Optional November Writing Challenges

In the beginning of September, I had an idea: write poetry every day until the end of October and then do NANOWRIMO.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out so well because every time I sat down to write poetry, flash fiction ideas would pop into my head. So I would write a few flash fiction pieces and then go back to writing poetry. And then the well dried up. I struggled to write anything. I watched September slip by with only 10 poems written the entire month and 2 flash fiction pieces. I tried to not get discouraged and told myself that if I doubled up in October, I could still get 60 new poems written. Yeah, that didn’t happen either. The more I scheduled writing, the less writing I did. I would find anything to occupy my time other than writing. October passed and I may have written another 10 poems and maybe 1-2 flash fiction pieces. And then I thought to myself: “There is no way in hell I can commit to a whole month of novel writing!”

I still want November to be a writing month. So I’ve decided to do two things. One, write “small stones” every day and to take a 30 day challenge. The small stones will keep the poetry flowing and the challenge will help me to reflect on myself more, to dig down deep.

So while I will sit on the sidelines this year as the world around me writes a novel in 30 days, I will notice the small pebbles along the pathway. Good luck to everyone doing NaNoWriMo!

8 thoughts on “Optional November Writing Challenges

  1. Hello Iona, writing can be a fickle game, sometimes ideas flow like water from a tap other times it dries up. But it happens and I find being patient is what I have to do. I don’t set any goal other than my own enjoyment of putting words together and hoping they make sense. Thanks for following my blog.

    • Iona Nerissa says:

      Thank you so much for that reminder. I tend to get too impatient with my words and nothing comes of it. I’ve been ill for 4 weeks with an upper respiratory congestion and have had to be patient writing the small stones every day. SO I know it is possible for me to be patient. Have a wonderful day!

  2. Iona Nerissa says:

    Yes, that makes perfect sense, and I was pretty sure that’s what you meant… better to ask though. Good luck with your writing every day.

  3. Rachael Charmley says:

    Fascinating reading, Lori. When I woke this morning I realized I wasn’t going to participate in NaNoWriMo, but instead I shall write everyday for a month and see what happens. It would be nice to get 1500 words down, but if that doesn’t happen that’s fine. I like your stone analogy. I think I shall write seeds… Thanks for sharing.

    • Iona Nerissa says:

      Good luck, Rachael. I hope you have a successful month. If you don’t mind me asking, what do you mean by writing “seeds?”

      • Rachael Charmley says:

        Seeds. Ah – planting seeds. Embryos I suppose – of ideas. Clues, hints, that kind of thing that might grow when I go back and look. Does that make sense?

  4. Thanks for the link to the small stones piece. I think it’s a wonderful idea, and I also think it’s a wonderful idea to allow yourself to write what is meaningful to you at any given time. If this isn’t your month for a novel, then why set yourself up to fall short? Write what works for you, and I’m certain you will write far better. Good luck on your challenge, and thanks for the luck on NaNo, I know I will need it.

    • Iona Nerissa says:

      I agree about writing what works for you.. I would love to do the novel, but after two months, I still didn’t have a solid idea, plot, or even characters. It would have been “flying by the seat of me arse” to do a novel. Best wishes, BB.

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