Showing posts with label writers' challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writers' challenges. Show all posts

The Writer's Challenge

As writers, we know the importance of having a platform. We court  followers on Twitter, fans on Facebook and blog weekly or monthly as if our lives depended on it. And up to a point they do--our artistic lives that is.

Without an audience for our works, we create alone, our talents born to die unseen.

Thousands of great blogs appear on the Net every day. Every day new bloggers join the throng vying for attention. How can writers ensure their blog will stand out from the crowd?

The marketers tell you content is king. But hundreds of thousands of blogs have great content. You need something more.

Writing Challenges

When Nanowrimo.  the world famous National Novel Writing Month, started, it had six or seven participants, all friends. Now  thousands of writers clear their desks ready for a writing sprint in November. The website and forums buzz with global activity and everyone has heard of Chris Baty and his book No Plot No Problem.

Last year I discovered Nina Amir's Nanofimo--and Tara Lazar's PiBoIdMo. Again both sites started quietly with one of two participants and now are famous through word of mouth for their outstanding content and helpful challenges.

Our own Writers on the Move all have helpful blogs. Joan Y Edwards has created PubSubWeek encouraging writers to submit a new proposal on the third week of each month. Again her support and helpful advice encourages loyal supporters who follow her blog regularly.

Writing Challenges can be free--and most are until they build up a strong following--or supported by donations or run on a paid-for platform when their value is proven.

Challenge Yourself

What would most appeal to you? Why not organise it? 

  • Choose the challenge.
  • Decide on the time frame--will it be week-long? month-long? Annual or one-off?
  • Find followers to help the start-up, to write encouraging and/or advisory Web posts.
  • Find sponsors to donate gifts and/or edits or reviews/ or whatever would be the ideal gift for your challenge.
  • Add a forum to your website to provide a home for participants' tasks and comments.
  • Decide whether this will be open or visible only to those who register.
  • Advertise your challenge, time and place on FB and Twitter.
  • Update your content daily throughout the challenge.

So what if only one person signs up? If your idea is good, it will grow year on year bringing you more fans and followers than you ever anticipated. Start by leaving just one challenging idea in the comments and see who might be interested.

 Anne Duguid is a freelance content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and she passes on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers 

4 Ways Writers Can Replace Procrastination With Action

I am a procrastinator. That's not a great trait for a writer. So for my fellow procrastinators out there, here are some things you can try to replace procrastination with action.

  1. Stop trying to find time to write and make time I work a full-time job. After that job ends (and sometimes during) I'm responsible for the care, keeping and schedules of two non-licensed teenagers. Oh, did I mention I'm married, so there's also husband's needs in the mix too? Finding a consistent time is difficult. So I decided that when I have 15-20 minutes, I'll write. I can't always wait for an hour, but that's okay. I write when the time presents itself. 
  2. Just write it down Sometimes I avoid writing because I'm just not enjoying the words in my head. Consequently, I avoid writing them down. One day I read somewhere that those words were blocking the good ones. If we write down the words we don't like, it opens up our mind for better words to pour forth. So write them down and get them out of the way.
  3. Give yourself a prize Who doesn't love a treat? Motivate yourself with a small treat for each day you actually put words on paper. It works for me. Try it!
  4. Be accountable I let my accountability partner know when I'm supposed to be writing. She then has the right to quiz me to see if I stuck with my commitment. I don't want to lie to her or disappoint her, so  I make myself write. If you don't have an accountability partner, I urge you to find one.
My last piece of advice is this: Don't fail prey to the procrastination bug and not implement any of these tips. They are easy and worthwhile. You'll be glad you took action.

Marietta Taylor is an author and speaker. She is the author ofSurviving Unemployment:Devotions to Go. Marietta is a monthly blogger at the Go ask Mom Blog at Her tagline is Mom of Teens. She was also a contributing author to Penned From The Heart Vol XV. Marietta has a bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Illinois-Chicago. Visit Marietta at or or email her at

Writing Challenges for Picture Book Writers

Are you a picture book writer who is having trouble staying motivated?  Sometime we just need a little outside push to keep us working.  Having something to share with my critique group helps keep my but in the chair and keeps me writing. BUT…a good critique group can be hard to find and  a poor fit can cause more harm than good.  If you don’t have a critique group that works for you but need some outside motivation to keep you working, consider joining one of the following picture book challenges.

  • 12 x 12 in2012 Challenge  - Write one new picture book each month in 2012.  You don’t have to come up with a final draft…but what good start.  To officially participate you need to join by January 29th.
  • Picture bookmarathon – Write 26 picture books in the month of February.   This is for someone who wants some serious butt kicking in February.   
  • The annual Kidlit Picture Book Dummy Challenge has already begun, but you can still jump in.  The point of this challenge is to prepare one picture dummy for submission by July 1st.   This is a great challenge for the writer-illustrator.  
Many of these challenges are structured with community support through either emails or Facebook.  You can join the community or just work on your own.  The idea is not to necessarily end up with perfect manuscripts but to get you started working on the process of developing your story.  For other suggestions for children’s authors check out Starting a Career as a Children’s Writer by Annie from WOM.

Happy Writing!

Mary Jo Guglielmo is writer and intuitive life strategist.  She helps clients push through their blocks, envision their path and take the necessary action to live their True North.

For more information check out
or folllow her at:

10 Tips to Help You Become the Writer You Wish to Be

 by Suzanne Lieurance No matter what kind of writer you wish to become, follow these tips and you'll reach your goal(s) much quicker. Ti...