I don’t write every day. Not even close. Especially if you define writing as actually putting words on a page or on a screen. I’ll bet right now you’re thinking, “Well this is a fine way to kick this challenge off – featuring someone who fails to write on a regular basis. What was Shannon thinking?”Julie Hedlund - Headshot

Let me explain.

After many years of chastising myself for being an “outlaw” among writers who insist that the only way to be a writer is to sit in a chair and put words on a page every single day, (I’m talking to YOU Stephen King!!) I realized something about myself. I DO write every day. It’s just that much of the writing I do happens in my head. Not a day goes by, heck — probably not an HOUR goes by — when I’m not working out stories in my head. Getting to know my characters, developing plots, playing with tone and voice, visualizing settings, “listening” to the stories come alive in my head and my heart.

The outcome of all this noodling is that by the time I sit down to write a first draft, it usually comes out in one short sitting because I’ve already worked through a lot of the questions and issues during my “head writing.”

I’ve learned to honor “head writing” as an important and valid part of my writing process. Every writer is an individual, and what works for you might not work for someone else. That’s okay. Accept and honor your own process.

Now, what I DO need to do a better job of is actually sitting down to write those drafts swirling around, fully formed, in my head. AND to revise existing drafts. So those are my goals for 2014. In that spirit, here is your writing prompt.

Prompt #1:  Think of a story idea you’ve had niggling in your brain for a while. It doesn’t have to be fully-formed. It could be as simple as one of your ideas from PiBoIdMo. Now write a paragraph about that story. It could be the story opening or story ending. It could be a character sketch, a setting, or some dialogue. Just get something down that fleshes that story out a bit and gives you something to come back to the next time you write.

Good luck, and Happy New Year to you and your writing!


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A Bit About Julie

Once upon a time, Julie had a successful career in electronic payments and banking.  In 2009, she took a leap of faith to pursue her true passion in writing.  In 2012, Julie founded  12×12 a fantastic writing challenge for picture book writers.  In 2013, she published app versions of A TROOP IS A GROUP OF MONKEYS and A SHIVER OF SHARKS and the print version of A GROUP IS A TROOP OF MONKEYS (Little Bahalia) debuted.  Julie is currently working on MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN, her first hybrid publishing project with the help of Little Bahalia and illustrator Susan Eaddy.

To learn more about Julie click here.

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