Monday, June 18, 2007

30 Day Challenge Check In

HipWriterMama's 30 Challenge finishes up tomorrow. She inspires us to work on learning a habit that will lead to greater accomplishments in the living out of our dreams. I am so glad I participated in this exercise. I challenged myself to study Nancie Atwell's book Lessons That Change Writers and work on keeping a writer's notebook, writing every evening.

I can't say that I have accomplished setting up a new habit. I worked on devoting time to write in the evenings, but since I only have about an hour and a half between when my boys go to bed and when I need to get to sleep it is a tight squeeze. I want to blog then and I need to actually read Atwell's book. So I often ended up reading for a while and then taking out the writer's notebook to practice whatever writing lesson I had just read. It didn't always make for quality writing time. It was like doing homework. I think it was good homework though.

I learned some techniques for coming up with compelling writing topics. I practiced writing short memoir pieces and poetry. I shared an Ode I wrote in response to lesson 43 for last week's Poetry Friday. I really like the examples Atwell gives of great writers such as Wallace Stevens, Pablo Neruda, and Emily Dickinson. I was inspired to contribute a haiku to the National Wildlife Foundation's haiku contest and I am working on the final polishing of a bedtime story for the Johnson & Johnson and HarperCollins contest. I have many ideas now for poetry I want to try and memoirs I want to write. I still have the last third of the book to work through. The next section is about writing book reviews, and then there is a section on writing essays. I am eager to get into both of those. It seems like they would really fit well with blogging.

Although I don't think I have a solid new writing habit I am definitely breaking out of the deep freeze of terror and procrastination that has gripped my pen for the past many years. It feels good. Really good. Thanks Vivian!


Sarah Amick said...

Oh, how I wish my students could know the process we must all do to become better writers. I know reading Hipwritermama's trials for becoming published is a great testament to how difficult it is. You should be proud of the things that you have accomplished and then use them as a springboard to keep going.

Sarah Amick said...

It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop.

~Vita Sackville-West

I came across this quote at Penny Kittle's website and thought it was very inspiring. It makes it seem as though anyone can do it. It's inspiring, and makes just the small stuff we write seem worthwhile. Hope it is inspiring to you too.

Vivian Mahoney said...

I really love what you say, "Although I don't think I have a solid new writing habit I am definitely breaking out of the deep freeze of terror and procrastination that has gripped my pen for the past many years. It feels good. Really good." You're well on your way.

Thanks so much for participating and sharing how you did during this challenge. Great job!

Kirsten said...

I am a first timer on you blogspot. I really enjoyed reading your posts. I too am an aspiring writer still trying to fall into a routine of writing in my writer's notebook. I am working to grow as a writer and extablish a positive writing habit. Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration joining in on all those contests. You Go!

Vivian Mahoney said...

Cloudscome--You're the winner! Contact me at with your information. Congrats!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

YOU ARE KIDDING ME! I was telling Buster last night at dinner what a great prize you have. He loves going over to the bookstore to hang out. I can't believe I won! You are so generous. You made my day for the next week!

Mary Lee said...

Congrats on your win! You obviously got more out of the experience than the prize package!