Inspired by NaNoWriMo, a wonderful project run by the Office of Letters and Light every November since at least 2001, Café Aphra have decided to set our own challenge for the month of November.
Many of us are stuck with our writing, either through a lack of time, inspiration or discipline. Some of us need a kick-start to just get going again, to break through those barriers, blockages and general blahs that are stopping our fingers from writing those words.
Café Aphra proposes that whoever wants to join us in our November Writing Challenge can pledge to write a certain number of words every day for the 30 days of November, or alternatively can set themselves a similar goal. Such as, for example: “to have finished chapter 3 by the end of Week 1 and to have written chapter 4 by the end of Week 3”.
Whatever works for you and makes sense for your writing right now.
Our idea is this: It doesn’t matter what we write. It might be a short story, flash fiction, an existing novel, or a blog, article, poetry or play. It's about working the muscle of the imagination and letting free some of those words. Creating characters and plots or putting words together to form random beautiful patterns like colours in a kaleidoscope. We want to encourage and support each other to establish the discipline to sit down every day and write creatively. Something. No excuses allowed. None. Something – anything – but something every day.
Practice makes perfect and habits are easily formed. Important: The idea is NOT to judge our writing during this period. The idea is to get the words on the page, to break through those blockages through sheer repetitive action. At the end of the month we will have written a certain number of words, or chapters, or stories or poems. It may not be much, but it will certainly be more than if we had not done the Challenge.
We will have produced a substantial body of work that we can go back and re-edit later, and crucially we will have carved out time from every day and established a personal writing routine for ourselves that can be carried on after November, modified and adapted to suit our needs.
Café Aphra will continue to post blogs here, but the November Challenge will mostly be focused on our Facebook page.
To make our November Writing Challenge work, we really need to support each other. Group encouragement and some healthy, friendly competition will make or break this challenge for the individuals involved. We can stay up-to-date about how we are all doing via wall posts on our facebook page and motivate each other to keep going.
What have you got to lose?
And what could you gain?
So... what are you waiting for?!
If you’re interested in joining us, please visit our Facebook page to get in touch and keep posted. There will be words of support and encouragement, cracks of the whip or wails when we struggle. There will also be collective cheers and pats on the back for those good days when one of us feels a break-through was made, however small.
Café Aphra is all about fostering a community of writers - let’s use this challenge to form some connections, get some writing done and see where it takes us.