Monday, January 31, 2011

32 days of writing

Carleen Brice here. I don't make resolutions, but this year I did participate in a "challenge" for the New Year. Last year, some online writer buddies and I started the 32-day writing challenge, with the idea that we would write every day for the first 32 days of the year. It was based on this essay by Ann Patchett in which she discusses her realizations that she needed to treat writing as a job. The quote that got us started:

"[Patchett's friend] told me that her teacher, a great and wise yogi, believed that whatever a person did with thoughtful consistency for the first 32 days of the year set the course for the entire year."
If it was good enough for yogis and Patchetts, we thought it was good enough for us. I created a Facebook page and we went to work. Even though it was very helpful and got me into the habit of writing every day, I had no intention of doing it again. Because I didn't want another online obligation. I blog. I Facebook. I Tweet. I Litchat (this week I'm guest hosting all week!). I Blacklitchat. That seemed like plenty, but of course my same writer buddies convinced me we should do it again this year. Still had the Facebook page, so why not?

Today is day 31 of the 32-day writing challenge. I confess I did not write every day. HOWEVER, I did write a damn good synopsis for a story and climb back into my novel in a way that I hadn't in a very long time. I got back to the place where I'm totally immersed in the world of my novel and am more concerned about my characters than I am about some of the real people in my life. I think I'm about to make that breakthough of understanding I will need to get me to the end.

I believe that the more we do of a thing, the more we do of it. When we put our energies and our intentions and, to be less woo-woo, when we put our focus on something, we make more of it. Sitting on the couch watching TV = more sitting on the couch watching TV. Healthy eating = more healthy eating. Writing = more writing.

It's never too late to set your intentions for the future. If you want to write every day or most days, start writing today and then do some tomorrow and then some the next day.

Carleen Brice is the author of Orange Mint and Honey and Children of the Waters, which you should totally buy or check out from the library.


  1. I treat writing like a job now but when I started out, I had to fit writing in between other demands of work and family. Once I had an agent, I could write outside of "the closet". With an editor and publisher I sit at my writing desk all day, every day. And I love it.

  2. Carleen,

    I love that quote. But is it bad that I already can't remember what I did with the first 31 days of the year? I can barely recall what I did yesterday. This can't be good.

  3. I love the idea of the 32-day writing challenge - go, you!!!

  4. And now that I've finished up some freelance editing and, most important, sent the invoice (whoo hoo!), time to take on Day 31.

    Thanks everybody!

  5. Carleen, what a fab idea! And I love your take on "the more we do of a thing, the more we do it"--so true! Thanks for sharing with us. :-)

  6. Brilliant as usual, my dear. And Yay! that you're back in that place of being fully immersed in your characters. i can't wait to meet them myself!

  7. "It's never too late to set your intentions for the future." I like that quote. It reminds me that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to as long as I'm focused. I want to build a fan base, publish books and be the best writer I can be. I can do anything. Thanks for the post.

    the Super Sistah

  8. What a fabulous idea! Love your post!

  9. I wish I had started being that consistent January 1st. It's a fabulous idea. I try to treat writing as my job, but everyone still assumes I am just a SAHM and writing is just some silly little hobby of mine. At the bus stop this morning I was asked what I had planned for the one quite knew what to say after I replied, "I'm going to write." I have the house to myself, my computer turned on, now it's time to get to work.

    Great post!

  10. I loved this post, and that's a great way to begin the year. As a write-at-home-mom I don't resolve to write everyday, I resolve to solve or get rid of anything that keeps me from writing everyday.