Monthly Writing Challenge #5: The Tortured Artist

Most people, even writers, have comfortable lives. We manage. Nothing is as bad as we make it out, and by the very virtue of having a sated appetite, a place to sleep, and an internet connection – you’re probably doing okay.

Whether it’s something you pay for, or something that’s provided to you, the intangible griefs are themselves a luxury.

There’s always stories about tortured artists, about suffering being required for one to achieve one’s best work.


I mean, I’d like to believe it. It’d be great if it were the case, but it also proposes an awful precedent – that unless one comes from misery, one cannot write to the fullest potential.

May’s challenge is to indulge this. It’s actually inspired by one of the quests available for the Bard character, in The Sims Medieval. It’s also suggested that those partaking in this confine the experiment to a single day, or to a time when it’s not going to affect one’s livelihood. Also, if you have severe medical conditions that would prevent you from fasting, or going without sleep – Do something else.

Your challenge is to either:

* Deprive yourself of sleep

* Deprive yourself of food

* Get yourself drunk

* Go thirsty

* Whatever else comes to mind to put you into an irregular state.

You can combine a number of these if you wish, and then do your best to then write 1000 words. If you’re sick and bed-ridden, that works too. If you have other ideas for potential hinderances, please comment them below so that others might be inspired.

Most important for this challenge, more than the criteria or even the writing, is that you be safe. We would never suggest, for example, that a writer should contemplate going without coffee…

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