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Saturday, March 21, 2009

A Thought (or Two) on ‘Top 10 Fears of Writers’

By Jill Earl

Last week, fellow WOW! woman Marcia Peterson’s encouraging post, ‘Top 10 Fears of Writers’, couldn’t have come at a better time for me. Allow me to elaborate.

Recently, a writing site sent out an announcement that they would be conducting a week of daily challenges for its members to tackle, where the winner would receive writing software as the prize offered for a specific day. Entrants had to become a member of the site and only had 24 hours to submit their pieces.

I got over to the site to sign up and read through the guidelines for my chosen challenge. Then I got to work on my 150-word entry.

The result? I tied for runner-up with another person and we were told that there was only one point separating us from first place. The next day, Marcia’s post appeared online and I chuckled as I read through and paused at number four: that I'll get stuck and nothing will come out. This time around, that certainly wasn’t the case as I saw the words jump to the screen!

Some opportunities for writers to challenge themselves appear below:

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is the most familiar, with participants writing a 175-page, 50,000-word novel during November.

With Script Frenzy, you write 100 pages of scripted material (including screenplays, stage plays, TV shows, short films, radio, graphic novels, etc.) in the month of April.

There's even National November Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), where bloggers post every day for a month, no word limit. This one's year round, and in November, participants can look forward to a random prize drawing.

I may not have won the contest I entered, but I rose to the challenge. That’s what we writers must do to overcome our fears, and meet our goals. It’s all part of the process to become a better writer.

Just a thought---or two.


  1. Congrats on rising to a writing challenge! Every bit of writing helps with experience and knowledge. Even small goals can challenge us. Some writers post a running tally of manuscript wordcount on their blogs, itself being a challenge as that wordcount is out there for all the world to see, climbing or not.

  2. Anonymous5:02 PM

    Well-said. Like any other profession, writers grow stagnant at some point in their careers and need something to push themselves forward.

    Even having a writing partner to compete with for a week at a time is a great way to self-motivate.

    Thanks for the thoughtful article!

  3. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Thanks to both of you for your comments.

    And Beth, I like the idea of competing with a writing partner for a week. Will definitely use it in the future.


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