12 Months of Writing – Flex Your Creative Muscles. Go on, flex!


It feels good.

As the six or so of you who regularly read my rambles know, I’ve recently returned to this crazy, addictive sport that we the athletically challenged call “blogging”.

During my interweb absence, I’ve done a lot of outdoorsey stuff (avoiding unnecessary athleticism, of course), mostly with my dogs. I’ve gotten involved in various dog sports and activities. I’ve done walking. A lot of walking. So much so that I bought one of those smart watches that monitors your distance covered, steps taken, heart rate, sleep quality and subconscious thoughts, just so I can show people and brag “hey, look how athletic I am!” (said people then look at the general shape of my body and are rarely fooled by this claim).

But I’ve done little writing, and less reading. Now, I need to remedy that.

The latter is relatively easy to fix. I grew up in a time when The Internet Was Not A Thing, and using the phrase ‘social media’ would’ve gotten you a round of blank stares. Consequently, I had a lot of Christmases getting books (or book vouchers) as gifts from relatives who knew me best (or didn’t know me at all but figured book vouchers were a safe if boring option for a sweet yet quirky child they only saw twice a year.) I don’t get book vouchers anymore (mainly because I’m no longer a sweet yet quirky child who believes in the magic of a Santa who brings book vouchers, but also because book stores rank above the Snow Leopard on CITES list of endangered species). But I do have a lot of books, because I hoard them like a crazy-book-person and never throw them away or give them to charity shops, which is, I’m told, what you’re supposed to do when you no longer love a book like you once did and you decide you want to see other books. And, like most Human Beings of this day and age, I have a Kindle. Or more accurately, a Kindle app for my phone and my tablet, which has on it some e-books I’ve already purchased but not yet got around to reading. I can easily squeeze reading into my hour-long lunch break at work. Problem solved.

Writing is a slightly different challenge. I used to be able to churn out 20,000 – 30,000 words in a good week. I’m not saying they were quality words, or put together in a way that made a whole lotta sense, but they were words I could come back to later and hammer into shape or cut away entire, relegating them to the editor’s floor of Things I Never Should Have Written.

To try and give myself some structure and get back into the swing of writing, I’m going to get myself a pair of training wheels. And a safety helmet. Maybe one of those big bubbles to travel around in. And to do this, I’m going to give myself a type of structure to adhere to over the next twelve months. I dub this dubious challenge:

12 Months of Writing

And I’d also like to invite my six readers (plus anybody else who might’ve stumbled across this blog because I tagged it with the word ‘puppy’ – haha I’m sneaky!) to participate in the challenge with me. This is how it will work:

At the start of each month I will pick a subject to write about. It could be a word. An abstract concept. A season. A humourous picture I come across on Facebook. Or just whatever speaks to me at the instant I need a category.

Each Friday of every month* I will then write something about that subject. But I won’t just do it willy-nilly, all half-cocked, spewing words all over everyone around me. I’ll gradually build up the contributions by writing in a different form each week. The idea is not to overwhelm myself with a tough schedule, but to give me a chance to try different things. I’ll write in the form of:

Week 1: A haiku or senryu
A short style of Japanese poem which has 3 lines comprising a syllable structure of 5 / 7 / 5

Week 2: A drabble
A short story of 100 words or less

Week 3: A poem
Any style you like. Sonnet, pantoum, limerick, freeform; knock yourself out.

Week 4: A flash-fiction
A story of… let’s say, no more than 1500 words.

The piece of work written each week does not have to follow any character etc. that was written the previous week, it simply has to conform to the subject matter for that particular month.

* Not all months contain four Fridays. Some of them have five. What I’ll do on the extra Friday is pick out my favourite haiku/senryu, drabble, poem and flash-fiction from you good folks who are currently itching to join in this experiment, and blog about them/discuss why I like them. For reference, the months with five Fridays over the next year are: May, July and October 2020, and January 2021.

What do you have to do?

  1. Wait for me to set the first category at the start of February
  2. Write your contribution on your own space (blog, google docs, whatever) and link it back to my own post that I’ll put up on that Friday. Also put a link to it on the comments of my post. I’ll check it out. Hopefully other people will too. Conflab may follow.
  3. Promise not to become more athletic
  4. Sign a contracting gifting to me your firstborn child

So, that’s my proposal. It would be nice to get you involved. You don’t have to commit to every single week and every single form, or even every single topic. You can dip in and out as your desires and schedules allow.

And finally, to make this post relevant to the cute puppy tag, here is a picture of my cute puppy ordering dog toys off Amazon when I forgot to log myself out of my account one day. I highly recommend not making the same mistake; I now have no money, but eight hundred tennis balls.


Border Collies: the most intelligent dogs in the world. Can guess your Amazon password.

20 Comments on “12 Months of Writing – Flex Your Creative Muscles. Go on, flex!

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  7. I may try to jump in when I can! Right now I’m roaming the world, and will be doing a lot of that this year, but… I’ll try.


  8. Best laid plans…

    Um, might I suggest quality over volume? Give me something compelling, gripping and evocative to read and I’m yours. Else…


  9. Pingback: #12MoW – February’s Subject | Observations of The Urban Spaceman

  10. Welcome back to blogging, reading, and writing. Keep up the walking too. It’s good for you, and Border Collies go bonkers without it. And good luck with your challenge – flex those writing muscles. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Diana 🙂 To be honest, I wasn’t much of a couch potato before – the walk to work is a 5-mile round trip I make 4 days a week – but I spent more summer evenings walking the dogs than relaxing in the garden last year. Hoping we get a nice summer this year so I can combine garden with laptop!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Ooh count me in! I won’t be able to do this every week, but I will do this as regularly as my schedule can allow. I love the idea of switching up the genre/form that we’ll be writing in every week. I can’t wait to see the first subject!

    P.S. Your border collie is so cute and clearly deserves 800 tennis balls. I mean, look at that face.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – he agrees! And TBH my schedule doesn’t particularly allow for me to do this much writing at the moment, but now that I’m committed I’ll force myself to make the time. I chose Fridays because they’re the quietest day in the office 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice challenge. Not for me, ’cause I barely have enough Chi to write my own story. But I’ll be watching to see who joins. So how old did you say you are?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 346 galactic standard years young! That’s why my peers back home don’t take my scientific breakthroughs seriously. They mistakenly believe you have to be at least 500 GSY before you can have a good idea.

      Liked by 1 person

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