Spring has sprung! Summer has sprung! Winter has sprung!
What a crazy couple of weeks we had leading up to March.
Regardless of the highs and lows of the thermometer, Spring as we officially recognize it, March 20, is right around the corner. Which means it’s time for Spring Cleaning!
The March In Print Challenge is for you to clean your writing house. Dump that drawer of miscellaneous jottings. Organize those scraps of paper with novel ideas. Consolidate the snippets of brilliance you’ve been gathering.
What are you working on NOW?
What will you work on next?
What have you already completed?
Sorting through your personal slush pile will help you focus. Getting organized will assist you in recognizing what your work is missing and help you realize solutions to potential road blocks.
Spring cleaning–it does an author good.
So, the month of January flew by. It’s all right, it happens. We have such BIG plans for the new year, we think we’re ready. But then *BOOM* it’s February and we’re spinning in the dust as last month tears off the calendar.
This month’s In Print Challenge is to set a goal.
Whether it’s a word count goal to be met in one week’s time or
the second draft completed by the end of the month or
a certain number of query letters sent out or
a short story or poem submitted or
…you get the idea.
What do you need to get done?
Set a goal.
And the beginning of a new year always instills in us a desire to improve, to focus, and to be better. In that vein, we offer you an In Print Challenge.
The January IP Challenge:
Find your creative space. An office, a kitchen table, a library carrel, whatever suits you.
Sit down, relax, inhale deeply. Now look around.
This is where the magic happens. Become familiar with the environment.
Consider the light, the colors, the space available.
Okay, now write.
By hand, on a laptop, keyboard, clay tablet, etc.
Write whatever comes to mind.
Start a new project. Continue a scene from an existing project. Babble through a laundry list of excuses as to why you don’t feel like writing. Go ahead and type, “this is stupid”.
It’s not stupid. It’s the Challenge.
Write for ten minutes straight. Here’s an online timer.
You probably haven’t written in a while. Those distracting holidays consumed most of your time. You’re probably out of the habit.
Write for ten minutes more.
That’s it. You’ve completed the challenge. Congratulations.
Sometimes it takes us twenty minutes of forced writing to find our way, our voice, our story.
REPEAT AS NEEDED
January’s Challenge is to reestablish your writing habit.
2017 is unfolding before you and it holds much literary promise, don’t waste a moment of it.
The October In Print Challenge is to participate in NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, which runs November 1-30. The goal for NaNo is to write 50,000 words in one month. Sound crazy? It is. But it can be done. And you can do it!
If NaNo is new to you, register at http://nanowrimo.org/ for tips and hints and support and giggles (they don’t take themselves very seriously over there). If you know NaNo, then you know that it is a big undertaking and although you may not hit the 50k goal, any words on the page are a victory, and the camaraderie and encouragement you receive through the month are priceless. The daily word count goal for NaNo is 1,667 words, that’s manageable, right? Plus, once you get to writing, the words flow better, and there will be days where you knock that measly 1,667 word count off the page.
So, writers, your In Print Challenge is to prepare for NaNoWriMo. Consider your new story plot, theme, characters. Outline a writing schedule. Make some NaNo connections (Wrimos are EVERYWHERE!). Get back to us in December with your successes. “The world needs your novel.”
There is no denying this year is flying by. We’re about a hundred days out from Christmas (don’t shoot the messenger!). What do you have to show for 2014?
This month’s In Print Challenge is to take inventory. Go over your starts, your finishes, your submissions, your publications. Pat yourself on the back for words you got down on the page.
Then GET BACK TO WORK! There are still three months left in the year. Make the most of them!
“Back to School” may be dreaded words to some, but there’s no denying it’s an opportunity to “fall” into a routine. Not to mention the cheap school supplies!
The In Print Challenge this month is twofold:
- Stock up on quarter notebooks and pens.
- Put them to use.
We don’t want to run into you anywhere and catch you empty-handed. Writers gotta write — and with stacks of paper and loads of pens, there’s no excuse for literary truancy.
This month, In Print challenges you to chime in. We want to know what works for you! As writers we are learning every step of the way. Share with us something that you have recently discovered, a tip that you’re trying, or a resource you can’t live without. Help In Print in promoting creativity, commerce, and craft in our community of writers. Chime in on the Facebook page, our Twitter feed or send us a message below.
It seems as if Spring has finally sprung! Your challenge for this month is to TAKE ACTION. Shake off those winter blahs and get busy. You’re always thinking about writing, you can’t help it. You consider new ideas, wonder about those necessary edits and contemplate what to do with what you’ve done. Enough thinking already! Get out of your head and get writing. Finish that novel, edit that poem, submit that memoir. To paraphrase, a writer in motion stays in motion. It was a long winter, but the winter is no more.
March hasn’t come in like a lion or lamb… more like a tauntaun. But after a long, hard winter, spring is just around the corner (honest!). The snow will finally melt away completely and usher in a season of renewal and growth. Take advantage of the wild weather for a few more weeks (maybe even days?) and roll up your sleeves and get to work while you still have to wear sleeves long enough to roll up.
This month’s In Print Challenge is start that “spring cleaning” early. Clear those cobwebs from the nooks and crannies in your mind.
Brush the dust off that first draft of the NaNoWriMo novel you finished off when the snow was first starting to fly last November. Clean up the grammar, tighten the verbiage. Take a look at that “incomplete” directory on your computer, the “to do” manila folder you keep on your writing desk, that stack of unkempt notes for a project in the corner of the kitchen. Don’t throw them away; make them into something. April is National Poetry Month. Camp NaNoWriMo is in April. Get organized. Get prepared. Set some goals. Greet the spring ready to plant the seeds of new creativity, then reap the rewards later this year!
With the Allegory art project and our Word of Art program starting, do you really need any more writing challenges this month?
The In Print website is looking for blog submissions. Do you have any words of wisdom about writing that you’d like to share? Please send them to Bob Francis (firstname.lastname@example.org). We’re always looking for more submissions from our members!