How’s the writing going? 

I’m sitting at my favorite coffee shop with avocado toast and an oat milk latte. Low-fi beats play in my rose gold headphones and I’m lost in the art of storytelling. People rush around me, blurring on the edge of my vision, but I’ve fallen into the words and barely register the ticking of the clock or the feel of my body in the chair.

It feels like magic. 

I’m an archaeologist uncovering the bones of an ancient beast buried deep within myself. I’m a wizard casting a spell upon the page. I’m the heroine discovering the power to change the world was inside me the whole time.

I’m a writer.

I’ve had this realization before, but something this time feels different. It’s not simply an identity adopted, but a feeling deep inside my bones I’m doing the thing I’m supposed to be doing.

It feels a lot like purpose.

Thank you 52-week writing challenge.

When my writing partner Anna and I sat down late last year and envisioned the challenge, we were seeking more accountability. We wanted to continue the momentum we’d experienced doing NaNoWriMo—harnessing our creative energy more consistently. We figured the more we wrote, the more energy we’d have to work on our manuscripts and the closer we’d be to following our dreams of being published.

Twelve weeks in is the perfect time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far:

  • I’ve started to see a clear pattern in the way I approach a story idea. I read the prompt over and over until a character begins to speak to me. I journal each morning, playing with possible story ideas for the character and feeling them out with many starts and stops. When I hit on the story it feels like something clicks and then, and only then, can I begin to write. If I start before that moment it will be rambling and I’ll have to start over.
  • I need the accountability of writing on deadline. My week has a definite rhythm now and it revolves around publishing on my blog and my photography. It feels comfortable and is getting easier. The first few weeks I waited until the last minute to begin and it resulted in a lot of late nights. Now, I publish on Saturday, rest on Sunday, and begin planning and thinking of the next story on Monday.
  • I find story ideas and photo opportunities everywhere. I sit still and feel the energy of the words inside me. I craft sentences in the shower, while I’m driving, and when I’m folding laundry. It feels like managed chaos—the energy has a place to go.
  • I’m making my writing a priority. I used to “try and write” around my schedule. I’d let things get in the way all the time, often seeking and finding ways to sabotage my writing time by doing things for others, cleaning my house, or playing games on my phone. I felt like I wasn’t a “real writer” and therefore I couldn’t take the time away from my family or my friends for a “hobby.” These short stories have shifted that. I write now because I must, and it is a priority.
  • My anxiety has lessened. The beauty of the weekly challenge is you have to post on a deadline so there isn’t time to short-circuit and collapse under the weight of self-doubt. I don’t have time to think too much about if what I’m writing is “good” or “good enough.” Time chases me and doesn’t allow me the space to think too long and hard about any of it. I can’t let Anna down. I can’t let myself down. I have to keep going.
  • It’s completely reframed the way I look at writing and my goals for the future. While I don’t have the time I thought I would for working on my manuscripts, I feel my writing style shifting and my skills improving with each short story. It feels like these words are necessary to keep growing my skills so when I return to my manuscripts it will be with fresh eyes and new skills. I still dream of being a published author, but I’m aware of the fact I’m not ready yet. I have more work to do.
  • I’m investing in myself. I’ve grown my readership on my blog and I’ve signed up for writing classes and workshops. I paid extra to have the ads taken off my website. I’ve not been this committed in the past, and I’m excited to see where it’s going.

The overall feeling is one of potential and growth. I don’t know why this project feels important, but it does. I’m going to keep moving forward and trust this is leading somewhere.

I’d like to thank my writing partner Anna for constantly pushing me, inspiring me, and blowing me away with her artwork and incredibly beautiful writing. I’m so happy to be on this journey with her. It’s fun to see how different we both interpret the prompt and I’m looking forward to a huge party with her at the end of the year.

Also, thank you to everyone who likes or comments on my blog. I value each and every one of you. Your support feels like a warm blanket I can slip into when the negative self-talk becomes too loud. It’s encouraging and appreciated.

See you on Saturday with my take on a haunted house story.


Write with us

If you find yourself in a rut or could use a framework for your chaotic creativity, consider joining us on this journey. We’d love to have you! There’s no commitment, and you can start and stop whenever you like. You make the rules for yourself. The prompt for the next week is at the bottom of our stories each week. Let me know if you write one of the prompts and I’ll link to your blog.

My 52 Week Challenge Journey

54 thoughts on “How’s the writing going? 

      • Ha! I’m normally better at disguising them 🙂
        Seriously, though, it does make you ponder. Why are these people published authors? I mean, their writing is so mediocre, it can’t be that. So, what is it, over and above, which tempted a publisher to invest in them?
        I suspect there is a certain amount of “playing the game”. For most, jumping through the hoops that the publisher puts in front of them. That always put me off the publishing industry.
        You listen to many successful music artists. They have very little good to say about the music industry. Artists have released a single, blinding album, then nothing. Why? Because they saw what the industry was like? I suspect publishing is the same. Everyone wants their pound of flesh.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I suspect you are right. I’ve read a lot about the submission process and after watching a friend work with a big publishing house that dropped her after her wonderful book didn’t sell enough…it does indeed seem like a game I want no part of.

        I suspect I will become one of the many indie authors around retaining my creative control and doing my own marketing. I’m simply looking forward to the moment I can hold my work in my hand and breathe in the new book smell.

        I do some leather work and have a bit of a fantasy about creating my own leather bound cover for at least one copy. It’s a dream I think will happen someday!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I feel the exact same way. I was up all night last night working on something because I got lost in the art of telling stories. I’m paying for it today because my body is literally kicking my butt and yet it brings me so much joy to be creating something again. To have an outlet. I really don’t know what I’ll do with all my weird farm blog stories and snippets into my life. I’ve wanted to write a book for a long time, I just don’t know how everything will come together. So in the meantime… while I’m sorting that out, I’ll keep writing and sharing, hoping and praying that someone will read it and enjoy it as much as I enjoy writing it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’ve been lucky enough to read some of your blog and it’s really quite beautiful and interesting. I assumed you were already a published author! You are very inspiring and I can completely see you publishing a book of your farm stories or anything else you want to write. You are wicked talented, thoughtful and very giving of your time. I’m excited to follow your journey.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a great reflection on what 12 weeks of a writing practice can do for you. Thank you for the thoughtful review and inspiration.

    It reminds me of something I heard from Brene Brown – that unexpressed creativity is not benign. She makes the point that we all need an outlet for our creativity lest it metastisize. The fruits of your practice remind me of all the goodness that comes from letting it out!!

    Congratulations, Bridgette!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Wynne! That’s precisely what I am feeling. In the past I’d have these wonderful ideas bloom inside me but I’d do nothing to explore them. It’s taken me a long time to admit I want to do this well. I appreciate your feedback and support!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This was beautiful to read and I’m so glad that I’m your partner on this! I also feel that weekly push to not let you down, because we are in this together. I wish time disappeared for me the way it does for you when writing. It does it for me with art, and I think that’s why I battle so strongly with whether I should be spending so much time writing when art is clearly my “zone”, especially with such little feedback on the work. But I am dedicated to the year and to seeing what comes of it all. And wow! We are almost to the end of March! That’s a quarter of a year with a lot of beautiful words to show.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You have such a natural gift for seeing the beauty and connection of things in the world. I think your artistic skills only enhance your writing and lead you toward seeing things in ways I’d not concerned at all. You inspire me all the time to push harder and think deeper. I feel so privileged to be on this road with you!

      Like

  4. Feels like purpose, investing in yourself, learning and growing – this is the exciting growth arc of a writer. Keep going, lovely to hear you are doing the work and enjoying it like it’s okay. Life is magic when we are in the flow.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This was a post I needed to read today. It’s affirming and validating to know that there are folks who have gone on writing journeys, that other folks are learning some of the same truths that I’m discovering – although part of me does yearn for the challenge like you have in the 52-week writing challenge. I’m saving this post for when I’m ready to circle in and give it a go!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One thing I’ve learned over the last couple years, as I’ve been working on DLTDGB and meeting other writers on WordPress, is that I’m not so much of a writer as I am a storyteller. Almost everything I’ve ever written has been based on things that happened to me, or scenarios that I’ve played out in my mind repeatedly. I haven’t done a whole lot of writing about characters and situations that aren’t like me.

    I take a break from DLTDGB every June and December in the fictional timeline, and I’m in late April right now, so I have a break coming up in a month or two. Maybe during that time I’ll work on some stories that aren’t about fictionalized versions of me. Maybe I’ll do some of your prompts.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m so glad/thankful that I stumbled upon your blog this evening. I struggle with getting into a routine with my writing. Some days I can churn out thousands of words, and then I’ll have weeks go by where I don’t even open up manuscript word documents. Thank you so much for sharing this! I think this will be a big help!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am so happy my blog helped you! I think consistency will continue to be the key for me, unlocking possible roads to editors, publishers, and my ultimate dream of holding a beautiful copy of my words in my hand. I wish you the very best on your path!

      Like

  8. Very inspiring post with a lot of points that I can relate to.

    Just recently I’ve decided that I can be audacious enough to call myself a writer (I even changed my LinkedIn bio to reflect that). For a very long time I’ve often described my writing as “dabbling.” It does feel liberating to just let go and call oneself a writer.

    I think it coincided with the notion of writing a book about my recent road trips. It was going to be a linear thing but when I decided to make it a compilation of vignettes it all fell into place. My blog posts will be the base material for a book.

    I’ve been exposed to so many different approaches to writing. I have a writer friend who has her own dedicated office/workspace with very little to distract her in her office. I on the other hand seem to bounce around. We have a full house so I don’t get to have an office. So, sometimes I’m in the bedroom, sometimes the kitchen, sometimes at the coffee joint, sometimes on the back patio and sometimes at the local tavern (after the second martini writing does go off on a tangent). I often write on Google Docs, on my phone, while laying in bed before going to sleep.

    One thing that I find that inspires me to write, is to read a few pages by a favorite author. Lately it’s been Anthony Bourdain.

    I hope you’ll do a follow up post on your writing classes. It’s something I’ve been mulling over.

    Thank you for sharing your writing progress. I think you’ve helped a lot of budding writers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Anthony Bourdain was a treasure-his death hit me really hard.

      I’m so glad you are stepping fully into your identity as a writer and I would absolutely read your books!

      I have taken a variety of classes over the years, and it’s all about what you specifically want to learn. Some have been helpful, while others felt entirely like spinning my wheels in place. I find some people like to talk about writing a lot more than doing it, and classes where you do assignments and get feedback work far better for me than lectures.

      You are very kind to say I’m helping anyone with my blog posts. I often feel like I should be much further along at my age, but we can’t turn back the clock and I’ve spend most of my adult life caring for and loving my children. I don’t regret a thing, but my time for growth is now 🙂

      Like

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