If you had asked me a month or two ago if I felt up to doing a writing challenge, I would’ve laughed and told you my creativity was dead.
And yet, over the past few weeks, my creativity has snuck back. Unexpectedly, on Memorial Day I felt compelled to finally put on paper the story inspired by a song I’d been listening to. I wrote for an hour and it felt great, but then I didn’t write the next day, feeling drained.
Then I saw a post announcing a writing challenge from June 1 - July 5. The challenge is to be in your manuscript for two minutes a day for 30 days out of 35.
Two minutes. I can do two minutes. So, I decided to take up this challenge. I’m not checking in with the group to track my progress, but I am tracking it by myself. Since it’s been so long since I’ve even been able to focus on a story, if I think about one of my story ideas, or my characters, while on my walk, that counts.
For the first week I mostly thought about the book I’ve been struggling with the most. Then I got an email from someone else announcing a six-day writing challenge. She would give you daily prompts and you’re supposed to free write for ten minutes. So, I decided to add that challenge to my schedule.
The writing prompts have resulted in more writing than I’ve done since November 2020. Plus, I’ve had some interesting insights and this prompted me to actually check in with the Facebook group, which is a big deal for me since it’s a group of strangers, even if they are all writers.
Once the six days are up, I’ll go back to the two-minute challenge being my daily minimum goal, with ten minutes of writing or thinking about my story being the gold star goal.
Having an empty creative well hurt as if I’d lost a limb, so it’s incredibly healing to see words of fiction appearing on the page again. There’s a song from the musical Carousel that talks about how June is busting out all over. Or, in my case, creativity is busting out all over.