I’ve been away for a while. Life has been crazy. There has been upheaval of both depressing and exciting kinds. Lots of changes and I’m using all my flabby ab muscles just to balance and stay standing.
Secretly, far away from you, I’ve been writing. (Although that’s a lie, for about a week I barely wrote at all. It’s hard to when you’re in a funk.)
Here are some things that have kept me writing when I felt a little too blue to be self motivated:
- Writing contests:
For some reason, I haven’t submitted much for just publication, I’ve been entering contests. They cost $, but I like a little gamble. I have a limit to what I will spend until I stop doing these contest but a sometimes 1,000 first prize, and a deadline, is a great motivating factor. These are the ones I’ve submitted to:
This is a funky literary magazine for sure. There’s more than that, too! Check out the site. There is a lot that they do to get excited about and inspired by. The cool thing is that they have two ways you can submit, through contests and submissions.
I submitted something almost three months ago and I haven’t heard back yet either way. I’m guessing this is normal and waiting is part of this process.
I also submitted to
They had a themed contest: “How We Teach.” In my wheel house or what? I wrote something that I feel good about but the chances of it winning or being published are…what they are, whatever that is. But it pushed me to write, again, I felt good about the piece, and dealing with them was very pleasant. I emailed a question and communicating with them was easy and positive.
2. TIMED writing contests and Challenges!
I’ve already told you about the 24 Hour Short Story Contest. I love them. I felt better about what I wrote for the second one than I did with the first one. I’m learning and skill building with these challenges for sure!
I also submitted to Yeah Write. It’s a really cool blog, check it out. They have a weekly challenge for both fiction and nonfiction which isn’t about prize money, it’s about community – and writing! I’ve only submitted once and I really look forward to doing so again.
AND they also have a Super Challenge – in which you can win money!! In this case, you are given a prompt and a week end in which to write.
super challenge – super cool
I have also run across the April A-Z challenge. It is what it sounds like. I missed it last year but I truly can’t wait to do it this year!
Massive Open Online courses.
I never knew about these before. They are free online classes. I had heard whispers about this but didn’t really get it and didn’t understand what was so great about it. You don’t get credit, who has the time? and so on. Well, I saw something one someones blog – sorry I’d like to give credit but I don’t remember! – so I looked into it. I just started one. It’s called: How Writers Write Fiction 2016: Storied Women. It’s through The University of Iowa.
I am only in the first week but I really like it so far. There is an “instructional” video by several diverse authors from around the world but all it really is some wonderful advice and thoughts and things to consider about writing. Then there is a reading – this week was a great short story and then you write a creative assignment and turn it in for feedback. Oh, and don’t forget to give feedback! It’s been cool so far. The only criticism I have is that is seems like maybe upwards of 100 people or more are taking this class so the online community is stretched and overwhelming for me. But oh well, you don’t have to any of the assignments or feedback that you don’t want to do. No pressure!
I’m always open to the fact that I am an absolute expert on absolutely nothing and I am learning right now to write better, to consider things in my writing and the writing of others and to practice that writing. The course is really well put together.
One could argue that this should be in the number two category but I would argue it probably should be it’s own. I haven’t done it ever before and I’m nervous about November. Again, it’s not a course, I wont get a grade, and it’s free, but I’m afraid of failing myself.
That’s why Nanowrimo is great! It’s both a community and a movement and it’s full of cheerleaders and support and resources! So, second novel? I could procrastinate on this FOREVER. Or, get it written next month. We will see, I guess!
Writing is a very solitary gig and sometimes we can’t motivate ourselves. To stay out of the Wool Suit, there is plenty of community and inspiration out there.