Strip Poker

Each word bares more skin until

 you sit at the table naked,

wondering drunkenly what

happened to all the aces.

There were four of them.

At least one should have made it

to your hand. Instead, you rake

your ink-stained fingers through

already tousled hair and curse

          the media for giving you a stupid audience.

          the critics for bludgeoning you

          the dollar for avoiding you.

          and the muse for abandoning you.

Copyright © 2011 Amanda Jean Partridge


Every year, the challenge comes around: write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

It’s a great concept. The dare of an outlandish word count gives writers motivation to do the impossible. The final result of 50,000 words (or less, if the full word count isn’t achieved) gives material, no matter how poor, with which to work. Bad material to edit is better than no material to edit. I think that National Novel Writing Month is a wonderful challenge in which all writers should participate.

I can never participate.

I always start with the best of intentions, but November always proves to be the busiest month of my year. This year, I have my senior paper, another research paper, and a series of nonfiction essays. 1667 words a day on top of all of that seems a bit much.

Instead, I’ll be pushing my NaNoWri challenge to December. It seems like the best idea for my personal schedule. During November, I’ll try to stick with my daily 250-words to keep up my writing going.

What about you? Are you participating in the November word count challenge? Do you have another month in which you try to meet the 50,000 word dare? How do you challenge yourself in your writing?