- What if you had time to write?
- What if, when you sat down to write, you could jump over all the hangups and just write?
- What if, every day, you felt like the writer you were supposed to be?
- What if you were a writer who could produce more, better stories, then get on with your day?
- What if you were invigorated, attentive, more relaxed, more present (pleasant?) for the people in your life?
I’m Julie Duffy, and I’ve led thousands of writers through the process of writing a story a day in May (or September) and building up their identity and practice as a writer.
And I’ve done it every year since 2010.
I’ve seen people:
- Write their first stories since high school
- Have their first story published (from a draft started in StADA)
- Publish their first novels
- Best of all, in my opinion, begin to own the identity of “writer” (not because of any external rewards but because they are doing the work)
When you build a practice of writing you feel more completely you. You’re happier, easier to live with, and more connected to the world you’re living in.
When you are reaching out to touch other people’s minds via squiggly marks on a page..it’s magic! And it addictive.
We writers are lucky. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment or fancy training to write.
So it can be hard to believe in ourselves, to allow ourselves time to do the work we need to do, improve our skills, and to keep applying ourselves to creative work throughout our busy lives.
That’s why I’m here today, to help you find a way to make writing part of your life every day, not ‘some day’, during the next few months.
The Story of StoryADay
Since 2010 I’ve led thousands of writers through StoryADay May. Some have gone on to other creative work, some come back to StoryADay every year.
In between challenges they’re entering contest and writing novels and cowriting books with their kids. Teaching. All kinds of stuff.
But it wasn’t always that way.
Let me tell you a story.
Back in March 2010 I was a frustrated stay at home mom.
I had given up all the things that made me “me”, but I had a nice life. I didn’t feel I had a right to complain.
The longer I pushed away my need to write, to do the thing that fed me, the more I tried to fill that hole with other things. I was becoming weepy and needy and vastly overweight… I was becoming someone who was not “me”.
And on that morning, in March, tears blurring the road as I drove my two kids home from a doctor’s appointment, I hit bottom. I realized I had to do something. I had to start writing again. And I had to make it stick, this time.
Now, since I’d always been attracted deadlines and big challenges, and because I loved short stories I decided to challenge myself to write a story a day in May.
As soon as I made the decision, my heart started to race. The idea scared me. In a good way.
So I shared my plan, and 97 people (mostly friends of friends) said “sure, that sounds like fun. Sign me up!”
Writing my first story, that first year, was incredibly hard. I was rusty, out of practice, with no idea how to string a whole story together anymore. But because I had committed to this challenge–and to these people–I couldn’t quit this time. I had to keep writing.
And you know what? Some of the lines in that terrible first story were pretty good. And better than that? I felt good.
So I kept writing. Every day. For a month. And most of the stories were not great. But a couple…a couple felt like real stories. I learned so much.
And you will too!
- How to start, even when you’re terrified of failing.
- How to keep going, even when you don’t want to
- How to lean on your fellow writers on a bad day
- How to boost other writers when they needed it
- How to get through the messy middle of a story
- How to finish, and feel the high of having figured out the whole story.
- How to make time for writing in the midst of a busy life
- How to keep keep going when it gets tough
- How to give yourself the gift of being who you were meant to be.
Every year since then I’ve led thousands of writers through this extreme creativity challenge and watched them transform themselves from frustrated, everyday people, into people who contribute magic, wonder, empathy and connection to our world.
The StoryADay Superstars
All these years later the StoryADay Challenge is essentially the same: write a lot, write fast and don’t look back, lean on the community.
But I noticed that people drift away in Week 2. And I hate the thought of them, back on the sofa, face in a pint of ice-cream, feeling bad for having abandoned their dreams one more time.
I wanted a way to keep you all closer.
I wanted to create a group so close-knit that we could check in on each other whenever someone goes quiet. A group that could talk about writing and the challenges of making it work amidst life, not complain about ‘how hard it is’ (like so many other writers’ groups where people aren’t actually writing!). I wanted a group that would come to know and trust each other, and pull each other over the finish line of StoryaDay…and beyond.
So I started a new program , called Superstars.
It has become an amazing force for creative good in the lives of everyone who joins. I wish you could experience, right now, today, the strength and enthusiasm, and fun we get from hanging out with our fellow Superstars.
These people get it. They know how hard it is to write, and they do it anyway. And they will cheer you on, when you show up and take a chance on your writing.
I want you to consider leaning into your StoryADay challenge this year and becoming a Superstar.
More about that in a minute but first:
The Big Question
Is it really possible to write a decent story every day for a month?
- Of course it’s ridiculous to try to write a story every day for a month.
- Of course lots of them are going to be, um, dodgy at best.
- Of course, even the most promising of them will need work to whip them into shape after the challenge is over.
I have lost count of the number of people who have told me they’re submitting/publishing stories that started as drafts during StoryADay.
People are writing a lot of stories.
People are reworking their stories and sending them out into the world.
Yes, StoryADay works, and I’ll tell you why.
People who participate in month of short story writing are doing more than turning out stories: they are building a writing practice that fits their lives. They are shifting their identity.
After 31 days of writing stories in May, you will see yourself as a person who writes. What does that mean?
Maybe you become a person who
- Keeps a file of story sparks
- Carves out time
- Looks for new challenges and deadlines
- Sets up accountability feedback loop with other writers.
- Has the courage to send stories out into the world to find their readers.
I can help put you on the path to all these things and I can connect you with people who are walking it too.
You can do these things in the blog comments at StoryADay, but I have to tell you, it’s easy to stop posting there. Nobody has any way of contacting you and asking how things are going. Nobody is going to follow up if you stop posting.
Every year I see it happen.
The people who write the most, who improve the most, who get the most excited about their writing are in the Superstars group. These are the people who, barring illness and emergency, are still there at the end of the challenge.
I want you to be one of those people.
The Next StoryADay Challenge Is Coming
Do you want to commit to StoryADay, only to drift away in Week 2, regret-filled and reaching for the ice-cream?
Or do you want you be there with us, at the end of the challenge with a pile of new stories, a bunch of new working-writer friends, and a fresh commitment to your own identity as a writer?
Do you want to step away from your desk every day and greet the people in your life with a huge smile, because you feel so energized and fulfilled, after giving yourself the gift of writing a story that day?
Yes, committing to this is a big step. Opening yourself up to other people, is scary. Taking the risk that you’ll mess up (and in public), is kind of terrifying.
But how does it feel to be doing it alone?
Could you be making more progress, faster, with less angst? I believe you could. And I believe being in the Superstars group can help you get there.
The next challenge is coming. Are you ready to commit to your writing.
If now not, when?
The Big Deal with Superstars
You’ve come this far. You either have a lot of free time, or this Superstars thing is sounding like something that is right for you, right now.
Maybe you’re smart enough to realize that you need some extra support as you dedicate yourself to building a writing practice (This is something it took me about 7 years of running StoryADay to figure out. It wasn’t about the prompts. It was about the support!)
Whether you are already writing regularly and know you’re ready for the next step, or if you haven’t been writing and know you need big, scary goal to get going again, I hope you’ll find something at StoryADay for you.
Focus On The Work
This coming month I want you to forget about publishers and journals and critique groups and editors. I want you to focus on the work.
I want you to end the next month feeling in your bones that ‘success’ as an artist — the only success worth having — is the ability to find joy in doing the work.
That’s a lofty goal. And it takes hard work.
What’s Included In Superstars?
StoryADay Superstars is your virtual writer’s retreat; an extended-content version of the StoryADay Challenge PLUS a supportive community.
StoryADay Superstars gives you everything you need to write, write a lot, and build the confidence you need, to get your stories out into the world.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join us, and write 30 stories over the next 30 days so that you can learn
- What you love to write,
- How to write it better, and
- The tools and practices that help you become a better and more prolific writer,
…so you can share more stories with readers and begin to hear that magical feedback: “I loved your story, because…” and “Thank you for writing this story, it made my day so much better”.
As a StoryADay Superstar you’ll have:
- A way to start your day, every day, full of ideas and excitement for that day’s writing, so that you never get burned out and want to skip a day of the challenge.
- A place to talk to other writers about your struggles and to celebrate your successes, so that you always feel your writing is a valid, important part of life, whether or not you have anyone in your everyday life who gets it.
- Live ‘writing dates’ that teaches you to write in concentrated sprints, ‘on-demand’, so that you know, without a doubt, that you can write, anytime, whether or not you’re in the mood, and so that you can become that prolific, successful writer you want to be. You’ll be amazed at the power of these sessions. (I always am!)
What You Get
- Extended content, mini-workshop every day, on different parts of the short story writing process, from getting to the desk, to drilling into the craft.
- Your choice of video, audio and written versions, so you can use whatever works with your schedule to help you brainstorm your story and get started as quickly as possible, each day.
- A private portal where you can get to know a smaller subset of the StoryADay community, usually the most committed, where you can build relationships, find accountability, and cheer each other on.
- Weekly live hangouts during September where we will talk briefly about how the writing’s going, then do timed writing sprints in each other’s company. (It sounds a little crazy, but the only crazy part is how productive you’ll be if you turn up for these calls or even make time to watch the replay as if you were there, live.) You’ll actually write during the hangout, so we’re not wasting any of your precious writing time. In fact, you’ll find you probably write more than you would, alone.
- Lifetime access to the prompts. Use them any time you need a boost.
- Access to me and some of my longest term participants, along with the most dedicated group of StoryADay writers…
What Else You Get
As I was looking over all the tools in Superstars I found myself wondering: what else could a person going through this challenge use?
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been working with the Superstars to add features that super-charge their ability to stick to the challenge AND keep going in the months after the challenge ends. Here’s are
So now, you’ll also have:
- Access to our private Slack channel (it’s like a private social media network with just us. Highly customizable notification settings. Messages and announcements don’t get lots in a flood of email!). This is where the community relationships get strongest.
- On-going support – we’ll meet once a month until the start of the next challenge, for a Q&A and writing sprints in a monthly video hangout.
- An opportunity to participate in the Superstars group at a reduced rate after the next challenge rolls around.
- Instant Access to the StoryADay Time To Write Workshop, that leads you can start using today to figure out where you can carve out time to write during the challenge, or for the rest of your life!
OK, you’ll have figured out by this point, that I’m not offering all this for free.
There will always be the free version of the challenge at the main site, but I believe that Superstars offers you the best chance of reaching your goal of becoming a fulfilled, prolific storyteller who, when people ask you what you do, can honestly say “I write”.
So let’s talk your investment.
I’m going to my favorite writers’ conference later this year. It’s a five-day conference that costs $800. That’s 40 hours of content for $800. Plus the cost of travel, and a hotel room. Plus time away from my family. And it’s worth every penny to me.
I just heard from another organization (you probably got this email, too) who wanted me to attend a 4-session online course taught by a writer I didn’t know, about short story writing, for $249.
In Superstars you’ll get:
- 31 writing prompts/mini workshops, one a day. At that other organization’s rates, that would set you back $1800+
- If you bought me a large cappuccino every day of the challenge, you’d spend $114 for the month (…and I would gain 5lbs).
- 5 hangouts during StoryADay, for over 7.5 hours of live access to me and the collected wisdom of the group. When I do private consulting (which isn’t often), that would total over $2,200.
Plus you get:
- The members’ forum and Slack channel for the next eight months, which is kind of priceless.
- The ongoing support throughout the year, including 7 more hangouts (for a value of over $3000)
- Instant, life-time access to the Time To Write Workshop ($27)
- Oh, and did I mention, you get a generous discount on other courses and workshop I’ll be running this year, like the Critique groups in June, Oct and Feb?
So. Close contact with someone you already know (me!) and a group of committed fellow writers to help you stay on your path to becoming a more fulfilled, more productive writer. Today, not ‘some day’!
And the price?
For 8 months of support.
(StoryADay will be back in May but you will never see this offer again.)
Go ahead and click the button below and join me in Superstars!
A Handy Deadline
I know writers love a deadline.
Luckily, the next challenge is fast approaching. Registration for Superstars ends on the first of the month, then I close it down and don’t open it again until May.
If you’re ready to jump in, click the button now. (And yes, there’s a 3-payment plan, too.)
You have a full 14 days to ask for a refund, if you feel like StoryADay Superstars isn’t working for you.
No questions asked.
One Last Thing
Remember, if you want something to change, something has to change.
If you want the lifestyle of a writer, you have to take on that identity. The easiest way to do that is to surround yourself with other people who are taking on that identity.
If you want to be a person who:
- Sees story ideas everywhere
- Can’t wait to run to your desk
- Has strategies for shutting down the inner editor and getting to the work
- Has a crew of people to rely on
- Knows they can get to the end of a story because they’ve done it 30 times before
Consider joining us in Superstars…
I can’t make you a better writer.
I can’t promise to get you published.
But I can help put you on the path to becoming a writer who writes.
And I can connect you with other people who are on that path, too.
Now Is Your Time
We start on the 1st.
If you’re ready to start building your identity as a writer, and building the practices that support it, join us now.
Click the button and I’ll see you in the Superstars Portal.