Writing Challenges

So November starts the month where many writers will do the national writing challenge. I don’t have a problem with that, it’s just that I sort of view every month as my own challenge. I write all the time. If I can, even when I’m sick and tired and bleary eyed, I write every day. It’s just what I’m driven to do and also, what I feel I need to do to keep my brain and writing muscles limber.

A writing challenge is a great idea if you’re stuck or if you want to get started and you need a reason to do it. And again, I’m not knocking the idea of the challenge, like I said, it gives some folks the impetus they need to get writing. Several of my writing buddies are doing the challenge.

But at some point, you just have to do it. To start. If this challenge is what gets you started, then go for it! Do it.

A few months back, I was out with friends and a co-worker of one of my friends approached us and we all started talking. Of course, the group were all writers and the co-worker said, “well, I’d love to write but I just don’t have time.”

At the time, I was marginally bothered by the comment but I didn’t know the woman well enough to say anything.

Later, my friend said to me, “I hate when people say they don’t have time to write. It’s like an excuse they use to keep from doing it and facing the potential heartbreak. You’re a writer or you aren’t.”

And I partially agree with that. Most certainly I understand the fear of getting started. When you say you want to write but don’t, you can keep that dream unsullied in your head. In your head, you can still imagine that your first book will be a best seller and people will love you. You don’t have to face deadlines and revisions and rewrites or rejection.

It’s like my dream of learning to crochet. I see people doing it and making beautiful projects and I love to imagine taking a class and learning but I doubt I ever will make the time for it.

And time. Well, heck, I have three kids! I don’t have time either. But I give up sleep to write at night. Sometimes I only get 50 words down that I know I’ll delete the next day. But I gotta do it. Because sometimes, it’s what you delete that’s the important part.

Anyway, don’t mind me, I’m blathering. I have a sinus headache. But I want to encourage people to take the book from your head, from your dreams and imaginings and put it on the screen. Take the risk. There’s an author in there, let her free.

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