Why I Love a Challenge!

My pledge to write a story a day in September and what I hope to gain!

A Challenge Begins

Saturday I’m starting a writing challenge to write 31 stories in the month of September. It sounds more daunting than it is for me because writing every day is my rhythm and what keeps me sane. I am a writer and am a much happier person and easier to live with when I put pen to paper every morning. Many days in response to my prompts I am writing a story so it isn’t much of a change.

Do not assume that because I’m writing a story a day that I’m not thinking about quality. I’m not just slapping words on a page to get them down. I’m crafting and creating.

Morning Pages

As part of my daily writing practice I write 3 pages of steam of consciousness writing as prescribed by Julia Cameron and her book The Artist’s Way. They are labeled MORNING PAGES and are a brain dump of sorts. You write whatever comes to mind. The Artist’s Way is about a creative life and morning pages do not just apply to writers, but any creative person. Most of the words on these pages are not usable in a story or other article but they are important. The importance is the time AFTER I write in the morning.

The words I read, the podcasts and conversations I listen to, and the actions I experience the rest of the day have become clearer and more usable in my writing since starting the morning pages again. It also seems the more jumbled, scattered, and list like the morning pages are the better my writing is the rest of the day.

I don’t pretend to know how this works I just use it to my advantage.

WHY THIS CHALLENGE?

So why am I excited about the Storyaday challenge starting on Saturday?

The community.

I don’t need the community to write. I don’t have to remind myself to write just like I don’t schedule sleeping or eating. I love the feeling of camaraderie among moving forward and doing something they love. There is a specialness to the time carved out for this purpose.

Yesterday I was on a Zoom call talking to several other creatives. We talked about how we so enjoyed talking about the process of writing. How a seed of an idea becomes a story or a flash becomes a creative idea we pursue. The idea many be a podcast, a job change, an article, or a flash fiction story.

I’m excited for the conversations that are going to happen every day because I know that there are a handful of people that are doing the same challenge I am. They’re getting up, listening to a prompt, and thinking about the story that they are going to create that day. We are MAKERS.

The Ripple Effect

Yesterday afternoon I taught a reading/writing lesson in a 6th grade classroom. I read Billy Twitter and His Blue Whale Problem which is a silly story by Mac Barnett where a little boy gets a whale as a punishment. Billy has to take the whale everywhere.

The thinking strategy we talked about was SUBTRACTION. The question was posed: “What could they take out of the story to change it completely?”

There was excitement as different animals, settings, and situations were being assembled verbally before they wrote. After an initial time frame of writing, they all begged for mroe writing time. We talked about writing community and how we could work together to do a writing challenge like Storyaday September or NANOWRIMO in November.

Not only do I have an online writing community but I also have an IRL community with students I see several times a week now. My excitement for my creative communities inspire me to foster more around me.

My Two Writing Teachers and #TEACHWRITE communities inspire me as well for writing and teaching.

Right now I’m where I belong and doing what I am meant to do. A year from now I am certain it will look different, but I know I will be writing. I will probably be preparing for Storyaday September 2020.

I am also certain I will still be a part of at least one creative community. I find all of these practices life-giving and energizing -isn’t that what we’re all striving for? Let’s spread the love!

Happy writing and creating!

You can read the entire post here.

14 thoughts on “Why I Love a Challenge!

  1. Good luck on this endeavor. I like how your morning writing sets the groundwork for the writing to follow. I would think that putting the jumble of thoughts going on in our minds in the morning down on paper clears our heads so we can focus on the writing that comes later.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post! You are SO inspiring; glad I’m part of your creative community (even though I don’t contribute much/often). I’m going to have to try Morning Pages to get out of my funk. Of course, I’ll be launched out of my funk on September 1. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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