David Joy‘s debut novel Where All the Light Tends to Go hit…
All writers know the struggle for motivation and consistent writing habits. One way to combat this is to join an online writing challenge. The writing goal and time frame are set (or in some cases, you set a goal yourself) and you have the community support of fellow challenge participants. Here are a few such challenges to consider:
1. National Novel Writing Month: You’ve probably heard of or even participated in NaNoWriMo. On November 1, participants start writing towards a 50,000-word goal to be reached by 11:59pm on November 30. By creating an account for your novel on their website, you’ll be able to update your word count and receive achievement badges as you go, as well as share a short summary and excerpt from your novel so others in the writing community can see what you’re working on. You’ll also have access to resources to help you write your novel – including preparation blogs and webinars. Camp NaNoWriMo is the community feature of this challenge, in which 12 participating writers are grouped together based on preferences to communicate and encourage each other via message boards.
2. A Round of Words in 80 Days: If NaNoWriMo sounds too intense to be productive, consider ROW80. You have a larger time frame and you set your own goals. To enter, create a blog and state your goal—be it a word count, a writing time allotment per day, number of pages to edit, or any other measurable objective—on this blog. You will then write a brief check-in post on your personal blog every Wednesday and Sunday, and link it to the ROW80 blog so other participants can see your progress.
3. Ray Bradbury’s 52 Week Short Story Challenge to Aspiring Writers: This challenge is based on a piece of writing advice from author Ray Bradbury: “Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.” As you write these stories, you are encouraged to share links to them on the challenge’s Facebook page. You may also request permission to post your stories on their website. To learn more and read participants’ stories, check out their website.
4. Book-in-a-Week: Set a page count goal for yourself (minimum of 10 pages), and check in daily for one week. While there is a $3 fee to enter Book-in-a-Week, you may win a book or writing-related prize at the conclusion of the challenge if you have reached your page goal. You’ll also connect with a community of writers through the BIW messages and forums.