I had been working on two novels simultaneously for a long time. When I need a break, thirty day challenges are what I look for. If I can’t find a good one, I make up my own. Once, I did a post every day for a year—photos, quotes, stories anything. I just had to post. It helps me to do things that are related to my field. Buying one caramel macchiato every day for a month wouldn’t be appropriate, but something writing related is.
The most recent challenge issued was to write 30 short stories for 30 days. One thousand to 20,000 words. Obviously, some of them will be real stinko stories, but the idea was to spark my imagination and see what I could come up with every day. It caused me to be more observant, eavesdrop on conversations (who knows, maybe I was listening to you!) and watching the reaction of people to various circumstances.
It’s better to try and fail than not try. You don’t know what you’re capable of if you don’t make the effort. I allowed myself 3 extra days due to standing appointments, and took advantage of those days where I wrote more than one story in a day. I’m happy to announce I managed to get 30 in 30. My husband and I celebrated the accomplishment.
They’re not all highly polished stories ready to send out (yet) but I’ve got seedlings to grow. Because they’re designed to be brief, this kick starts my goal of sending out short stories this year. It’s only March. By December, I plan to have all the good ones out in the world being read by someone, and maybe attempt another 30 day challenge. Who knows, maybe you will join me!
How are you challenging yourself in your writing?