Why I Can’t Resist Writing Challenges

Some writers can’t resist contests. Me? It’s writing challenges. I signed up for three this month. Luckily, one runs through the summer.

It started when I challenged myself to write a novel. Before, my inner editor would shred my work and I’d abandon my project out of sheer frustration. By forcing myself to write a first draft straight through, I actually finished it.

The following year, I participated in my first NaNoWriMo. I’ve done four so far, and won two. Hope to write drafts of the two WIPs this year.

This April is my second Script Frenzy (write a 100 page screenplay in 30 days). Last year, I wrote a crime thriller. This year it’s a ghost story. Not sure if I’ll ever submit them. I have a friend who’s a screenplay writer, and I’d get his opinion first.

The other challenge is to write a book in a month. Unlike NaNo, there’s no word count restriction. I’m writing a 25k short novel, and am over halfway through. Unlike many of my stories, which have supernatural elements, this one has no paranormal aspects.

The third one is more flexible in terms of completion time. Write a 50k word novel before the end of July. Hoping to write my first draft of Serpent Fire, an urban fantasy.

Why participate in these writing challenges? Does this mean I can’t write a novel otherwise? No. I like a little competition, even if it’s only between me and the unwritten word. Simple as that.


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