Showing posts with label writing challenges. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing challenges. Show all posts

November Writing Challenges

I love writing challenges. These events, focusing on completing a writing project within a month, take place throughout the year, and usually focus on a specific genre or audience. When you have to complete something in a certain amount of time, there's no overthinking and no procrastinating. Just you and your words.... and forced productivity!  

One of the best things about November is ... you don't have to look very far to find a writing challenge.

Here are four writing challenges to try in November:
1. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). NaNoWriMo (established in 1999) is what many people usually think of when you say "writing challenge." You commit to completing a 50,000-word novel in a month (about 1667 words a day), along with a community of like-minds. The website has lots of support, inspiration, and information, as well as a way to track and share your progress. And, while the idea is to write a novel, there are NaNo Rebels who write other works during November. Sign up. 

2. National NonFiction Writing Month (NaNonFiWriMo). Created by writing coach and author Nina Amir, the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge is more informal undertaking. The only rule is you have to commit to starting and finishing a work of nonfiction during the month. Learn more.

3. National Podcast Post Month (NaPodPoMo). Are you more of an audio or video person? Than this November challenge is for you. Jennifer Navarrete created NaPodPoMo in 2007, NaPodPoMo as a month-long audio challenge. The goal is to release and/or record a podcast episode every day. Use any platform, format, or production level. It's an excellent way to kick-start your podcast. Get details.  

4. National Blog Posting Month. This challenge is simple. Write and publish a blog post every day in November. It's a great way to kickstart or re-energize your blog. While there is no longer an official site for #NaBloPoMo, many bloggers participate each year. Just use the hashtag when you post, and search the hashtag to find your kindred spirits.

You have your choices. Now all you have to do is explore your options,  commit, and go for it. 

Remember, you can do it.

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Overwhelmed by the idea of a November challenge? Wondering how to fit it into your schedule? Read my article on Time Swapping. And then join my Write On Online Facebook group for bonus support throughout the month! 

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So, are you taking part in a November challenge? Which one? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals. A writer, editor and project catalyst, as well as founder of the D*E*B METHOD and Write On Online, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

A-Z Blogging Challenge

Blogging from A to Z April(2015) Challenge

It's almost time for the off in the A to Z Challenge for 2015. I signed up last month, and entered a new blog I'm hoping to expand. And yesterday I declared my intent and announced the subjects and theme of my challenge posts.

Last time I answered the challenge, I only reached the letter G. Even so, my Google rankings soared and I met many other bloggers, found some very useful blogs and learned a lot about what makes a successful post. This time I am determined to do better. 

There is a great camaraderie about working on a blogging challenge. There is the excitement of knowing others are looking at your posts and every day they must be the best possible. There is the inspiration of reading new, unknown blogs both in your own field and in completely unrelated subjects.

Speed up your writing

For me, the challenge is also in commenting on five other blogs per day. I am apt to anguish about writing, Even writing a comment can take me far too long. Doing it day after day speeds me up dramatically.

Nine days left for registration and already 1200 blogs are involved. I spent hours wading through them yesterday. Without knowing where I am on the list, I can't find the following blogs I must visit to leave comments. Panic set in until at last  I found me sitting at 629.

Plan for Success

  • Any challenge is easier with planning. A month of daily blog posts with only Sundays off for good behavior is arduous.
  • My theme--like the name of my new blog-- is Author Support.
As I think of anything that might fit the alphabetical article headings, I set up a draft blog post with the title already there.  A theme is not essential but it ties the posts together and makes it more cohesive and fun for readers.

  • Make posts short and to the point. Bloggers have to visit five blogs a day. There will be no time to read long articles. 
  • Vary content by using clip art, photos, podcasts and videos.
  • Make each post useful and fun.
What do you think of writing challenges? Love them or hate them? Leave an opinion in the comments below and if you register for the A to Z Challenge for April, let me know your registration number so I can visit :-)

Anne Duguid Knol
A local and national journalist in the U.K., Anne is now a fiction editor for award-winning American and Canadian publishers. As a new author, she shares writing tips and insights at her very new Author Support blog:
Her novella, ShriekWeek is published by The Wild Rose Press.

Writing Challenges

With a novella due for inclusion in a seasonal anthology, I have to stop dithering and impel myself to write. At the start date I could have written 1000 words a week. Now I need to push out 1000 words a day--not too difficult for a regular writer, much more difficult for a beginner or inveterate procrastinator like me.

But serendipity as always came to the rescue and emails this week brought news of two challenging incentives ideal for the purpose.

Camp NanoWrimo is allocating virtual cabins with up to 11 fellow writers as from tomorrow. The joy of this Nanowrimo adventure  is that you choose your own project and word count, use their writing resources, and hopefully meet friends or new writing friends along the way.

You have from now till April 1 to plan your project and get ready for the off.  I have in the past been a Nanowrimo winner but the November effort totally exhausted me. This is far more doable.

To prepare for the off, I recommend joining Lazette Gifford's Forward Motion for WritersSadly we are too late to sign up for her free two year course for novelists--have to wait now till 2015--but there is still one remaining five day March Challenge from March 26-30. You can sign on at several levels and aim for higher wordcounts but I've started at Level One and 1000 words a day. Just post your wordcount per day or at the end of the challenge.

The site is full of writing help, resources and support and well worth a visit.

Camp Nanowrimo 

Camp Manual and fun introductory questionnaire

Forward Motion for Writers

And if you're a committed procrastinator like me, start by reading (or rereading) Terri Forehand's WOTM article on beating procrastination.

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

The Race

Years ago I would run. More than twenty miles a week on average. But that was years ago. My daughters, who are now about the age I was back then, decided we should create a team and run some fun 5K's for good causes. Great idea, except did I mention I used to run and it was a long time ago?

We ran our first race in March. As an older runner, I made the decision I didn't care about time at all, only finishing the race running. It wasn't the kind of race I had envisioned. For one, the race was at night. The only lights came from glow-in-the-dark bracelets and necklaces. The route went from pavement to gravel to rutted dirt track and then back again. We ran around a body of water. The path tilted. All the while, colored water was sprayed at us at intervals.

Early on I saw an older woman fall. I slowed my pace. I saw there were obstacles that had fallen onto the path. I became afraid and slowed even more. A rock jammed into the heel of my shoe and I had to stop to remove it. 

I had lost sight of my goal - running the race. I lost my ability to keep pace - my daughters were well in front of me. I felt alone. I felt like a failure. I gave up. I walked.

Why would anyone endure such a thing and call it fun?

Probably for the same reason writers write.

Writers face challenges too. They write alone. They face obstacles - family members who don't understand they are working and not just entertaining themselves with a hobby. They fend off callers and the internet. They set goals and then, all too often, give up when they can't attain them immediately. Writing is hard, but it is also incredibly rewarding as long as you don't give up the "race." 

That evening in March it took me a while. I had to do a lot of self talk. Finally I got my head back into the game, as they say. Okay, I wouldn't run the entire race, but I could still run part of it. I found a pace that was comfortable, where I didn't worry about tripping and falling. I kept my head down and ran. It wasn't easy, but each step took me one closer to the finish line.

Writing isn't easy. Keep your head down. Work to remove your obstacles. Don't beat yourself up when you don't achieve the goals you set for yourself right away, instead celebrate your successes. After all, a novel or story is written one word at a time. Find your own pace and finish your race.


D. Jean Quarles is a writer of Women's Fiction and a co-author of a Young Adult Science Fiction Series. Her latest book, Flight from the Water Planet, Book 1 of The Exodus Series was written with coauthor, Austine Etcheverry.

D. Jean loves to tell stories of personal growth – where success has nothing to do with money or fame, but of living life to the fullest. She is also the author of the novels: Rocky's Mountains, Fire in the Hole and, Perception. The Mermaid, an award winning short story was published in the anthology, Tales from a Sweltering City.  

She is a wife, mother, grandmother and business coach. In her free time . . . ha! ha! ha! Anyway, you can find more about D. Jean Quarles, her writing and her books at her website at

You can also follower her at or on Facebook

Book-in-a-Week Challenge

Last Thursday I posted on my blog about the book-in-a-week challenge. This is a monthly occurrence and is similar to writing during NaNo (national novel writing month) except the goals are different. The goal for BIW is to write at least 10 pages on a story, articles or whatever it is you are working on at the time during the week. You set your goal and then write during the week to meet that goal. The minimum is 10 pages and I believe they have drawings for those participants who meet the goals of the challenge (posting your goals, keeping track of your progress and posting that at least three times a week, et cetera). Although the challenge started this past Monday, I believe you can still participate if you are interested.

So whether you really want to write a lot or a little, this is the perfect challenge for every writer. I've set a goal of 20 pages/week for the next 10 weeks (my weeks are starting on Sunday and ending Saturday) to work on my story, Imogene: Innocense Lost. I honestly don't believe I'll have a completed story by the end of the 10 weeks, but should be pretty close.

If you want to check out the book-in-a-week challenge, you can find more information on their website, and maybe you will take the challenge starting next month.

I'll be keeping tabs of my progress throughout the next 10 weeks during my regular Sunday This and That postings, so stop on over and offer a word of encouragement or congratulations during the next few weeks. I'll need every little bit of feedback that I can get to keep me going.

See you all in the postings, and if you are participating in book-in-a-week, let us know what your goals are for the week and how much writing you get accomplished during the week. E :)

Ms. Eldering is the award winning author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad (JGDS), 50-state, mystery, trivia series. Her stories "Train of Clues", "The Proposal" (available as an ebook), "Tulip Kiss" (available as an ebook), and "Butterfly Halves", all placed first, second, or runner up in various contests to include two for Armchair Interviews and two for Echelon Press (Fast and ... themed type contests). Her story "Bride-and-Seek" (available as an ebook) was selected for the South Carolina Writers' Workshop (SCWW) anthology, the Petigru Review. Ms. Eldering makes her home in upper state South Carolina and loves to travel, read, cross stitch and crochet. When she's not busy with teenaged children still at home, working her full-time job as a medical transcriptionist or participating in virtual classroom visits, she can be found at various homeschool or book events promoting her writing.

For more information about the JGDS series, please visit the JGDS blog or the JGDS website.

For more information about Elysabeth's other writings, please visit her general writing and family blog at or her website.

Real Life Can Challenge the Writing Life

Writing is one of the most important things in my life but this summer I find myself balancing more than I have ever had to before. We are relocating 3 hours away so many of our days are met with traveling back and forth to the new house while trying to maintain the home we live in until it sells. Add in interviewing for a new nursing job for myself and my husband getting adjusted to his promotion and you can have a ball of stress if you allow it. So how do you keep writing, marketing, and social networking at the forefront when life is moving so fast all around you?

Balancing stress, real life activities and writing can be a challenge. Here are some of the tips I have found helpful during this life changing season of our lives.

Get organized: I am reorganizing every aspect of my writing as I prepare to move my home office from our old house to our new home. I spend a couple hours each day going through old papers, getting rid of old information and filing new information that has piled up around me. Pretty file folders make if fun and stand out in my drawer against the plain manila folders I also have. Newer projects get the new fancy folders.

Continue to pursue new avenues: I have continued to look for writing jobs for at least a half hour per day on my regular job sites. My writing resume is updated and I can easily write a quick cover letter to accompany the resume so applying to at least 2-4 jobs per week remains a constant goal. And it works. I have acquired two more paying jobs this month.

Ration writing time: I spend at least 5 hours a week writing the paid assignments I have to do on a weekly basis. The paid blogs I write for are pre-scheduled so I can write them all at the same time or I can grab writing time in short increments and still pre-schedule the posts to appear on the date they are due.

Continue an online presence: While I have limited the time I spend on Facebook and other social networks, I continue to blog, make comments on other blogs, and make 2-4 Twitter posts per day about my writing. I limit the time I am online otherwise I can find myself distracted and under productive, so social networking only takes 15 -30 minutes of my time. I also do some of that on my phone while waiting for my turn at other activities. But the truth is that marketing your work can't wait. Keeping an online presence and marketing yourself and your work will enhance your presence when you get up to full speed again.

Keep the notebook handy: I have a notebook in my bag for jotting down ideas that I don’t have the time to pursue at the moment. I have jotted several book ideas that have come to mind during this move that maybe viable. (Relocating and redefining your life pre-retirement and into retirement when you are not a millionaire may be a lucrative idea)

Relax: It is also important to relax and enjoy the process of writing. Enjoy the real life challenges that you have been asked to face in this life. And enjoy a few hours of free time, reading a good book or relaxing on a beach, resting in the afternoon, or enjoying a hot fudge sundae in front of an old movie. Relaxation allows us to rejuvenate even if we only grab a few minutes.

The important thing is to keep the writing fresh and at the forefront but to know when I have to stay off the computer for a day or two to attend to the move, my husband, and our new adventure. Even when not online though, writing is not far from my heart and a pen and paper are never far from my fingertips.

Terri Forehand

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