Writing 20 minutes a day, 365 Days A Year. Are You In?

One thing I know for sure is that writing is a personal endeavor.  Karen and Cathy (whom you’ll meet below) know that too.  And while I often bristle at the suggestion that I MUST write daily, I did not when K and C contacted me. Why? Because this is their goal for 2013 and they’re offering other writers the opportunity to join them in their quest to conquer the things that keep them from writing.  They’re not telling anyone what to do, they’re offering accountability and a place to connect!  

Full disclosure, I do not write every day all year long. But it works for many, many writers. Maybe it will work for you! 

This is the time of year when resolutions are made, excuses are found, and plans are thwarted.  Check out Write Despite and see if you can stick with it for the long haul!  

Please welcome Karen and Cathy to Women’s Fiction Writers!  

Amy xo 

Writing 20 minutes a day, 365 Days A Year. Are You In?

Close up of vintage typewriter machineWriting is such a solitary pursuit. It’s all in your head, this listening to the voices of characters and seeing the visions of images that demand to be shared…

Wait, that’s insanity. Isn’t it?

Anyway, solitary writing is actually a good thing—and can in fact be a welcome respite when you’re juggling multiple roles. And who isn’t these days? Whether you’re a partner/spouse, a parent, a student, holding down a job, or any exhausting combination thereof, alone time can be very good time. When you’re a writer, it’s crucial. Tuning into the work before you means tuning out to the world around you.

But while solitude is necessary to write, surviving the writing process requires more.

You need a tribe. So do we.

We’re Karen and Cathy, and we’ve launched our new blog, Write Despite, to motivate ourselves and others with a simple challenge:

Write for 20 minutes. Every day. For one year.

It may not sound like much. It may sound like waaaay too much. Nevertheless, this is the path we’ve chosen and by God we want others to band with us as we trudge down it, canteens and machetes in hand. We’ll write each and every little day, give updates on how we’re faring, tell you what’s working, what’s not, and share links and tips and any advice we stumble across. And, most importantly, we invite you to write along with us, receive sustenance, and share your triumphs and terrors. Or if you’re a lurker, simply follow along to see how we’re surviving.

We chose the name Write Despite because, well, it rhymes. And who doesn’t love a good rhyme? Also because it’s up to you—and your tribe—to:

Write despite—the terror of the first draft. Putting that first letter onto that first blank page when you start a new book, or story, or poem can be, uh, terrifying. Do it anyway. Who cares if you write a shitty first draft? Shitty first drafts rock.

Write despite—the drudgery of the rewrite. Sick to death of these people, this world you’ve created? Feel like you’re stuck at a bad party and you can’t leave because it’s in your own house? Your tribe can talk you down off the ledge when you’re in the throes of your first go-through, your second, or your 45th.

And write despite—the seeming futility of it all. Who will feel your pain when you finally send that manuscript off with a click of a button, or ample postage, and that sweet, high feeling of hope, only to have rejection send you hurtling back to earth?

Other writers, that’s who. And we hope you’ll find them here. Because if this grueling process doesn’t call for a tribe, what does?

We started January 1, 2013. But you can pick your own date to begin. Just mark a day on the calendar, commit—really commit—and start writing. Does a year seem like too much? Then pledge to write for six months. Or one month. Or weekends only. The point is to make an honest, personal contract with yourself to get this work done. Now, we know life intrudes. Sometimes it must. Sometimes there are damn good reasons to forego writing time: a sick child, a family emergency, a natural disaster…you get the picture. In any case, give yourself a giant high-five for doing all you can. Because whatever you write, if it’s more than you’re writing now, you will have succeeded. And that is no small feat to manage even under the best of circumstances.

Writing is, maybe more than anything, an act of endurance. It helps to have a cheering section, or at least a bunch of folks who understand what you’re going through. So brace yourself. Breathe. And remember your tribe’s got your back.

Check us out at Write Despite. Sign up for our blog posts. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @write_despite. See you there!

And kumbaya.

Find out more about Cathy, here.

Find out more about Karen, here.


5 thoughts on “Writing 20 minutes a day, 365 Days A Year. Are You In?

  1. Great idea. My friends and I have a workout chart that we all share, which helps keep us accountable to each other for our goals. I recently made a writing chart that I share with my cousin and writing buddy, with each of our projects–status, goals, word count, etc. Love the idea of a shared commitment to keep on keeping on!


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