Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Write Your Novel (With Me) in 2014

I let my subscription to Writer’s Digest laps, but finally decided to re-subscribe. The other day, my first new issue came in. Sprawled across the cover was the title of an article that was meant as a call to action.

Instead, it felt more like a reprimand.

“Write Your Novel in 2014!” the glossy magazine cried out to me. You see, over the course of 2013, my subscription wasn’t the only thing I let laps. My daily habit of writing creatively went dormant also.

But now, I need to wake up, to get busy, take action.

Because it’s a new year.

I have a plan to kick start that creativity again. It’s sort of a challenge for the month of January. It’s kind of a personal thing, but I wanted to extend an invitation to you, my dear reader, anyway.

Won’t you join me?

I could make up a list of excuses for why I didn’t get much creative writing done in 2013, valid reasons I didn’t finish any novels this year. There were, after all, some pretty major changes in my life.

I took on a new job and moved further away from home than ever before. I had to stretch myself professionally and personally in ways I’d never imagined.

But taking all that into consideration, I am still no closer this year than I was last year to becoming a published novelist, to getting my stories out of my head and onto paper for others to read.

Recently I made it into my favorite bookstore to do some last-minute Christmas shopping. As I was checking out, something on the counter caught my attention.

It was a stack of little boxes filled with cards. The boxes proclaimed, “Fun questions to spark entertaining conversations.” I’d never seen anything like it before, so I bought one.  

When I got home and looked at my new purchase a little closer, I saw that each card had a random question on it. They were, as the box had already told me, something that could be a good conversation starter…

…or writing prompt, I thought as I began to set them aside.

Suddenly I stopped as another thought occurred to me.

A writing prompt? Surely I hadn’t just stumbled upon the one thing I needed to kick my own butt into gear… did I?

What I’d thought of was simply this: a daily personal challenge for myself throughout the month of January using the questions on the cards as writing prompts.

I know they say that most New Year’s resolutions die before January is over, but I want this to be different than simply a resolution to write more. I want – no, I need – this to be different. I need this to work…

So here’s the deal. I propose a creative writing/blogging challenge for the first 31 days of the New Year. Any and all are welcome to participate.

I’ll pick a random card from the little box each day and then write my response. It might end up being as simple as a single sentence, real life answer or as complex as a 5,000-word fiction story inspired by the question-prompt. I’m going to aim for between 300-500 words a day.

To participate, all you’ll need to do is write a response to the same question for that day. You can post your writing in the comment section of each day’s post on this blog or you may post it on your own blog. However, if you chose the latter, please link to my blog in your post and put a link to your blog in the comment section here so I can check out what you’ve written.  

Listen, the main reason I want to do this is to get back into the daily habit of writing. The reason I’m choosing to do that here and share for the entire world to see is to keep myself accountable. I’m not going to lie; I’m looking for some encouragement. In return, I’ll do my best to encourage you too.

So what do you say? Will you join me?

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