I did it!!!
31 stories in 31 days!!!
It was one more than my goal. I figured I would give myself one off day. I had so much fun I didn’t use my freebie.
What I Learned From Writing Everyday…Again
I participated in StoryADAY May 2018 hosted by Julie Duffy from storyaday.org. This is not the first writing challenge I have particpated in this past year. For those who do not know, November is not only known for Thanksgiving in the US but also for NANOWRIMO — National Novel Writing Month where thousands of writers challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in the 31 days. There are days that word count is easier to achieve than others.
Storyaday has the advantages of a Superstars forum (for a small fee) and daily prompts (for everyone). The Superstars have the bonus of videos from the creator with some further explanation.
- The Superstars community and writers that commented on the daily posts were great. The camaraderie was amazing and there is a bond with people who you are accountable to everyday. There is a warm fuzzy feeling when you know other people are in the same situation as you are.
The idea that others were in the same routine as I was helped to motivate my writing the couple days I was reluctant to put pen to paper. There is comfort in the idea of other people following the same crazy plan that you are!
2. I like having conversations about writing. I seek out other Storyaday writers, Twitter writers and recently joined a real life writers group. Critique is nice, but not always the conversation I want to have. Through Storyaday we had three Zoom chats with Superstars and we talked about how we write and why. It was quite enjoyable.
3. Establishing the daily writing habit is good for me and my practice. I am more creative when I do a little per day. It is thinking and planning that helps the juices flow. I was always looking for a story spark and that habit has continued past the challenge.
4. I love monthly writing challenges! I participate in the TwoWritingTeacher blog challenge in March, Storyaday in May and NANOWRIMO in November. There is also CAMPNANOWRIMO in April and July!
5. The Storyaday prompts required me to plan more. I am usually a pantser — I write from the seat of my pants. I sit and write and just let whatever flows out materialize on the page. I thought about the prompt thoroughly before diving into the actual writing which made the words flow faster. With my long commute to work, I was able to listen to the prompt direction video and then think about my story beats and write it later in the day. This method worked well even if I just constructed the first couple of sentences.
6. A joyful part of the writing process for me was being able to combine ideas for stories I wanted to write with the prompt most days. It was satisfying to take a spark I had and mold it to the prompt idea which made it more layered and interesting and therefore a better story!
7. Many prompts were so much fun or effective I will come back to them again and again. I will also use some of them with students.
- I love the idea of taking a random list of words and constructing a story.
- I also enjoyed telling a story from 3 different perspectives.
- The MICE prompt was new to me and I did some extensive research for this day.(Check out the Writing Excuses podcast for a great explanation)
- One prompts was to take a story from earlier in the month and rewrite it from a different perspective. This prompt was surprising to me. I learned so much about the secondary character! I don’t normally gravitate toward this type.
- Using prompts is not always a “writers block” solution for me. Just using them to start writing is a favorite practice of mine.
7. The StoryADay writing podcasts are awesome and batch listening to them is inspiring. They are the only writing podcasts I listen to over and over.
8. Morning writing is more effective for my personal routine. I could write later in the day but it was slower and felt more laborious. The flow was pretty steady in the morning but I believe coffee had something to contribute.
9.Most of the month I wrote on the computer. When thinking or planning to figure out what to say, I wrote longhand or sketchnote. To get words on the page and not overthink it, I type.
Writing Goals Moving Forward
- Continue to write daily
- Complete at least one short story a week
- Visit the Storyaday.org website for Wednesday prompts
- Submit 3 pieces monthly
- Revise at least 2 days a week to prepare stories for submission
- Remember the conflict!
- Revisit all the prompts from May 2018 and rewrite all new stories. It is a writing experiment to see how different the stories would be!