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March Madness is fast approaching!
And while I am a fan of most sports, March Madness has always been more than a basketball tournament. During high school, I had teachers that would make March a special month with silly competitions and challenges. I love using the hype of March Madness to fuel other aspects of my life.
So I’ve put together a little March Madness challenge, March Into Writing. The main focus is different challenges to help you discover your perfect writing routine. I think a writing routine is an essential part of writing successfully and consistently. So let’s help you find a writing routine that is just right for you!
March Into Writing: 31 Challenges to Improve Your Writing Routine
1. Write with Pen and Paper
Put the computer away and try writing with pen and paper.
2. Read Before You Write
Read your favorite book or a book about writing.
3. Write with Music
Create a playlist and write to your favorite tunes.
Listen to an episode of the Write Now podcast to see what type of music is best.
4. Write without Music
Put the boom box (or iTunes or Spotify) away and let your thoughts be your soundtrack.
5. Stop Mid-Sentence
Don’t finish that sentence. Stopping mid-sentence will give you a starting point tomorrow.
6. Finish a Scene
Finish that sentence and end your writing for the day with a finished scene.
7. Write with an Outline
Outline a scene or conversation before you begin writing.
8. Write Like a Pantser
Put that outline away! See where your character takes the story.
9. Write in Public
Get out of the house! Write at your favorite coffee shop or the library.
10. Set a Word Count Goal
Write until you’ve reached a predetermined number of words.
11. Set a Time Limit
Sit down and write for 5 minutes, an hour, or 3 hours and 18 minutes.
12. Exercise Before You Write
You can run a marathon if you want, but jumping jacks or push-ups are good too.
13. Write without Your Inner Editor
Put that inner editor away and let those hands fly.
14. Get Ready for the Day
Take a shower, do your hair. Write once you’ve gotten ready for the day.
15. Write in Your Pajamas
Throw caution to the wind, let your hair down, and write in your coziest pair of pjs.
16. Take Breaks While You Write
Every 30 minutes take a 5 minute break.
17. Write without Breaks
Plow through and write for at least an hour straight.
18. Talk instead of Write
Speak your words and have it immediately turned to text or later transcribed.
Dragon software is used by many writers who enjoy dictating their writing.
19. Write with a Candle
Write with your favorite scented candle, a Glade Sense, or brownies in the oven. 😉
20. Plan a Vision for Your Writing Session
Decide to focus on dialogue, character development, or a word count.
21. Write without the Internet
Keep that browser closed. If you need to research something, write it on a sticky note for later.
22. Write with the Internet
Let yourself research as you write, but try and stay off of Facebook!
23. Write with a Snack
While you write, eat some veggies and hummus, nuts or seeds, apples and cheese, or chocolate.
24. Meditate before you Write
Have a quiet moment, say a prayer, or repeat your writer’s mantra before you begin writing.
25. Start with a Word Sprint
Set a timer for 10 minutes and see how many words you can write. On your mark, get set, go!
26. Do a Writing Prompt
Warm up with a brain dump or a writing prompt.
27. Write Outside
Find a picnic table, a sunny patch of grass, or a sturdy tree limb and write outside.
28. Write Linearly
Follow the progression of your story from start to finish.
29. Write by Scene
Jump around and write a scene near the end, towards the beginning, or somewhere in the middle.
30. Clean your Writing Space
Tidy those action figures, file your index cards or sticky notes, and write in a clean distraction-free zone.
31. Your Choice
Mix and Match. Write outside in your pajamas, write with music in public (use headphones please), or meditate with a delicious scent from a candle.
I take Sundays off, but if you like to write every day you can use the Bonus challenges to carry you through the month.
But I hope this list of writing challenges can keep you mixing and matching well past March or whenever you find this challenge. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. A writing routine is one of the biggest parts of writing success. It’s a great way to ensure productive writing. Writing routines can help you write more in less time. And, I truly believe, they can make that writing good, quality writing. Therefore, writing routines help you cut down on revision. This challenge is supposed to be a fun way to get you writing every day and exploring different ways to write creatively. Let it inspire you and take your writing routine to new heights!