Looking for a Challenge?


I loved watching Ray Bradbury’s TV show, and remember how he would often discuss the nature of creativity as well as his own writing process. One of the tips he gave was this: If you write a story a day, after a year, you should have a few good ones. (Or at least that’s how I remember it. . .) I actually took that challenge a few years back, and while I mostly wrote drabbles and longer flash fiction, it proved to be an excellent self-imposed writers boot camp.

I’d like to offer you three different challenges – and an opportunity to share your process.

Here they are:

  1. The Modified Bradbury Challenge: Write a story a day for a month. That’s right. . .from start-to-finish! It doesn’t have to be perfect, mind you, or even ready to submit; it just needs to be a complete story. Each week, pick what you truly believe are the best, and then submit them.
  2. The Revision Challenge: Go through those paper, computer, and flash drive files for abandoned or otherwise back-burnered stories. Now revise – and then submit – at least one per week for the next month.
  3. The I-Really-Want-to-Write-a-New-Novel Challenge: Chris Baty of Nanorimo – and the world-wide movement he spawned – has proven beyond a doubt that you can write a novel in a month. This is not a “no-plot-no-problem” challenge, however; it’s a plot-and-planner challenge. That’s right, fellow discovery writers, this is an opportunity to explore how the proverbial “other-half” writes. Consider the following schedule:
  • Week 1: Create your character profiles and work out the plots and subplots.
  • Week 2: Begin drafting; modify plot and character profiles as needed.
  • Week 3: Continue drafting; modify plot and character profiles as needed.
  • Week 4: “Finish” drafting, and yes, modify plot and character profiles as needed.

The challenge begins NOW! And yes, be sure to reward yourself daily. . .

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