My Remington Portable typewriter — a college graduation gift from Momma and Poppa Flanz. Photo by Annie Flanzraich.

Launching My 365 Fiction Writing Challenge: Here Are The Rules

For the next year, I’ll write fiction for at least 15 minutes a day

I write every day for a living. I write non-fiction. I write journalism. I write under other people’s names.

But, I don’t write every day for me. I don’t write the stories bubbling in my mind. I don’t explore the characters I want to get to know. I don’t sketch the scenes that hide behind my eyelids before I go to sleep. I don’t narrate the conversations I hear in my imagination.

Instead, I hide behind work and billable hours and business development. I prioritize emails over prose.

That stops today.

Every day for the next year, I am going to write some bit of fiction. Here are the rules I will follow when doing so:

  1. I must write/edit for at least 15 minutes but for no more than 60 minutes every day from July 20, 2018, to July 19, 2019. That includes weekends, birthdays, holidays and the day after Thanksgiving when I know I won’t want to write. Suck it up, future Annie.
  2. All writing must be fiction or fictional observations of real situations. No personal essays. No repurposing of non-fiction content I otherwise create for clients. No journalism.
  3. I can use prompts.
  4. I will post my writing every day on the same day it was written — except when technology doesn’t allow for it.
  5. I will not over edit my writing. To free myself from my inner editor, I will use some of the guidelines from Patchwork Farm Retreats that I received on the Isle of Cumbrae:
    • Treat everything as fiction
    • Refer to the narrator/speaker, not to the author, as the voice of the piece
    • Respond only with what I like, what stays with me, what moves me — and not, at this stage of vulnerability, with what will make the writing stronger.

Let’s get this show on the road.

Index of published 365 Fiction Writing Challenge pieces by day