The Finish Line: 1,000 Words of Summer, Day Fourteen

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Chariots of Fire, 1981

 

Day Fourteen: Done. 1,017 words.

Challenge completed.

So, that’s it. For fourteen consecutive days, I’ve written 1,000 words every single day. Some fiction, some material for blog posts, some stream-of-consciousness. No matter how I’ve felt—good, bad, energized, tired, inspired, dry—I’ve written.

I don’t know yet if this was a good challenge for me. Certainly it came at a hard time, but it’s not as if we’ve had any particularly easy times in the past few months. Still, before I decide whether to keep pursuing it on my own, separate and apart from the official challenge, I need to assess what occurred over these two weeks.

Certainly some good has come out of it. I’ve begun what I think will be a novella but could, in fact, be more. So far, I like it. Would I have done this if I hadn’t felt compelled to write something every day? Unlikely. So that’s a point in favor of this challenge.

On the other hand, I’m grateful that it’s over. Forcing myself to write 1,000 words every day creates in me the fear that I could end up hating writing. Maybe a completely unwarranted fear, or maybe a very reasonable concern. Again, something to think about.

In any case, I did it. Many, many thanks to everybody who has participated with me—those who’ve written, those who’ve read these posts or tweets, those who’ve commented, those who’ve come alongside in spirit. Writing is a solitary business. It’s good to have friends cheering you on, none more so than Jami Attenberg, the creator of this challenge who sent out daily emails to inspire us all and keep us writing.

Thanks, everybody.

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Photo credit: Anna Tukhfatullina (Unsplash)

Resources for Writers, Part 1

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Whenever I talk with someone who’s venturing into the weird and wonderful world of writing, I inevitably get this question: “Do you know of any books that would be good for me?” As a matter of fact, I do. The bookcase in my front hall houses dozens of such volumes. Some are essays about writing and creativity; some are about the writing life (such as Annie Dillard’s The Writing Life); some focus on craft; some are resources on specific topics I’ve written about or intend to (Deborah Blum’s The Poisoner’s Handbook is a gem for those writing about murder); some contain writing prompts or odd facts designed to stir up the muse (The Book of Useless Information, by Noel Botham and The Useless Information Society). Continue reading