Great to have you in the 5-Day Challenge. 
We’ll get started on Jan 15.

Watch your inbox for the tiny tasks that will transform your writing practice and make it exciting, sustainable, and impossible to resist!


  1. Add ‘julie@storyaday.org’ to your address book, so my emails don’t go to your spam folder 
  2. Bookmark the 5-Day Challenge Hub, so you can always find the new content
  3. Take this bonus challenge (it only take a minute):

Bonus Mini Challenge For Today

if you declare to the world that you’re a writer, your subconscious is going to start supporting you in doing the things that a writer does like: 

  • Making time on your calendar for writing
  • Making notes about character arcs, 
  • Reading more, 
  • Actually starting to write short stories. 

If your biggest challenge is some variation of mindset, motivation, getting the work done, or procrastination, this part is especially important for you.

I want you to open up your email. Find the part where it says ‘settings’. And ’email signature’. And I want you to add an email signature to all of your outgoing personal emails. 

Here’s what it should say,

“[Your name], writer”, 

It’s going to feel weird and scary. 

Maybe you’ll giggle or feel like a fraud. But you’re not. 

You are a writer. By claiming the identity, you will signal to your brain that it’s time to start living up to that.

It’s time to start taking steps that a writer might take. 

Change your email signature Then leave a comment and tell me how you’re feeling.

Keep writing,

Julie (signed)

28 thoughts on “January Challenge – Next Steps”

  1. The more I think about this question and these writers, the more writers come to mind. With our complex world, there are so many people who are exploring these new ideas, social and political change. Climate change, and its effect on people and the environment, is involved with many books that try to foresee a future.
    Willa Cather – I like her beautiful writing, which matched with the expanses that she wrote about, the life on the prairie, the exploration into ancient indigenous cultures, the relationship of people against these landscapes.
    Lorrie Moore – She writes eloquently on daily living
    Margaret Atwood – she melds the personal and political in her writing. In her later works, she uses what she has read about scientific advances and includes these in her stories to present possibilities for the question “What if?”
    I wrote longer entry on Kim Stanley Robinson, who is incredible in his world building (even though his style of writing is not so great)
    Ray Bradbury – one of the developers of science fiction which allowed us to understand how science fiction can help us understand our present lives.

  2. I have neglected my writing practice fir quite awhile, and am looking fir the motivation to get back into it. Thank you for the opportunity.

    1. It’s hard to find motivation when we approach it from the ‘I should be writing’ position.
      If you can see it as fuel–something that makes the rest of your day easier, like being well-rested, or well-fed, or having air to breathe–it makes it easier to approach it with gratitude: I get to write today? Awesome!
      That’s it. There’s no expectation beyond that. There’s no wrong way to do it.

  3. I declared my “Dawn, Writer” and also added my signature. Although there may be a few emails where this would not be appropriate, I will adjust accordingly. I’m looking forward to each day’s challenge.

    I didn’t add a website. I had one years ago when writing was all I did. Now I’m heavily involved with Bible study, and this has cut back on my writing. I will write daily in a journal, and the entry may include a poem or a one-paragraph story about something that inspired me during the day.

  4. Done….!
    Did feel a bit strange , but great to declare an aspect of who I am….. I may add to it eventually. But for now I’ve put singer songwriter….
    Like others I’ve just started with personal email and will give consideration to others…..
    I have committed to writing more creative work this year and am keen to try anything that helps with this…..

  5. Already done. I changed my signature line sometime during the pandemic (I think). It combines the three things I do best: Writer. Teacher. Healer.
    Felt weird at first to declare that in all my personal emails, but it did open the door to claiming those identities. And I love the way they have braided themselves in my life ever since.
    Looking forward to taking this challenge with you!

    1. Excellent!

      (And remember you get to set your own rules for what “living up to it” looks like, and you get to adjust them as life comes at you…)

  6. I confess, I am not going to change my email. The emails I send have nothing to do with my being a writer. But I have a IG and a FB writer page, and they support my identity as a writer.

  7. I don’t use email much for personal communication and I don’t feel like adding “writer” to my professional emails is quite appropriate. My work has nothing to do with writing! 🫣

    1. Yeah, maybe adding it to the work email would be a mistake 🙂

      Is there some other way you could declare your identity?

      And if you really don’t want to, that can be OK too. Just ask yourself: am I keeping it as a delicious secret for myself in a life where I have to share too much of myself already OR am I afraid to admit it?

      If it’s a, great. If it’s b, I’ll just tell you that many people (myself included) feel motivated to live up to our declaration once other people have heard it. And often, other people in our lives are happy to encourage us, once they know.

  8. This task had already been completed on my email. At first it was so scary. Now it has even become a verbal habit. It feels quite natural now.

  9. This was already completed on my email. When it was first suggested to me it was extremely scary. Now it has become a verbal habit and it feels right.

  10. I feel kind of anxious about it. It’s been years since I finished a writing project. Not sure I really have the right to call myself a writer at this point.

    1. Totally get that. It is a little nerve-wracking.
      But you are still a writer if you still feel the pull.
      Actors are still actors even when they’re “resting” between bookings.
      Parents are still parents when they go out to work, or after their kids leave home.
      Buzz Aldrin’s still referred to as an astronaut and he hasn’t been in space since before I was born! (OK, that’s stretching things a bit!)

      If it causes anxiety that blocks you from taking action, skip it. Keep it as an idea for when you are ready to push yourself a bit.

  11. I had a nightmare doing this. After about an hour and a half of investigating I have come to the conclusion you cannot change iCloud email signatures on an iPad but only on a PC. Therefore, I shall do this on Sunday morning when I am on my PC.

    As I also have gmail and yahoo emails for other purposes though I have just done my yahoo emails- on my iPad – (I’ll do my gmail on my PC in the morning). It felt so, so good. I have slacked with my writing in 2022 due to circumstances out of my control but I am determined to get back to it this year. This was the kick start I needed.

    Thank you Julie x

    1. You had me worried there! Glad it worked out…and felt good.

      2022 WAS rough…but you’ve got this! It’s our time!

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