Thoughts on Writing Challenges

Now that I’m officially over, I can go into “Edit” mode.  My brain has been screaming for this constantly over the last week.  There’s a part of me that enjoys creation, but I really like editing my work.  That’s where I get to play around with things.  I’ve already changed about five or six titles for 30/30.  The one combined poem, one from Ridgeline and one from 30/30, needs a better title too, but that one’s hard and will take more time thinking about it.  This also means I’ve hit my quota for the rough draft of Ohana which was 75 titles.  That being said, one poem is not complete.  It’s one of the longer, if not the longest poem in the collection at 3 pages right now.  There’s a rough draft in five sections.  Sections one and five are done, but two, three, and four have only note drafts.  I’m toying with the idea of using forms for those three sections, but I haven’t found the right forms for each.

What I’ve gotten out of these two months of challenges is a lot more than the 44 drafts that make up more than half of Ohana.  These two months have really snapped me out of years of plodding drafting by instilling a fairly rigid discipline on my writing.  Finding at least 20 to 60 minutes a day (which for someone with a full-time job, two kids, a wife, and an active martial arts practice is kind of a lot) has been a challenge, but the benefits have been great.  The 30/30 also got me blogging everyday, which is another kind of discipline.  Writing quickly and in prose has always been hard for me, and while it’s still not easy, I’m freer doing it now.  This month was also a crash course in using Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, and now that this is over, I’ll probably look more intensely into social media.

In all, I’ve had a productive two months in create mode, but it’s been a pretty productive year anyway.  I want to thank the Ridgeline Literary Alliance and Tupelo Press for giving me this opportunity to participate.

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