Save Our StoryADay!

Sending out an SOS to writers who are struggling with StoryADay this May

sos

Maybe you haven’t started yet. Maybe you’re eight stories in. Maybe you started and then, well, life got in the way and…
But where ever you are, there are still 23 days left in May.
What will you do – in the next 23 days – as your gift to your Writing Self?
Here are 9 Ways To Save (or Support) Your StoryADay May:

1. Reset Your Goals

Only you know what’s going on in your life. If you know (or have discovered) that you simply can’t write a story a day, ask yourself what you could write. Three stories a week? One story, but worked on four days out of the week?
This is your challenge. Make it what you need it to be.

2. Forget The Past

Missed a day (or eight)? Forget it. Forgive it. You have today. Write something today.

3. Forget The Future

31 stories in 31 days sounds like a lot – and it is. What if you’re tired? What if you can’t face the idea of having to do another story tomorrow?
Well, what if the world ends and there is no tomorrow? What if aliens abduct all the writing materials on Earth tonight?
Just write for today.

4. Forget Your Audience

Nothing is more paralysing than thinking about what someone might think of your writing. On a first draft you must shut out all those voices. Don’t worry about the snooty woman in your book club who thinks First Person stories are lazy. Don’t worry that your sister will recognize herself in the portrait of the uptight pain in the posterior you are writing. Write to entertain or amuse yourself, to exorcise your demons, to distract yourself from having that drink or eating that fourth slice of pie. Whatever.
You do not need to share these stories with anyone. Write for yourself.

5. Write Rubbish

Really. You are allowed to write something truly terrible. Because if you allow yourself to write badly, you can laugh at yourself, and laughter is powerful voodoo. And then you can learn what not to do tomorrow.
And, the chances are, somewhere in that steaming midden of middling prose, will be a phrase, a clause, a character, an image — something — that you’re just a little bit proud of and that will make you come back and try again tomorrow.

6. Read & Comment On Someone Else’s Stories

Go to the StoryADay blogs and pick one. Read a story. Leave a comment. Admire the double bravery of your fellow writer who both wrote a story and put it out into the world. Encourage them. Imagine how it might feel to get a little of that love in return. Want it? Write something!

7. Get A Buddy

If you do read and comment on some other StoryADay participants’ stories, you’ll probably find that you’ve just built yourself a personal cheering squad.
It’s a pretty awesome, supportive community over at StoryADay.org. Comment on someone’s story and they’re liable to come looking for yours. Ask them to check in on your progress and they will. Knowing that someone is waiting for your story (or to see your post in the Victory Dance group) can work wonders for your productivity!

8. Use The Prompts

Even if you hate the idea and sit staring at them for ages before anything comes, prompts can be a great way of getting you started on your day’s writing. Even if it’s just to shout, “This is stupid. I’m writing X, instead!”
You can subscribe to the StoryADay Prompts By Email service (this week they’re focusing on ‘character’), or check out these other prompt sites on the Resource Page.

9. Take the StoryADay SOS Course

I’ve run this course in April for the past two years, with good results. It’s a guided writing course with lessons and a dedicated private forum. You write three stories each week, starting with micro-mini stories and building on your successes. If you are really having trouble knuckling down and writing, this might be just the jump-start you need.
I’m going to run the course again starting this Friday, May 11, and it will run through until May 31 as a Save Our StoryADay Rescue course.Click here for more details.
BONUS CONTENT: I’m including in a weekly one-to-one Accountability phone call with me – a 10-15 minute check-in each week to chat about how you’re getting on, and what might be holding you back.

Limited to 20 people so don’t delay!

Warm Up Writing Course Begins This Weekend

Thinking about signing up for StoryADay May but scared to take the plunge?

 

If you need proof that YOU CAN WRITE, sign up for the StoryADay Warm-Up Writing Course starting this Friday, April 6. But sign up today and receive immediate access to the bonus Time To Write Workshop.

 

What: An online short-story writing course for writers who want to warm up their writing muscles: 2 weekly lessons, 3-4 weekly writing assignments. Starts small and builds your confidence over time. Continue reading “Warm Up Writing Course Begins This Weekend”

Get your story publication-ready with the StoryADay Editing & Revision Seminar

TéléphoneI’m excited to announce our very first free, live teleseminar coming up this Friday.

StoryADay May is all about a creative splurge: massive amounts of writing, experimentation and fun. With any luck we all came out with a handful of stories that surprised us: they were really quite good and maybe there were some that we think we could share with readers. But maybe not quite yet.

Is Your Short Story Publication-Ready?

Editing your writing is hard, but it makes all the difference between a first draft and a publishable story.

On Friday, Sept 9, 2011, at 1:30 PM (EST) come and learn about the different levels and stages of editing.

In this teleseminar you’ll learn about:

  • Understanding the different levels of editing and how to use this knowledge to keep from being discouraged,
  • How to figure out what you need right now,
  • Do It Yourself editing,
  • How to effectively get editing help from others.

You’ll also receive an exclusive money-saving offer on my upcoming series of writing seminars aimed specifically at short-story writers.

What It Is

A seminar that you can use your home phone (or cell phone or Skype) to call in to.

I’ll talk for about 20 minutes and take questions at the end. I’ll answer as many as I can. (I’ll mute your phones before I start, so don’t worry about barking dogs or crying babies in the background!)

If you can’t be on the call, live, send your questions to me by email before the call (julie@storyaday.org) and you can download the whole thing after the event (I’ll send out an email to this list with the details, on Friday afternoon).

What It Is Not

There is no fee for this teleseminar (although there may be telephone charges, depending on where you live and what kind of plan you have).

This is a look at how to approach editing and revising your stories. It is NOT a primer on grammar or spelling or where to put your apostrophes. For one thing, I’ve noticed that most of the writers at StoryADay seem to know how to do that stuff – although we all occasionally make slips that must be caught in editing. For another thing, there is a metric ton of information online about how to use grammar. (I suggest you start here.)

How To Join In

Sign up for the StoryADay Creativity Lab to receive all the details including a call-in number and conference code, and more information about that discount on upcoming seminars

If you’ve ever wondered how best to revise your work, join us this Friday, Sept 9 at 1:30 PM (EST) for the StoryADay Creativity Lab Editing & Revision Teleseminar

P.S. Don’t forget, at the end of the call you’ll receive a discount code for 25% off future seminars.

A Time To Live

I was going to be starting the StoryADay Warm-Up Your Writing Summer Course today, but I’ve decided to postpone it until September.

I’m going to explain why and then I’m going to offer you some free tools, and a chance to help a worthy cause. If you just want the goodies, you can skip ahead.

Why I’m Not Running The Warm Up Writing Course This June

I live in one of those mythical neighbourhoods where everyone knows everyone else and we like each other. We have Easter Egg hunts and a Christmas party and our kids all ride bikes and play in the street together all summer and there is always a parent or five hanging out with them. It’s the kind of neighbourhood where you know that if your kid does something stupid while you’re not looking, one of the other parents will hunker down and gently discuss why ‘we don’t that’ and negotiate a peace treaty between whichever kids need it.

And if anyone needs help, the neighbourhood springs into action.

And we’re springing into action.

Last weekend my next door neighbour’s five year old daughter, Gabriella, was suddenly admitted to the local children’s hospital and diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain cancer.

So we’re babysitting and running errands and making sure life seems as normal as we can for all the kids here at home. We’re raising money and cooking meals and organizing prayer chains and trying to be available for anything our friends might need.

And yes, though all this I could find time to run the course. But I wouldn’t be able to give it my all, and that’s not fair to anyone. So I’m postponing until September, when I will offer the Warm-Up Your Writing Course again, at the summer rate.

And in the meantime, I’m going to spend the summer creating high-quality free content and tools to help my lovely StoryADay friends focus on creativity and productivity and to keep writing every day, not ‘someday’.

An Important Reminder For Writers

But this bump in the road has reminded me of a very important rule for writers:

As important as it is to keep writing, it’s even more important to keep living. Only by grabbing life with both hands and holding on tight through every experience, can we hope to be able to write stories that help, heal, entertain, make readers think, and, in our own small way, change the world for the better.

How You Can Help

Having a sick child gets expensive really quickly, especially when it is something as complicated as brain cancer. So I’m raising money for the family by offering a special discount on my Time To Write Workshop for $17 $10, with 100% of the proceeds going to Gabriella’s family.

The Time To Write Workshop contains three modules to help you figure out why you never seem to find as much time as you’d like for your writing and how to change that. It comes with two bonus worksheets you can print out and use to track and plan your time, and it comes with an mp3 version for auditory learners and interactive mind maps for the more visual among you.

Click here and use the code “forGabby” to get the Time To Write Workshop at a 40% discount AND send $10 to a family in need.

 

If you already have the Time To Write Workshop but still want to help, you can click here to donate directly. Or, if you can afford some prayers, we need them too.

(As a thank you, please help yourself to the PDF of the Idea Generator Resource Sheet — which is part of the Warm-Up Your Writing Course).

More details about the Time To Write Workshop (remember, use the code ‘forGabby’ for your discount).