About a hundred days ago, I started working on a writing challenge – each day, I write a short story. I go into details of this challenge and how it helped me develop more as a writer.
As a writer, it’s important to learn to write every day. This challenge, which I call the Chronicles Challenge, for reasons I will explain later, helps you to learn that skill. Each and every day, you write a one-page story (or about 350 words) inspired by a writing prompt. You can find these prompts at several places around the Internet – there’s an app called Writing Prompts, you can go to the r/WritingPrompts subreddit, follow @WritingPrompts on Twitter, or check our Writing Prompts article, full of original prompts for writers.
I have done 120 of these stories in 120 days, and it was amazing!
As Jake Parker says in one of his videos, you need a product, not a project. I plan on hand-picking around 50 of these short stories and connecting them into an e-book, called the Eledris: Chronicles (hence the name of the challenge). You could release your work done for this challenge on your blog, submit them to a magazine, or create a Kickstarter for a book; anything goes.
What this challenge did for me as a writer was the following: I learned hard work and consistency. Of course, many days, I really didn’t want to write my story today. But every single day, I forced myself to sit down, find a good writing prompt and write. Somedays, the stories were outright horrible. But I didn’t let that discourage me and I just continued on. Now, after I’ve finished the writing challenge, I can say it’s been an amazing journey.
My Ill Friend
As a closure to this short article, I would like to share with you one of the best stories (in my opinion) that came out of this challenge. I already posted it a few months ago on Reddit. It’s called My Ill Friend.
I wake up at the same time as my friend. I always wake up with him. We’re linked together and I love him. He is my only friend. Today, though, something is different about him. The first words he utters are: “What the…”. He is very scared and confused. I hope I didn’t do anything wrong…
He is weird the whole day. I, of course, walk with him all the time, that’s how we always do it. But he generally avoids other people. I try to lighten his mood up and encourage him to talk to people. I like other people. I would love to make more friends.
My friend wants to go to the doctor. I try to persuade him to change his mind, I don’t like doctors much. But he insists, repeating that there is something wrong with him and that he can’t see colors. I’m not really sure what he means by “colors”, but he is really troubled, so I agree to go to the doctor with him.
The doctor is an unsettling man. I don’t like him. He didn’t even notice me. My friend sits across the table from the doctor and I sit with him. He starts explaining his problem to the doctor. The doctor nods and then thinks for a second.
“The symptoms you describe seem to point to a brain parasite. We’ll have to perform a swift surgery before the parasite completely takes over.” I’m terrified. They are going to do surgery on my friend! What if something happens to him? I try to tell him to disagree, but he doesn’t listen.
A mage puts him to sleep with magic. I almost fall asleep too, but I hold on and stay awake. I have to be sure anything doesn’t happen to him. The doctor cuts his head open. He reaches in and I feel pain, the strongest I ever felt. He pulls his hand out. I am, for the first time in my life, separated from my friend.
The prompt that inspired this story was: “Looking around, you see everything in black and white.”
If you decide to embark on this challenge, I’d like to offer you a free checklist that will help you track your progress. You can get it in the Exclusive Resource library when you sign up for my newsletter!
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This challenge is not something to be taken lightly – 120 days is not a short time (and it takes about 30 minutes a day). But it can and will help you develop, you can be sure about that. If you decide to try it, be sure to send some of your stories my way, either in the comment section or via mail to firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you’re looking for some guides on writing, be sure to check out my Writing Pain article!
Will you take on the Chronicles Writing Challenge?