Mini challengesSo, you're ready for a writing challenge, but for whatever reason Book in a Week or NaNo is too overwhelming. Does this mean you have to give up the idea of writing challenges? No!
I'm a fan of the mini-challenge, just like I'm a fan of breaking up big projects into small, manageable chunks. If you have limited time, a short attention span or just want to dip your toe into the world of writing challenges, try some of these ideas on for size.
1. Get a kitchen timer, and set it for 15 minutes. Then write as much as you can (without stopping to edit) before the timer goes off. You can do this for bigger chunks of time too -- 30 minutes, an hour.
2. Call or e-mail a writing friend and challenge her to a writing duel. Set a start time and say you'll write for 30 minutes, an hour, whatever. Then you check back in with each other to see who got the most pages. You might even want to involve a friendly wager, like the one with fewer pages/words has to send the winner a box of her favorite cookies or chocolate.
3. Challenge yourself to write only one page per hour on a day when you're home all day. Once you've written that one page, you can do anything else you want until the beginning of the next hour. If you write fast, you can get in a page and an episode of your favorite show each hour! :) At the end of a normal, eight-hour work day, you'll have eight new pages. And you might have cleared off your TiVo and cleaned the house too.
4. Ever wonder how much you could write in a day if you had nothing else to do and you really put your nose to the grindstone? Why not find out? Clear your schedule for one full 24-hour period. Send the hubby and kids off to spend the day/night with Grandma and Grandpa. Check into a hotel room for a day. Whatever you have to do to be truly alone. Then literally sit at the computer and do nothing but write. No e-mail, no YouTube vids, no reading the Internet at all. Have your day be all about writing except for hourly breaks to go to the bathroom, stretch, eat, get some water to drink. We don't want anyone getting a bloodclot in her leg from sitting too long, but it's an interesting challenge to see how much you can really do if you clear everything else away.
You might be surprised how much you can write using these and other self-challenging methods. Most people love to rise to a challenge and win, even if the challenge comes from within.
So, anyone try these methods before? What were the results? Have any other ideas for mini challenges?
Labels: writing challenges