A Dark October



October is a special month.

October is a month for quick breakfasts in a warm kitchen.  For foggy windows and dew covered grass.  For dark mornings that smell like fresh rain.

October days are sunny without the heat.  They’re days where everyone is on the go and has somewhere to be.  Days that aren’t too cold yet.  Days when we don’t have to hunch our shoulders and stare at the sidewalk until we reach the next doorway and pass back into the warmth.

October has a little bit of everything.

3 Things I Challenge Everyone To Do This Month:

1.  Learn something from another writer and actually apply it.  So many times I’ll read a good book on the craft of writing and never apply any of the practices because I forget them as soon as I put the book down.  I open my computer and revert back to how I always write.  Try to read about writing, find something you like, and apply it immediately.  A great idea will stay an idea unless you use it.

2.  Whether you’re planning for NaNoWriMo or working on a 500,000 word magnum opus (please god tell me you aren’t doing this), try to start, finish, and edit an entire story this month.  Going through the process from beginning to end will teach you more about writing than almost anything else.  It can be a 300 word story, a chapter in a book, a memoir, whatever.  Start, finish, and edit it in the month of October – you don’t have to spend too much time on it.

3.  Write somewhere you’ve never written before.  If you write at home, go to Starbucks.  If you write at Starbucks, go to the park.  Bring your computer to work and spend 30 minutes writing at your desk instead of going home at the end of the day.  If you write inside go outside, if you write in the middle of a field go sit on a bench downtown.  See what happens, even if it’s just for fun.

In October the days get shorter and the dark creeps in.  But as the sun starts to set, you might just discover an idea that never would have shown its face in the light of day.

“At night, when the objective world has slunk back into its cavern and left dreamers to their own, there come inspirations and capabilities impossible at any less magical and quiet an hour. No one knows whether or not he is a writer unless he has tried writing at night.” – H.P. Lovecraft

What are your goals this month?  What are you working on? What did you do at this time last year, both in writing and in general?

Happy October everyone.  Don’t forget to start thinking of Halloween costumes ahead of time.

Vincent Van Gogh Quote

33 comments on “A Dark October”

  1. This is a great challenge! I’m going to aim at doing all three things you mentioned. I hate the editing process, but it’s the most important step!

  2. Such a lovely post! I especially like your description of little October joys and your recommendation to start, finish and edit a piece in a month. Doing so will prevent you from perfecting something endlessly, to the point of never finishing it.

  3. Nice post! “…sunny without the heat.” Not where I live- it’s called rain and clouds. Your description is wonderful. It makes me appreciate October more. And I love the quotes you shared. 🙂
    It’s hard to actually do challenges, but I’ll try. These challenges, especially number 3, are actually possible. Yay!

  4. Nice post. I have been stretching myself more and trying new things. It has sparked creativity and hopefully I’m learning new ways to write. Thanks for the confirmation.

  5. Thanks for the challenge. I’m excited just thinking about it because I’ve done ALL my writing at home. Also thank for visiting my blog and liking my post I appreciate that.

  6. Thank you for that! I needed to hear (read) some of those words. Especially the fact that actually getting through and finishing, editing all the way through teaches you more about writing than anything else. Some very wise words.

  7. These three challenges of yours are great! I think I’d like to try #2 and #3. 🙂 Also? I love the way you describe October. Especially the second paragraph, which resonates beautifully.

  8. Great post with an interesting introduction. I especially appreciated challenge number two as my goal is now to complete the back story for a character in my future novel. Also, thank you for the thought-provoking quote.

  9. Rule of 72… When you do not apply something within 72 hours of learning it, your probability of doing so after the 72 hours practically goes to zero. Great post. Applying lessons you’ve learned by sharing with others, and also trying something new.

  10. Thanks for this challenge. I feel like my adrenaline pipe just got another boost today.

    But I’ll start by doing only one thing – which is this: I’ll try writing outside for a week and see how it goes.

    The reason is because I got so used to writing in my room. But when I started writing in the sit-out where I could feel the breeze, I felt more relieved.

    Do you think I got bored in the room?

  11. Splendid reminder to those of us who’re reading plenty, but not writing. In a long time I hadn’t written at 3:30 a.m.; well, I just did. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by a couple of months back. (Just goes to show I hadn’t even peeked at my own blog – nor looked at the ‘likes’ nor at ‘comments’). Your post is the much-needed matter-of-fact writing I needed to read at this point. Thank you. I believe your writing brought some light through this darkness of October. 🙂 Cheers.

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