writing. Unlike a 100 word sprint, 1000 words wants investment. It wants to grab.
- You have until your local timezone says it’s the first of a new month.
- If the challenge presented is too much for you (not the word count, but the challenge itself), it’s okay. They’re going to get severe, as they’re intended to push you past what’s safe and known.
- Even if you haven’t participated in previous challenges, join in anyway!
Late addition: If you’re doing this on your own blog, tag with ficwc!