StoryADay+NaNoWriMo Mashup Pt. II

Last year I got together with Marya Brennan, the director of NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers’ program to talk about short stories.

We had so much fun that we decided to do it again this year. This time we took a close look at Flash Fiction. Here’s a replay of the livestream.

If you have any young people in your life, they may want to enter the NaNoWriMo YWP’s Flash Fiction Contest, running now (closing date: May 31)

What I Do When The Writing Stalls

I’ve been stalling on writing this blog post for about two weeks. 

Don’t worry, it’s not bad news or anything. I just couldn’t write it.

You know the feeling, right? You want to work on a project, but every time you sit down, something is wrong. You can’t find your way into the story, or you are seized with a sudden urge to research the perfect lamp for your desk…

My Favorite Productivity Hack

To get this post going, I used one of my favorite, sure-fire tricks:

Continue reading “What I Do When The Writing Stalls”

The Power of Being Vulnerable

Last Wednesday I was an invited speaker at a reading featuring local authors.

I got some laughs (phew!) and sold some books. It took nerve to do it, but I’m so glad I did.

In the breaks, I talked to other writers whose stories I had enjoyed immensely. And guess what? They knew who I was and told me they’d enjoyed my story. Some of them even asked questions about the status of the novel I’d read from at a similar event five months ago.

Can you imagine how that felt?

These great writers and performers remembered my work?!

Some of these writers have connections with a wider circle of writers in the area, some of whom are pretty big deals in their genres.

And now I have a connection to that wider world.

I want to talk to you today about how you can build and expand on YOUR network of writers

I got my opportunity because of a tiny decision I made about 8 years ago, to turn up at a local writers’ group’s critique night.

That group has been one of the best ways for me to get embedded in the local writing scene, and a wider writing scene. We share tips about conferences, contests, scholarships, events, blogs we’ve liked, podcasts we’ve discovered, basically anything to do with improving our craft. Sometimes we become friends

But Julie, I hear you say, I thought you said it was a critique group.

It is!

There’s a vulnerability and trust in the act of sharing your work, that encourages deep connections to grow.

I know I’m lucky. I live in a densely-populated area with lots of over-educated people, many of whom want to write.

You may not be so lucky.

Except that you are, because we live in the future, and we can do almost anything online that my group does in the physical world.

And this is the bit where I finally get to the point.

This time last year I offered a ten-day online critique group. A dozen writers showed up, critiqued each other’s work and received a full critique of a story (or 3000 words of a longer piece) from me and at least three other members of the group.

And I’m doing it again this year. Oct 21-31 is our Critique ‘Week’ for 2018.

You can sign up between now and Oct 21, 2018, but I’m not sure when this opportunity will come around again. We did it last year and it was a great experience.

If you want in, sign up now!

Video: Top 3 Tips for A Successful StoryADay September

Be A Superstar?

If you want some extra support including:

  • Daily video explainers of the prompts, and pep talks
  • Transcripts of the videos
  • Audio-only versions
  • A private site just for Superstars, to hang out and comment
  • Weekly video hangouts with me and the other Superstars throughout September

Sign up to become a Superstar now

Don’t want that much support? You can still get all the prompts in your inbox by signing up below:

Write on Wednesday – Quick Story Formula

This is an awesome way to quickly launch (and finish) a new story, any time you have time to write but are short on inspiration. Try it!

 

Use this story formula to to create an interesting character, give them a desire, kick off some intriguing action and plan the kind of resolution you want. Continue reading “Write on Wednesday – Quick Story Formula”

Let’s Talk About Flash Fiction

In which I encourage you to write Flash Fiction and tell you about an upcoming online workshop.

Flash Fiction chat, April 10, 2017

Posted by Story A Day on Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The online workshop will happen on April 22, 2017 from 4 PM until late.

There are 10 tickets for full workshop participants (writing exercise, critique and discussion) and 40 reduced-price tickets for audience-only attendees.

Sign up now

How To Set Exciting Writing Goals for Next Year — And Actually Meet Them, This Time!

This time next year, you could be staring at a list of achievements that are directly related to the goals that matter to you…

StoryADay Writers' Annual Review Bundle graphic
Scroll down to get your worksheets!

Listen to the podcast episode that goes along with this post:

The Allure of the Fresh Start

I love the idea of a fresh start, don’t you?

It doesn’t matter when it happens (New Year, the first day of spring, the start of a new academic year), I’m always ready with my list of “this time it’ll be different” resolutions.

  • This time I’ll get my assignments done ahead of time!
  • This time I’ll write every day, even if I don’t feel inspired!
  • This time I’ll floss three times a day!

    And What Happens Next?

    You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?

    I’m excited to follow through on my plans for about three days.

    Then I start to force myself to stick to the new regime.

    Then I start to miss a day here or there…

    …and suddenly it’s June and I’m flipping through my journal and I find that massive, guilt-inducing list of Things I’m Going To Do Differently This Year, and my shoulders slump, and I spend the next three weeks in a slump, wondering why I can’t get anything done.

    Sound familiar?

Continue reading “How To Set Exciting Writing Goals for Next Year — And Actually Meet Them, This Time!”

SWAGr – Monthly Writing Goals & Check In

What People Are Saying About StoryADay May 2014

Welcome to the first meeting of our monthly Serious Writers Accountability Group (Acronym: SWAGr, because every insecure writer needs a little swagger, don’t you think?)

Writing is a lonely business and, as StoryADay May proves year after year, there’s nothing quite like peer pressure for helping you meet your goals.

Every month I encourage you to come here, leave a comment and tell us what your goals are for this month. Then, next month, check in, tell us how you did and what you’re going to do in the following four weeks. (It doesn’t have to be fiction. Feel free to use this group to push you in whatever creative direction you need.)

Examples of Goals

  • “I’m going to write every morning from 6-7 AM.”
  • “I’ll write 250 words a day, minimum.”
  • “I’ll write 10,000 (fiction) words this month.”
  • “I’ll write one full story and revise another.”
  • “I’ll write four stories and submit one story to a publication.”
  • “I’ll outline that presentation I’ve been putting off working on, and create half of the slides.”
  • “I’ll track my time and see what’s getting in the way of my writing.”
  • “I’ll keep a journal to track my resistance to getting the work done.”

 So, what will you do this month? Leave your comment below:

(Next check-in, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Tell your friends. )

Big News and New Things

I have BIG NEWS.

Celebrity Guest Prompters

Firstly — and I have to put this first because otherwise my head will explode — our first Guest Prompter for the month of May is none other than rock star author NEIL GAIMAN!!!

He’s providing the writing prompt for May 1, so don’t be late! (You can sign up to getPrompts By Email, if you haven’t already).

There are lots of other published authors and writing teachers lined up to share writing prompts during this Fifth Anniversary StoryADay May, so don’t miss out.

A Month Of Prompts…Today!

 New this year, I’m offering you the chance to plan ahead, with the brand new Month Of Writing Prompts ebook for 2014!

The idea of sitting down to write a new story everyday, cold, is pretty terrifying. But it’s less terrifying with a bit of forward planning.

For the past few StoryADay challenges, participants have told me that it’s really useful to be able to peek ahead at the upcoming writing prompts. Last May and September I supplied a week’s worth of prompts at a time to people on thePrompt By Email list.

This time, however, you can get the whole month worth of prompts today. Use them this coming May, or at any time in future.

(If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a free reading app for your favorite gadget, here. Also, the ebook will not have the celebrity guest prompts, only the 31 written by yours truly. You’ll have to come to the site for the guest prompts.)

To celebrate the launch of this new ebook, it’s going on sale today at $0.99. The price will  slowly creep back up to its list price of $6.99 by April 30, (this is an Amazon Countdown Deal, if you’re interested in that kind of thing), so get your copy sooner rather than later.

Are You Ready?

Now, before you let your nerves get the better of you, remember that YOU SET THE RULES for yourself. If you think five days a week, or one story a week is what you can manage, that’s fine. Come along for the ride anyway. Take advantage of the community (I’ll open up the site for new registrations on April 25. Mark your calendars!) and tell your friends, because peer pressure is a wonderful thing!

Don’t forget to grab your graphics to let people know you’re taking part and browse the resource section for inspiration.

Need to Warm Up?

If you’ve bought the Warm Up Course Home Study version before, now’s the time to dust off your copy. Or if you’d like your own copy, there is a 10-day accelerated version too, perfect for warming up before May 2014. I’ve opened a new group in the community for anyone who wants to go through the course now. Let me know if you need access and don’t have a username yet (julie@storyaday.org).

Here’s what the course does for you:

  • Start writing in small, manageable chunks that will boost your confidence,
  • Generate 45 Story Sparks that you can turn into short stories,
  • Learn to carve out time for your writing, and break through your fear and block, by writing straight away,

When the course is over you will have:

  • 10 completed stories,
  • More story ideas than you can use during the StoryADay challenge, so you never sit down to a blank page,
  • The confidence to know you can make writing an on-going part of your life,
  • Practice  and discovery of your best working habits.
Get access now

In the mean time, I apologize for the extreme fan-girling at the start of this email (but I’d do it again) and:
Keep writing,
Julie

Julie Duffy
P.S. Remember that all these tools (including the daily prompts) are optional. Access to the site and the community remain free, forever. StoryADay May exists to encourage you to give yourself permission to tell your stories!