I’m teaching a session of writing classes to a group of local writers. Some of the participants have been writing for years, and others are just beginning to take the craft seriously. My challenge to them last week was to double their word count from what they wrote two weeks ago.
Some writers wrote less than 1000 words two weeks ago, some wrote more. One woman wrote 4000 words in less than two weeks, so her challenge is to double it and write more than 8000 words by next Thursday.
Writing challenges can be a great way to get out the excess words that are built inside of us just waiting to come out. Usually not all the words will be used in a final product, but the adrenalin rush from writing so many words in such a short time span can be exhilarating!
My own personal challenge is to write 1000 words a week, or 1000 words on Sunday, my day off from editing. Some days I can write the 1000 words in 30 minutes or so, other days I have to really work at it. But whatever the challenge is, it’s a great feeling to reach my desired goal.
What are some of your own personal writing goals? Are you making them? Is it time to double up your word count and challenge yourself?
One thought to “E. Tip of the Week: Writing Challenge”
I like your exercise described above. An equally valuable exercise, in my view, would be to turn the original exercise on its head… Have your students write an essay of a certain length, then challenge them to cut the word count in half, the goal being that the revised text is of equal or better quality. In my experience, it’s a lot harder to get any kind of prose to fit into a sparser put-up, but the effort is often worth it because it forces us to ruminate on what’s truly essential to the message.
By the way, I know your mom… She lives down the hall from me!
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