Thursday, September 20, 2012

Radical Writing Advice: A Challenge

On Monday I was the new member in a writing group. There are four other women writers who've been meeting for ... a while. I realize I don't know how long they've been meeting and that isn't relevant, anyway.

An online writing friend - via Ariel Gore's Literary Kitchen - is becoming a 3-D writing friend since moving (back) to Portland. I mentioned her a couple of week's ago. She and I met for coffee - now a decaf soy latte for me -and talked about writing and getting to know each other in a bigger context.

And she asked me if I wanted to join this writing group, as they were wanting another member or two. She gave an online introduction and I answered the group questions and submitted a short piece, all as application to being a member of the group.

It seemed a good fit and now I've met everyone in person. And it still seems a good fit. Unfortunately I had to leave early to get to work; but I loved the pieces I heard and the sharing feedback style was great and is highly compatible.

One member was talking about writing and mentioned there were some good online resources for flash fiction. One of them stood out for me, probably because of her high recommendation and because it seems like an active and energetic group of people are attracted to this site.

The website has regular flash fiction challenges. There is one up right now which, ahem, closes tomorrow (9/21) at noon EST. Give it a try! Or wait until the next one.

Oh, and I do want to give you a heads up that there is profanity on the website. For those who are sensitive to, or don't like to see, profanity - best stay away. And if you don't mind, click on over to TerribleMinds.

Challenges can be good writing motivators. Block breakers. Or attic clearing devices. Challenges can help move stories through or get something out of the way or spark an idea you didn't know you had. I know they're not for everyone - but they can also be just plain fun.

Try TerribleMinds. Or check out WritersWeekly for their next 24-Hour Short Story (they just had one, so the next is probably winter). NaNoWriMo (write a 50k+ novel in 30 days) or NaPoWriMo (write a poem a day for 30 days). And more.

Know of other writing challenges online? In print? Do share *smile*.

Find a challenge which inspires you and give it a try.