Eight days. Eight days until the madness begins.
Last year, a fellow blogger got me hooked on the Story-A-Day May challenge. I started about 4 days late, but still managed to write a story each day throughout the month after that. Plus a few extras to make up for the days I missed. By the end of May 2011, I had written 31 stories in 31 days. It was an amazing sensation, as well as a learning experience. I had struggled before that with bouts of writer’s block and lack of inspiration.
Story-a-Day 2011 taught me that I don’t have to wait for inspiration. It helped me develop a way to plan new stories. Each night, Julie would post the next day’s writing prompt. You don’t have to use what she posts, of course, but I did. That night, falling asleep, I’d contemplate the prompt. I’d mull on it. The next morning, I’d go to work and mull on it some more. Sometimes I’d scribble a story in my notebook on my lunch break. Sometimes I didn’t write ’til I got off work – either way, I found a bit of inspiration after just contemplating the prompt over and over again.
Thus far, I’ve managed to place 5 of my Story-a-Day May 2011 stories in anthologies and magazines. And I’m still submitting some of the other stories.
I’d highly encourage any writer to attempt this challenge. It’s so thrilling. Do you end up with 31 mind blowing stories? Probably not. Like me, you may junk some of them. But it’s the experience that matters. And 5 of 31 is still good enough for me. This year, I hope to make it better.
So you’ve got eight days to contemplate the challenge. Better yet, don’t even think about it. Buy yourself a notebook (or scrounge one up at the house) and keep a pen handy. And just do it – just write each day. It can be a 20 word story or a 5k word story. Just write something.
Give me a shout if you plan on participating this year. I’ll be posting my stories to the blog each day – but I’m going to put a password on it so that I can still submit the stories to publishers who consider posting on a blog to be publishing. 🙂
~Alexis A. Hunter