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The Mother of All Writing Challenges

Wednesday, August 17, 2005
I am issuing a writing challenge to all you writers out there.

By "writers" I mean

(i) people who are actually call themselves writers; and
(ii) people who know in their souls that they are writers, but who may not actually use the w-word when referring to themselves in public (yet).


I would like to challenge you to take a step forward in your writing career. You get to decide what that means to you. Here are some ideas:

  • move outside of your writing comfort zone by trying a new type of writing

  • sign up for a writing course that will give you an excuse to write on a weekly basis

  • treat yourself to a book about writing, a writing journal, and a package of colored pens that are so easy to write with that they practically dance across the page

  • send a pitch letter to a magazine, newspaper, or online market that you've always dreamed of writing for

  • buy your inner critic a one-way ticket to Nowheresville

  • find a writing buddy who will encourage you to set writing goals for yourself and to work towards achieving those goals (unless, of course, you're the type of person who will find it threatening or intimidating to have a writing buddy, in which case you may be better off to go solo!)

  • think of somewhere you could go to sit for an hour of amazing, uninterrupted writing time -- and do it

  • think about the unique experiences you have had and how you could use those experiences to help the world through your writing in some way, shape, or form.


I'm going to kick off the challenge by telling you what I just did to inject some literary caffeine into my writing life. I just signed up for a short fiction course that starts in October! (It's being offered through Trent University, where I teach non-fiction writing. (My next course -- "Publish and Prosper" will run in the spring.)

To make the challenge a little more interesting, I have decided to offer some prizes. Because I have a terrible habit of purchasing copies of writing books that I already own (!!!), I have ended up with doubles of the following three writing books: Betsy Lerner's The Forest for the Trees: An Editor's Advice to Writers, Noah Lukeman's The Plot Thickens: 8 Ways to Bring Fiction to Life, and Bonni Goldberg's Beyond the Words: The Three Untapped Sources of Creative Fulfillment for Writers.

Anyone who does something to take a creative risk as a writer and who swings by this thread to post about what he/she did will be entered to win. The challenge will run until Sept. 15th. At that point, I'll be drawing the names of the three book winners. Good luck!

| posted by Ann D @ 2:14 PM