During my I-Need-To-Find-A-Job time yesterday, I re-stumbled across the Inkygirl.com blog by Debbie Ridpath Ohi. I say, “re,” because I’ve seen her site before. Probably when I was last hunting for a job, trying to figure out how I could be a writer AND be gainfully employed. At the same time.
A freelance writer and illustrator based in Toronto, Debbie’s site is dedicated to things of interest to freelance writers, like writing markets and the publishing industry and how writers can churn out their best work ever. Most importantly, she draws witty cartoons about the writing and publishing experience. They are comical. They make me laugh.
Anyway, every writer knows that the best way to become a better writer is to read, write, write, write, get feedback, read, write, write, write, get feedback, read some more, write some more, get a lot more feedback and so on and so forth. It’s an unending cycle, because a writer can always be a better writer.
Even though I call myself a writer, I haven’t always practiced that process. Oh, the truth! It hurts! I write when I feel like writing, which is hit or miss, unless I’m being paid to write about something, in which case, I write to fulfill a obligation. That isn’t to say I do not write well (or without double negatives) when being paid. It’s just that I don’t write just to write because writing makes me a better writer.
This is for two reasons: (1) sitting down and writing just to write is, well, daunting and (2) writing just to write doesn’t pay bills. It’s a catch-22. You write because you want to be paid. You want to be paid, so you have to be a better writer than a lot of other writers. In order to be a better writer than all the other writers, you have to write, and not necessarily for pay.
Which leads me to the reason I’m mentioning Debbie and her blog. Monday’s post was a Weekly Wordcount Check-in wherein she asked her readers how they were doing with her challenge to them to write 250, 500 or 1,000 words per day, six days a week for an entire year. The goal of the challenge is to get writers writing. Because that’s how writers become better writers. By writing every day.
Yesterday’s post was a nod to Julie Duffy’s Story A Day challenge, which is as it sounds: a challenge to writers to write each day during the month of May. Writers are tasked every day with writing stories of any length. They may opt to write 50, 250, 500, 1,000 or 50,000 words daily, depending on their goals, workloads, etc. The goal once again is simply to write.
So, I’ve been thinking about a challenge of this nature. Can I really think of something to write about every day? My life isn’t that exciting. And, I’ve never been much of a poet or fiction writer. Well, I can construct haikus. But, I don’t even post to this blog every day.
And, I know 12 readers who are quite sad about that, too.
So, you see where I’m going with this. Two hundred fifty words aren’t that many words. I’m already at 537 with the preceding sentence. I always want to be a better writer. This challenge is perfect for getting me moving in that direction. And, May is my favorite month of the year.
Hhhmmm. To challenge myself or not to challenge myself? When I put it like that, not taking the challenge seems like a cop-out. So here goes. While I can’t promise that I’ll post my 250 or 500 words of randomness every day, I can promise that I will be writing. And, that whatever I’m writing will be random.
Because, well, I want to be a better writer. And this is a perfect opportunity for doing just that.
Now, I wonder if I can count this post toward Saturday’s word count . . .