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30 Day Writing Challenge

The best way to make your writing stronger is to do it every day

Many people dream of “being a writer.” They picture a published book with their name on it, or an article they wrote going out to the masses. But so many of us have difficulty actually putting pen to paper (or, fingers to keyboard) to write. The number one thing a writer needs to do is write. And yet, it can be so challenging for so many of us.

One of the best ways to combat writer’s block is to engage in a writing challenge. For example, each summer, the author Jami Attenberg hosts “1,000 Words of Summer,” a challenge to writers to write 1,000 words every day for two weeks.

One of the best ways to combat writer’s block is to engage in a writing challenge. For example, each summer, the author Jami Attenberg hosts “1,000 Words of Summer,” a challenge to writers to write 1,000 words every day for two weeks.

Here, you’ll find a 30-day writing challenge. This is 30 short prompts for you to do, doing one a day per day for 30 days.

You don’t have to set aside too much time for these, nor do you have to set a daily word count for yourself, unless a specific prompt calls for it. The most important thing is that you write. No matter how much you produce each day, after a month, you’ll be surprised at how much writing you’ll have done.

  1. Pick a color, any color. Write about that color as if it were a person. What are its good personality traits? Bad? What’s its name?
  2. Write about a place you visited yesterday. If you went out, write about somewhere you visited. If you stayed in, focus on one room you spent time in. Describe it in detail.
  3. Who was your favorite teacher? Why? Write about them.
  4. Who was your least favorite teacher? Why? Write about them.
  5. Write at least one page, uninterrupted, about absolutely anything that comes to mind. If nothing at all comes to mind, write about your thoughts on emptiness.
  6. Grab a book off a bookshelf. Open it to a random page. Close your eyes and point to a random passage. Type up that passage. Now, write something about that passage. Maybe it’s whatever happens next (though, it shouldn’t follow whatever really happens next in that book), or maybe it’s whatever would be the complete opposite of what you’ve just read.
  7. When was the last time you cried? Why? Write about it.
  8. Go to Wikipedia’s random article generator page. Read whatever comes up, and then write something short based on it. Maybe a main character comes from the article, or maybe a scenario. You’ll have to see what pops up, but use it as inspiration in some way.
  9. Write a story that begins with this line: “I kicked off my boots. My socks were wet, my feet were frozen. The fireplace was dark.”
  10. What is the stupidest argument you’ve ever been a part of? Who was stupider, you or the other person? Write about it.
  11. In a small town, there’s a dog that keeps getting into a chicken coop and eating the chickens. The owner of the chicken coop is threatening to shoot the dog. Write a story about the conversation that happens between the chicken owner and the dog owner.
  12. The owner of the dog called the town government on the chicken coop owner. There’s a hearing about it. Write the story of that hearing.
  13. Imagine a family experience you had. Maybe it’s a holiday, or a vacation, or something more mundane. Pick a family member other than yourself, and write a scene from that memory from their perspective instead of your own.
  14. Write a story where the first line is: “The sun was burning his nose, and all he could think about was chicken nuggets.”
  15. Write 200 words about the room you’re sitting in right now.
  16. Write 400 words about the room you wish you were sitting in right now.
  17. Disregard whatever you know about the history of PopTarts. Imagine a board meeting where the concept of PopTarts is proposed. Write the scene.
  18. Who is your favorite movie character? Who is your favorite book character? They just ran into each other. Write the scene.
  19. Opening line: “She’d never seen a dead body before, but, there he was.”
  20. Write a scene where Person A wants to get through a door that Person B is on the other side of. How does Person A try to convince Person B? Write the scene.
  21. Write a scene from the perspective of a fish.
  22. Write 500 words about a person who means a lot to you. Focus on one or two personality traits the person has, and how they’ve used those traits in a way that’s made you happy.
  23. Write a scene from the perspective of a toddler who really, really, REALLY wants some fruit snacks. How do you convince the gatekeeper of the fruit snacks to give them to you?
  24. Opening line: “The moon was bright. Not that he could see it.”
  25. Closing line: “They’d miss each other, but hey, at least it happened.”
  26. A famous couple is on their way to an awards show, but they’re in a fight. Write what happens on their limo drive.
  27. Look through what you’ve written over the past 26 days and pick one prompt that you want to expand upon. Write at least 400 more words about whatever it is.
  28. Write a scene between a mentor and a mentee in which the mentee has to stand up for him or herself because the mentor isn’t giving him/her enough credit.
  29. Opening line: “He woke up to the sound of someone breathing, which was startling enough. Things didn’t get less startling when he rolled over to see who was asleep next to him.”
  30. Opening line: “As they walked through the forest, they heard a branch snap under the weight of a boot. But it was too far away to have been caused by either of them.”

When you finish this 30 days, applaud yourself. You just created 30 pieces of writing that could now be turned into any number of new projects. You wrote. You are a writer. Good job, friend.

Lauren Harkawik
Author

Lauren Harkawik

Lauren Harkawik is a journalist, essayist, and fiction writer based in Vermont. You can read her writing on her website.

Visit Lauren Harkawik's website