So here’s a thing – writers love to write and yet so many of us seem to find it hard to embrace the discipline of writing regularly. Advice such as approach writing like a job, set yourself a specific time each day to write, works well if you don’t have another job that – like mine – doesn’t conform to a 9 to 5 pattern. And even if you do work 9 -5 there are still loads of other things that will disrupt your schedule given so much as a whisper of space.
I’ve discovered that I am the type of person who responds well to deadlines. However, I am not good at sticking to self-imposed deadlines. Imagine my joy then when I came across a Facebook group called Deadlines for Writers. Each month the lovely Mia Botha, who is the driving force behind the group and its accompanying website, sets us a short story challenge – there’s a prompt, a word length that must be used, and a deadline. The latter is a 24 hour window to upload your story to a private website. Once there other writers can read it and offer constructive feedback. The deal is upload one story, read and comment on four.
I joined in for 2018 and really enjoyed it – 12 stories in 12 months. Yes! The deadline a month worked for me. In 2019, which was a really difficult year for me personally, the prompts each month were a much needed distraction from real life. Another 12 stories written. This year we have all faced the stress of the global pandemic and at times writing has seemed really hard – partly because of the lockdown put a lot of pressure on my work life. However, I made it through and earned my third 12 stories in 12 months badge.
So if you are a writer looking for a way to write regularly why not give it a go?