Write Something Already!

press-start-fa915ffe8a6fb32bb3eabf7f771620b4Maybe for some of you readers in the United States, November means Thanksgiving and football, cooler weather and family time. But here at Something Worth Reading, November means National Novel Writing Month. Last year, I issued a daily writing challenge and before that we’ve done a First Lines and Titles game. But this year I’m going to go all out. This is the year we write a whole novel! Go big or go home!

No, wait. Come back! Here’s what we’re really going to do. This month, I’d like you to think about committing to writing something this month, start to finish. You decide what it is, how long it needs to be, the audience, all those parameters. It could be a poem or a personal history, a letter to the editor or your Congressional representative, an elegy to a lost loved one, a short story, a paper on the Irish diaspora, a happy memory, a revenge fantasy involving your boss and a box of matches– anything at all. The same things you like about reading– learning about other people, escaping from your own life for a while, playing pretend– are present in writing as well (though, yeah, it’s a little harder). Give it a try.

Here’s what you do: leave a comment on THIS POST RIGHT HERE describing what you’d like to write this month (“I’m going to write down my favorite birthday with my grandmother.”). I’ve committed to finish the rough draft of a novel by the end of the year, so I’ll be working on finishing the second and third sections (out of five) this month. Every day, I’ll post an excerpt of my daily work (it will probably be VERY ugly, so you can feel encouraged. :)) or a little thought about writing or the creative process or some other kind of motivation. Then at the end of the month, EVERY PERSON WHO MEETS THEIR GOAL WILL GET A PRIZE. I mean, the real prize will be the satisfaction you’ll feel at having accomplished your goal, but you’ll also get something more tangible. (I haven’t decided what the prize will be yet. It will depend largely on how many winners there are and how well I know them and what I think they will enjoy.)  So you decide for yourself whether or not you’re going to win.

I’m excited to hear about all your projects. I hope you’ll join me this month. I really believe that anyone can write. I even believe that anyone with sufficient determination can write well. So give it a shot! What’s the worst that can happen? Even if you fail spectacularly (I’m not sure that’s possible. What would that even look like?), who has to know? And, having done it once, you can try again and at least “fail better” the next time.

To recap, here’s what you do:

1. Tell me what you’re going to write.

2. Write it.

3. Tell me that you wrote it.

4. Win a prize.

Go forth and write!

PS To any LDS Young Women who happen to read this: this would make an excellent Knowledge Project for Personal Progress. It will absolutely take you ten hours.


7 thoughts on “Write Something Already!

  1. I’m going to write a blog post about superheroes and monsters. And I’m going to write a paper on Foucault (for class) that may or may not involve a discussion of ideas Discipline and Punish in relation to The Troubles, with a particular focus on Heaney’s poem “Punishment” and the events it refers to. And if I’m really good, I’m going to write a couple of other blog posts too. But we’ll see. Also, at least one conference abstract. 🙂

  2. This month I am writing an article, it may not end up anywhere but as a post on my blog BUT. I’m writing an article about Family traditions, how they start, why they are important, what some popular ones are, and why we should protect them. I’m pretty excited about it actually.

  3. 1. I want to read your novel. Just based on that.

    2. I want to write the text for a picture book. That’s all I know. I often have issues with the ones I read. I think it’s time to give one a try.

  4. Am I to late to join the party? I am just not good at getting online anymore… I don’t need a prize, but my goal is also to write the text for a picture book. I’ve been working on it for a couple weeks, but haven’t made a ton of progress.

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