Sunday, January 11, 2015
The 250 Word a Day Challenge
On Tuesday, I start my residency at the Annenberg Community Beach House. Blogging is, apparently, part of the gig. I haven’t done much blogging so, at first, I thought: what on earth am I going to write about. Most of my daily excitement takes place between my ears. I was also reticent because of my tendency not to share anything I've written unless I’ve gone over it at least sixty-seven times. I don’t think that’s going to work for a blog since the idea is to get something out there for someone to click on and read while sipping a latte.
So, what does a nascent, fraidy-cat blogger write about? And then it hit me. I’d write about writing. Duh! I live, breathe, and eat writing. Such a life may not sound too exciting, but it has its moments. The romance, murder, betrayal, humor, and heartbreak happens when I sit down in front of a blank page (if I'm lucky).
Recently, in our fiction workshop at Beyond Baroque in Venice on Monday nights, I set out the 250 word a day challenge. We were each going to do 250 words a day for a month. That's not much. Only about a page. Infinitely do-able. The only criteria was that it be fiction. The minimum word count was 250, but if you got on a roll, then the sky was the limit. The pieces that resulted were energetic and inspired. We all had a sense of community and fed off the energy of the combined effort. It worked so well, and we loved it so much that I am offering the 250 word a day challenge to everyone who reads this. We will begin on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 and continue until Tuesday, February 10, 2015. I will be blogging about my progress, and you should feel free to email me about yours at firstname.lastname@example.org. All those, who complete the challenge, can get together when it’s over and celebrate the experience. (I’d say -- my treat, but that depends on how many people succeed.)
I look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday night at The Evening of the Short Story where I will work up the courage to read from a work in progress. A rollicking discussion to follow. We will also have about forty-five minutes of open-mike time. Short fiction only. (Five minutes or less.) We will all be sizzling with literary fervor. (At the very least, we'll have a good time.)
There are still two spots open for the fiction tutorial which will begin as a group on Saturday -- Valentine's day at 11:00 AM -- and continue individually after that during my office hours at any time that is convenient for each participant. All you have to do it email me at the address listed above.
I look forward to this opportunity and am delighted to be the writer in residence this winter.