You may not feel like making any new resolutions regarding your writing, and that’s okay. But how about taking a look at writing challenges that others are taking on and seeing if you can be a little motivated to take on a few of them yourself. Who knows? Your muse may become excited and take you to new heights.
Here are some challenges that other writers are assuming. Pick a few and get going.
1. Write a Minimum of 1,000 words a Day
Really. This is not that much. The key to it, however, is that it is a daily thing – no exceptions. Whether you are working on a short story, a novel, poetry, or nothing right now, commit to those 1,000 words a day. Consider it critical practice of your craft. If you are in a dry period, try a different type of writing. Instead of writing fiction, write blog posts on topics that interest you, and submit them to relevant popular blogs.
Consider downloading a writing challenge app that will provide an unending supply of activities to get you going. You may find that writing 1,000 words a day is far easier than you thought.
2. Commit to Reading More
If you write fiction, read more fiction; the same goes for non-fiction. Many writers have taken the challenge of reading one piece a day. Even if you are busy with a “day job” or other obligations, put in those headphones and listen to those pieces. Good ideas can be sparked by reading/listening to the writing of others.
3. Resurrect Old Writing, finish it, and Submit it
All writers have pieces they began but then abandoned for a number of reasons – loss of interest, disappointment with its quality, etc. Make this the year that you pull those out, revise, re-work, and finish them, and then submit them. What is the worst that can happen? A rejection – nothing you haven’t experienced before.
4. Become a “Renaissance” Writer
The term “Renaissance man” refers to any person who has become a “master” of many things. Thus, a mathematician may also be an artist or musician and perhaps study law or medicine. Becoming a “Renaissance writer” means that you will dabble in the entire field, creating in all writing niches during the year. Even if short stories are your niche, add another genre each month – poetry, scriptwriting, non-fiction articles, a short novel, etc. You can even sign up with an online writing service. Students access them with “write my essay” please, and Trust My Paper professional writers craft them. You have probably not written an academic piece in years, and even this can prove worthwhile as you widen your thinking processes.
5. Choose Plots/Topics from the News
Become a bit of a news junkie. Read newspapers, watch cable news, and access a few news websites. Find stories that pique your interest, and make a list of the headlines and main facts. Go through these periodically and choose one as a start point for a short story, poem, or even a novel.
6. Up Your Submissions Numbers
If you generally submit a piece once every six weeks or so, “up the ante” for yourself. Commit to one a month. Even if you are working on a novel, set a number of short pieces to submit – pieces of any type – for free or for pay.
7. Participate in NaNoWriEvMo
You may have never considered participating in this annual event – writing a complete novel of at least 50,000 words in the month of November. Consider taking this challenge, and choose any month you want. Even if you don’t make it, you will have a great start on a piece that you can ultimately finish and submit.
8. Join a Writing Cooperative
There are cooperative writing groups all over the web. Many of them have writing challenges of different types. Pick a challenge and use the other participants as a support group to keep you motivated.
9. Get Collaborative
There are lots of other writers out there who want to stimulate their own creativity and production just as much as you do. You can find them by joining writers’ groups, either on or off-line. Find a few colleagues who want to participate in a collaborative writing project.
A Final Word
Cooks cook; builders build; and writers write. Whether writing is your full-time job or something you do “on the side,” you are a writer, nevertheless. And just as in any profession, there are times when you are passionate, productive, and churning out pieces and times when you are discouraged, unmotivated, or just in a general “funk.” These latter times are when you can benefit from taking on writing challenges – challenges that will force you back into your craft. This list of 9 is by no means comprehensive. Look around and see what other challenges are offered up. What do you have to lose? Even if you take on a challenge and don’t meet it, you have moved yourself forward.