Over the years I have just toyed with writing, it was my ideal stress reliever. That is fine. It was an activity that was just for me and my notepad and pen. It wasn’t until my sister secretly sent a manuscript to an agent, who is currently helping me make it into a saleable piece, that I’ve taken it more seriously and looked more into the aspect of writing. Whilst I know I have a lot to work on, it still takes me an age to get a piece to where I’m truly happy with the draft.
So where does challenges come in. Most writers will have heard of National Novel Writing Month www.nanowrimo.org or NaNo for short. Where people attempt to write 50k in 30 days, yes you read that right, 50k in 30 days. Whilst many think it’s mad to attempt such a feat, it is achievable just as long as you switch your self-editing button off. It’s not the quality of the writing that counts, it’s the quantity. There are two similar challenges, one in June http://junowrimo.com/ and another in July http://julnowrimo.com/ . Both are apart from NaNo, but have the same outcome. At the end of these months, everyone will have an extremely rough draft to work from. I have heard of writers who get theirs published after months of smoothing, sadly I’m not one of those yet. NaNo also organises local meet-ups to meet fellow writers, and make new friends. I for one wouldn’t have discovered Writebulb without participating in NaNo 2011.
Flash Fiction could also be considered a challenge. Where you write a short story in 1000 words or less, now some may say this isn’t a challenge. I find it hard to keep a story that short. Also some will write a piece using prompts. The following was given at a previous meeting of Writebulb.
“I missed the call, I can’t believe I missed it, how could I have not heard my phone ring, now what do I do?” 800 words maximum.
The amount of variation that members have come up with is amazing. This is one thing I need to consider attempting.
This one isn’t a challenge, more of personal goal setting, alongside blog touring. It’s called A Round of Words in 80 days http://aroundofwordsin80days.wordpress.com/ or known as #ROW80 on twitter. Basically there’s 4 rounds, each lasting 80 days. At the start you post your Goals, and then post an update on the check-in days, which are a Wednesday & Sunday. Then link it to Goals linky for the round. This link can be found on the pages, blog page. This is also where you can read other blogs, of those taking part. I personally consider this more of a personal challenge, as your goals are there for everyone to read.
Writing challenges are there to assist the writer, help remove writer’s block, they can bring up new ideas, like writing exercises. For those who are part of an online writing community I would be very surprised if there wasn’t a challenge floating about somewhere. Just as there are several reading challenges, which are floating about my reading community. This particular one helps get me reading out of my usual genre.