Sunday, August 01, 2010

july writing challenge recap

Well, that didn't go as planned. If you recall, my July Writing Challenge read as follows:
  • 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.
And here's how I did:
  • Six days a week would have come out to 25 days total. Days I actually wrote or edited? 13. I could blame it on the new puppy, which was unexpected, unplanned for, and has certainly chewed up a lot of my time (not to mention my socks, my chair, and anything else he can get his teeth on) but even before we got Calvin I was starting to slip. I'm annoyed that I can't seem to make writing a priority, and am resolved to try again, again. FAIL.
  • While I didn't submit anything this month, I DID heavily revise a piece so much so that I now consider it submission worthy. We'll call this one HALFSIES.
  • I am going to enter the Third Annual Donald Barthelme Prize for Short Prose. The deadline is August 31st, and I am close to finishing my submission. WIN!
  • I finished a new draft. I wasn't great, but it wasn't awful, which is more than I can say for some other first drafts. WIN!
Overall, not terrible, but not great. It does seem tangible goals work better for me, such as "finish one draft" or "submit to one contest," rather than "write whatever for this amount of time." And really, it's the product I'm after, the tangible work that I can then submit, revise, and submit again. I will keep this in mind as I craft my goals for August, which I'll post this week. Here's a hint - they will involve MFA applications. Yes, it's that time of the year again, which means we're going to need a lot of gin.

Did you join in the writing challenge, or have a challenge of your own? How did it go? Any tips on how I can make mine go better this time around?