In July 2011, I started The Write Practice, a blog to help people become better writers through deliberate practice. I couldn’t imagine what it would look like six years later: our incredible team of contributors and, most of all, the amazing community of talented writers that it’s become.
Today is The Write Practice’s sixth anniversary. I’m so, so proud of how far we’ve come.
And to celebrate our sixth birthday, we’re hosting a giveaway!
Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in less than a month. Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel took only two months to write, and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying was written in six weeks, the same length of time it took Charles Dickens to write A Christmas Carol. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, was written in just three weeks.
So why has it taken me over three years to write my book?!
Last week, nearly four hundred writers submitted their stories to the Summer Writing Contest. Right now, our panel of judges is reading through each story, looking for the ones that will make it to the winners’ circle. And while they’re hard at work, I have an invitation for you, too.
Come vote on your favorite to win the Readers’ Choice Award!
There are two camps, two schools of thought when it comes to the role of inspiration in the writing process. There is the camp that says this is the only way to write, when writing hits you upside the face and demands your presence for a few seconds or a few hours. Then there is the camp that says, as William Faulkner said, “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”
I lost my own writing contest. Again.
Let me explain: A few months ago, I created a fake identity and entered a writing contest hosted by The Write Practice. In other words, it was my writing contest.
I wasn’t involved with the judging—although I’ve judged over 15 contests—but I personally hired the head judge and knew most of the associate judges. And even though the judges had no knowledge that I was participating, you would think that it would have given me a leg up in the writing contest, right? I knew what the judges were looking for, after all.
I didn’t win though. I didn’t even make the shortlist. And last month, when I submitted my story for the Spring Writing Contest, I didn’t win it either.