Thursday, July 01, 2010

july writing challenge

This picture is related to this post, I swear.

Remember when I vowed to write 500 words a day, every day? I started off well, but after March things went downhill at an alarming rate. In April, I wrote 14 days out of the month. May was 11. And June? Oh, June. June was only ten. TEN! Pathetic. 

Naturally, I'm taking the start of a new month (Hello, July!) as the chance to turn over yet another new leaf. It's a good time to recommit myself to writing. I'm settled into a new job that is not causing me  emotional turmoil. We don't have plans to travel or race in the next few weeks, and really, I've run out of excuses. I wanted to do an August Writing Challenge, and make up rules, and get other people to join in, and give away prizes at the end, and I might still do that. But that's four weeks away. I need to make some changes now!

You can still play along, whether you write or blog or do anything you love not nearly enough. Just create some benchmarks and then try your best to reach them. Here're my goals for July:
  • Write 500 words OR revise for 30 minutes, six days a week. 
  • Submit one formerly unsubmitted piece to 5 different journals. 
  • Find one contest to enter. 
  • Finish a draft of something new. It doesn't have to be a good draft. First drafts rarely are. 
Totally do-able, and I prefer the option of revising instead of writing new words every day. I'm a huge reviser and most of my actual writing gets done the third or fourth time through a piece. I started off my July challenge on the right foot this morning (here's where that photo comes in!) by beginning a new essay. I was sitting at my desk at 6:00 AM with no ideas, no inspiration, and then decided to just start by describing summer in East Texas. Which led me to compare it to summer on Long Island. Which led into a personal essay about why I moved to Nacogdoches, which is a story I find myself telling a lot (that is, every time I meet someone new and then say, "Why on earth would you leave NEW YORK for NACOGDOCHES?"). Any story I've told over one hundred times probably deserves to be written down. 548 words later, my challenge for the day is complete!

Let me know if you're going to give yourself a July challenge in the comments. We can cheer each other on!


  1. Can I join you even if it's academic writing (as well as more creative writing on my blogs, of course)? I really have to get a few things cleared off my desk even with everything else that's going on.

    Good luck with your goals! I'll be rooting for you!

  2. I got a kick out of reading this, as I was just looking at Long Island (Greenport) rentals. I want to spend the summer there next summer, if possible. I did once before, and rode my bike everywhere--love it! Nacogdoches summers suck. If I'm not around water, I'm not outside.

    500 words sounds doable. I do 2000-3000 a day because it's my job, but none of it is creative writing. I always imagine what I could produce if those words went towards my novel. My challenge is to know when to stop doing the web content and start doing something creative. I'm always impressed with your goals, even more so because I haven't been meeting many of mine lately.

  3. Long Island is really only good in the summer time. But when it's good, it's great! And Greenport is amazing. Good choice!

    500 words is do-able, and that's the trick. I would rather write more, but sitting down to write 500 is less daunting than sitting down to write 2,000. And once I sit down, I usually average more than 500. It's the sitting down part that's hard!

  4. Awesome goals! I need some of those. I think I'll focus on that when I get back from vacation!!

  5. Hmm, I'll have to think of a writing goal for myself... it will probably revolve around scholarship essay writing, sadly.

    I'd love to read your Texas essay when you complete it. I grew up in North Texas and am moving to New York soon so it would be interesting to read the reverse experience.

  6. @lorax - Scholarship essays can be interesting, too! Where in North Texas did you grow up? You should write an essay after you move to NY. I'd like to see the reverse as well!

  7. I need to make writing goals...sigh...