What’s Shaking, Writers?

Back in November, I was chronicling my progress through National Novel Writing Month. I undertake the challenge annually, beating my head against the 30 day, 50,000 word wall. When I’m done, I say to myself, “Self, take a well earned week or so off. You’ve deserve it! And we’ll buckle down to rewrites soon!”

Sephia imagine of an old-fashioned ink pen writing on parchment
Photo by Mary Beth Griffo Rigby on Flickr

Except that soon never really shows up. Life takes back over and I lose my writing momentum, until next November rolls around and I re-promise myself that I can dedicate more of my time to fiction writing. And I know it’s not just me. Life takes over and creative endeavors get the short shrift.

Well, it’s time to break that nasty cycle. I got a lot of feedback during the NaNo process from many of our readers and fellow writers. One thing that came up again and again was how helpful the weekly check-ins and the attending accountability were to staying motivated. So that’s where we’re going to start.

Our first challenge comes from @QoB : 1,000 words by 8 p.m. next Sunday, January 29th. Any topic, any genre, any format.

1,000 words? In 7 days? That’s nothing. That’s pocket change. Totally doable!

Check in next Sunday night in the writing group, Nano and Beyond (you can also navigate to the group via the ‘Groups’ tab at the top of the page). There is no pressure to share what you’ve actually written. We’ll take you at your word.


Need a little nudge to get started? Try this writing exercise:

Go for a walk, paying careful attention to your surroundings, until you find something that doesn’t belong. It could be a piece of garbage on the street, a coin, an animal, a car battery in the woods, anything out of place. Tell the story of how it got there. (via Poet and Writer)

By [E] Slay Belle

Slay Belle is an editor and the new writer mentor here at Persephone Magazine, where she writes about pop culture, Buffy, and her extreme love of Lifetime movies. She is also the editor of You can follow her on Twitter, @SlayBelle or email her at

She is awfully fond of unicorns and zombies, and will usually respond to any conversational volley that includes those topics.

54 replies on “What’s Shaking, Writers?”

Exactly. The idea is to hopefully prod people into making time to write. And it can be anything — if you have  paper you’ve been putting off or half-finished story idea, whatever gets you to your 1000 words.

(I’m not counting my P-Mag pieces, because that’s how I excuse not writing every week. “But I’ve already written 2 articles this week! Whine!”)

I’m in!

I gave up on my NaNo novel for now, it needs a lot of plot untangling that I’m not sure if I’m up for right now. In the meantime I’ve been doing serious research for my epic medieval trilogy, and uh…writing Skyrim fanfiction. (I’m both embarrassed and kind of :( because it’s only got one review so far, hah.)

The latter is embarrassing, but at least I’m writing. I’ve written 19k in the last five days. Which is…insane.

I think it’s partially because it’s something that I’m not taking as seriously as an original project, the words come a LOT easier.

Haha, well, it’s based on a video game, so… there is definitely some shame action going on. :) I wouldn’t do anything with this, it’s just to keep me in the game of writing until I feel the motivation to go back to my awful tangles of Serious!Novels.

And aaargh Cassandra Claire. I tried reading her books just to see and even beyond the plagiarizing they were just–bad.

Exorcism school? Yes, yes you do. Write that down. Then tell me about it.

And, yea, I’m the same way. I have issues with memory (see: side effects of persistent and heavy antibiotics) anyway, but my ideas seem to go the quickest.

For ex, I’m ready to go to bed and I know I should so I can get a good start on the day; plus, I feel my body slipping (aches, fatigue, etc). BUT! I have so many emotions/thoughts post my first class this semester that… I just… must… write… first…

Well, there really is exorcist training in the Catholic Church. But as I was watching the not-terribly-awful-movie Devil Inside, I started to think about practical training. Like, what if the church had captured a demon or two and made them possess people so that exorcists could get on the job experience? And instead of being sent back to the hell when successfully expelled, the demon was still trapped in the school until it was forcibly injected into a person again. And so on and so on for, decades.

And then it gets out?

That’s about as far as I’ve gotten on the idea. I can’t decide if the demon goes nasty and Destroys All The Things, but I’m leaning towards a reverse Sandman Slim thing, where the demon just wants to go home and can’t, so its stuck here for a while.

That is terrifying. Go with it.

I just saw a movie all about exorcism on an airplane (to clarify, I was in an airplane watching it). American dude went to Rome to learn all about. Anthony Hopkins was in it, if I recall. I enjoyed it, for what it was: A hot priest with some serious issues. Anthony Hopkins being scary as hell. Gross exorcism scenes. Oh yes, it’s call The Rite.

Awesome!  I finished my NaNo project and it’s now with my beta readers.  I’ve written another 30K words on the sequel to my book in the last 45 days or so – I’m thinking this 1000 word challenge will be me finishing this sucker in the next week.  It’ll be 34K or so when done I think?

Yay writing goals!

You can do it, writers!  *Waves pom-poms*

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