Writing Challenges: Why We Love WritingChallenge.org And Why You Should Too

Why You Should Love Writing Challenge.org - We Do!

Are you a writer? Then, you – most likely – know how hard it is to carve time away from life to dedicate to your craft. Commitment to your dream conflicts with your responsibilities, and sometimes a little extra motivation could be beneficial to move from wanting to write that book, to actually writing that book.

This is where writingchallenge.org comes in – a Twitter-based accountability group for writers, that asks for a small daily commitment of just 500 words or 1 hour of editing, while providing encouragement and support.

I could tell you the many benefits of joining this wonderful group of people, but I decided it would be more effective to allow them to tell you.

Aura Eadon wrote:

Join a community that creates accountability and a support network through positive influence and total lack of shaming. Zero is as good as 500 and that is as good as 5000

Ryan Macayden stated:

There are lots of people who want to write a book someday but the writers are the ones who actually sit down and do it, one word at a time. It truly is that easy and that hard.

Like the best of characters, we’re all flawed. We don’t always make writing a priority. We might not even write every day. Heck, we sometimes allow life and our own self-doubt to sabotage our creative endeavors but it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s where writing challenges like WritingChallenge.org  can help.

Not writing every day? The challenge pushes participates to write 500 words daily and forces them to make writing a priority. For some, that might seem daunting at first but by the end of the month, most will find the words come faster and faster the more they do it. You might even have developed a writing habit by then!

Self-doubt getting you down? The community surrounding the challenge are made of up writers just like you. Chances are high we’ve been right where you are and can help you get through it. We’re a pretty supportive bunch and want to see you succeed, no matter what. Need a writing sprint? Need to bounce around some ideas? Or just having a hard day? We’re here for you.

Writing might be a solitary endeavor but that doesn’t mean you’re alone. Join us!

Erin Cochran wrote:

I think the strong suit here is accountability and encouragement plus we get bits and pieces of writing advice as we need it.

Andrew McQueen answered:

The idea of this group is to give other writers a chance to tell the story they want to tell. And all genres are welcome.

Harmony Williams wrote:

I love this challenge because it motivates me and keeps me on track. On days I don’t meet my goals, the supportive challengers remind me that my progress is important, however small. The challenge motivates me to meet an achievable minimum but doesn’t bar me from doing more. And I’ve made many invaluable friends!

Christina Patterson Quesada  stated:

No one understands the struggle of being a writer better than a writer. Without this group of writers and their support, I don’t know if I’d be in the editing process right now. The reasons Ryan gave for joining are exactly why I joined the writing challenge

Beverly Lee wanted you to know:

The challenge works because it’s attainable. 500 words isn’t a huge amount. It’s enough to see progress but not enough to be daunting. The same for the hour editing. This can be broken up into little bits if time is an issue too. Gradually you see your dreams unfolding. You get the incredible support of like minded people, who will cheer you on or lift you up on those days when the words all freeze together. Without the challenge I wouldn’t have completed my first novel. Now I’m on my second. That’s why you should join!

_____

As you can see from the participant’s responses, there are many benefits to being a part of WritingChallenge.org .Joining is easy, all you have to do is follow this link, and add your name to the participation log, then jump over to Twitter and connect with us via our monthly hashtag – currently we are using #SeptWritingChallenge for the month of September.

We are looking forward to welcoming you into our group!

Blessings and Happy Writing!

Claudia

P.S. Are you writing an Ebook? Not sure how? Check out this course: “How to Write And Publish An EBook”   today!

Staying Motivated To Write – 3 Tips

3 Tips To Stay Motivated To Write

“Trash” available here:
http://shrsl.com/?~8ult

A to-do list a length of a football field, not enough sleep, and bills that need to be paid, and you are asking me to do what? Write a novel in my spare time? Are you insane?

This is the way of life for many aspiring and also already published writers – juggling an already large amount of responsibilities, yet having the desire to complete something, most people only talk about – writing and publishing a book. The question is, at the moments when it all feels like it becomes too much, and the temptation to throw your manuscript in the corner, is getting larger, what should you do to stay motivated through it all?

1. Now your reasons
If you want to write a novel because you want to be rich, I am going to be honest with you: There are easier ways to make more money than you can generally expect to make as a writer. Sure, there are the success stories, those who (like J. K. Rowling) have more wealth than they could spend in their lifetime, because of their writing, but those are the exceptions. Money is never a good reason to pursue an artistic and creative goal because even when you reach your financial independence from anything but your creative income, there is not such a thing as an overnight success. It took dedication and hard work to get there. If you need money now, get a job.
Good reasons to have are: A burning desire to create stories, and to place them upon a page. To entertain others, with your fiction, and even to proof to yourself that you can do it. None of these reasons are financial. Whatever your personal reasons are, define them clearly and revisit them often.

2. Schedule your writing time.
Become a fanatic, almost to the point of obsession about your daily writing time. Sure your family needs you to do this and that, but if you want to be a writer, you have to make the commitment. Get up an hour earlier, or stay up an hour longer, depending on when you write better, but stick with it. After a while, you will begin to grave this solitary time, and the act of sitting down itself will become a great motivator.

3. Join an accountability group or challenge.
This month (June) has JuNoWriMo, April and July have CampNaNoWriMo, November has NaNoWriMo, and those are just the big ones. Some of the smaller challenges are year-round, for example, WritingChallenge.org runs every month and has a smaller commitment of a daily word count of 500 words or one hour of editing. A possible adventure, isn’t it? All of these challenges have peer support, and a recording system, where you can chart your progress, which in itself is another motivator. Every day spent writing, even if it is only 500 words adds up, to not only a completed piece of work, but also in experience. The most effective way to get better at writing is to write regularly.

 

What are your favorite ways to stay motivated? Do you have an accountability partner, or are you a part of an accountability group? Please share your experiences!

 

 

Finding Your Truly Unique Voice

"Be A Voice"" by Avalon Media http://shrsl.com/?~8sho

“Be A Voice”” by Avalon Media
http://shrsl.com/?~8sho

As writers and creatives, we are often aware of what is in trend, which books made it to the bestseller list, or which one of our fellow designers is featured in another publication. It is easy at this moment to be tempted to implement their style, their voice, as it has brought them the success you are craving for.

While it is a great idea to learn from other people’s successes, it important NOT to implement their voice and style. What made them success is, for the most part, their uniqueness. It is that special something that made them stand out of the crowd. Copying their style might bring temporary success, but not an authentic one, and your readers or viewers will feel that through every ounce of your work. Find your own creative voice and within it, find your success by refining it, fine tuning the uniqueness of who you are.

This post is a part of the #BeWoW Wednesdays, and #WWWBlogs

You can find the above image for sale on RedBubble and Zazzle in a variety of applications.

Book Review: The Witch of Painted Sorrows

cover56095-small

Title: The Witch Of Painted Sorrows
Author: M. J. Rose
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: March 17th, 2015
Rating 3.5 Stars
Like with many stories that are written in first person, I never connected with the novel. In order for it to work well, I must care deeply about the character who’s head I am about to spend time in, their thoughts and perception of the situation has to matter to me. The only way to do that is to make sure the writer connects the reader immediately, from the first page on. At no one point did  The Witch of Painted Sorrows, manage to do that for me.
Which in itself is a shame, I really wanted to love the story, wanted to know the many twists and turns the premise promised. While it was really well constructed, I never really cared deeply, feeling like a distant bored observer rather than an involved party.

//

(Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book by the publisher via NetGalley, in return for an honest review)

Author Devon Henry – The Interview

I am very exited to present to you today an interview with a dear and wonderful fellow Author, Devon Henry. I recently read her book “Kaijin”, – about which I will post an review later this week  – as well as her work on Medium, so I really wanted to share this interesting writer with you. You should really check out her work, but I am going to let her tell you more about herself and her creative endevours.

Devon Martin

Devon Henry

 

Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little bit about yourself, and your current project:

Well thank you very much for this opportunity! I’m from Los Angeles, I have three dogs. I love avocado and Jurassic Park and I hate kale. I have watched all seven seasons of 30 Rock more than anyone probably should.

Currently I am working on my first full-length novel which I hope to have out later this year. It’s science fiction geared towards younger readers and I’ve been working on it since late 2011. I’m very, very excited for people to finally read it.

I am looking forward to it (and I hear you about kale). What brought you to writing? Did you always wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in my life. As a child I wanted to be a paleontologist and make movies and study different cultures and religions, but there’s always been this caveat that I would write about it too. My profession has always been up in the air but there was never a question about writing.

I really have my parents to thank for that as well. They never questioned it or pushed me into anything else and dutifully marched me to the dollar store two blocks from our house to stock up on Lisa Frank notebooks every Saturday. I’m very grateful for that.

Sounds like a wonderful way to grow up. What are your greatest obstacles to creating your art/finishing a project?

I’m sure most writers will know what I mean when I say there’s that hypercritical part of your brain that gets louder and louder the longer you stare at your work. Then suddenly it’s 3 AM and you’ve spent the better part of the night revising one sentence and you’re over-caffeinated and just thinking, “This is it. This is insanity. Someone take my laptop away.”

How did you or do you overcome these challenges?

I know that a lot of writers work better in seclusion, but I have to say that having a good support system of nosy friends keeps me motivated. It’s very easy, for me at least, to procrastinate and leave a project for ages if I don’t have anyone checking in on me. So to have friends constantly texting and asking to see revisions or making sure I’m sticking to my deadlines really helps.

You are blessed to have such a support system, good for you! What are your future aspirations?

Ultimately I’d really like to carve out a role for myself as a successful comedy writer. It’s my one true passion in life- avocado-based recipes notwithstanding. To be at a point where I could focus solely on that as a career would be amazing.

I think you are on the right track to accomplish this goal. In Kaijin, you chose to use a first person, present tense narrative to express the stories, which I think worked out very well. What made you choose to express the stories in such way?

First of all, thank you! Writing it that way was definitely a risk in terms of storytelling and I’m glad it came across that way.

When I began writing Kaijin, I had a vision of this private slice of Los Angeles full of monsters and demons and banshees and it was important to me to present that vision in a way that would be believable and not read immediately as a run-of-the-mill horror story. So I wrote it all- with the exception of “The Siren and the Immigrant”, in present tense and made a point of never naming the women in my stories. I wanted to make it seem as though the subjects of these stories could be literally anyone.

And you succeeded in that as well. What do you want your readers to know about you, that they might not be aware off?

Let’s see, I am also a trained Improv Performer, Sketch Comedy Writer, Set Designer and I can pick stuff up with my toes. I’m afraid of spiders and elevators. My resume is very impressive, clearly.

That is quite a resume! How can a reader find out more about you? 

Well my first book, “Kaijin”, is available in paperback or for Kindle on Amazon as well as the Createspace Marketplace. I also have a Medium profile that I try to update with new short comedic fiction every week for practice (This is also where you can find my ongoing Jurassic Park/Parks and Rec crossover series “Burt Macklin: Raptor Wrangler”). And, of course, readers can get in touch with me via my twitter- which I also keep updated with any new projects or multi-media works that I do. Come say hi, I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you so much, for spending time with us Devon! I am looking forward to hearing more from you!

—————-

I will post a review of Devon Henry’s book “Kaijin” later during the week, so please stop by again, and most importantly check out Devon’s work via the links below!

 

 

Express Yourself Meme – Resolutions

Express Yourself - January

Express Yourself is back – well, actually it was never gone, but somehow I did not find the time for the majority of the last few months to post as a part of this blog hop. This year, however, I am a much more organized (cough) blogger – I hope, so I decided this would be a good time to try this again.

This week, we are asked to write about our resolutions. I am going to limit it here to my writing and blogging goals – I blogged about my more personal, and otherwise categorized resolutions on my spiritual blog already.

Here they are:

1. blog more regularily and with purpose. I am building a brand – me – so that means I have to be a more responsible and directed, mission-oriented blogger. This goes for all three of my blogs.

2. balance three blogs, and not neglect any of them. Every one of my blogs covers an area of my life I am very passioned about. Because they really are not related, and putting them into one would be an unorganized mess, I have three. Spirituality, Productivity, and of course, this one about writing/reading.

3. connect – I want to build relationships, and maybe even friendships through these blogs. Writing means not much without an audience, and caring for this audience is a part of this years mission.

I am looking forward to reading all of your different resolutions!

Wishing you all the most wonderful 2015!

Claudia

Goals

Goals

– just another day
I am reaching for the stars
one breath at a time

Claudia H. Blanton 2014

Goals

 

Dedicated to all of my fellow NaNoWriMo participants! Let’s reach for the stars, everyone!