Meet my new kitten!

And a writing challenge that only takes 20 minutes

Hi writing family,

Meet the newest member to my family here in New Zealand: a 12 week old kitten, called Luna.

Isn’t she a cutie.

She’s been a bit of a distraction this week. Kittens make for good writing procrastination! Combined with ending up in hospital this week (I feel better now) not much writing got done at all. Fingers crossed next week will be more productive.

Thankfully, writing is flexible like that. In fact, that’s one of the main reasons I started writing.

Some of you know I was a teacher in my twenties.

But my health had other plans and after less than two years I was forced to quit. I lay in bed, looking out the window, and the only thing left to do was write. I could barely hold up my head but I could still type.

At the time getting sick felt like a huge crisis, but looking back I’m so grateful! I might never have taken the time to follow my writing dreams if I’d stayed teaching.

It was the kick in the pants I needed to pursue what I love, and here I am 12 years later and still loving it!

Hopefully you don’t need to wait for a health crisis to chase your own dreams.

I have a challenge for you this week.

It just takes 20 minutes.

Every day this week, turn off all distractions and notifications and put a timer on for 20 minutes. Then sit down and open up a new draft (or new page) and write.

Here’s a prompt if you need one to get started. It’s what I do when I’m stuck:

  • Write one scene from your life. One memory: your first date, a trip with your family, a day from childhood that sticks in your head.

  • Write in as much as you can remember. What did people say? What happened? What was around you at the time? How did it feel or impact you? Are there any other memories linked to it?

At the end of the week you will have 5-7 anecdotes. Can one of them be used as a starting point for an article?

Perhaps a first date anecdote could lead to an article on being more confident in yourself before you date? A childhood memory of a special dinner could lead to an article about the importance of family meal times?

Could you extend one into a personal essay or creative nonfiction of some kind?

Let me know how you go! I’d love to hear what you end up with.

If you want to take your creative nonfiction further, feel free to join us for “The Basics of Great Writing” in the Academy this month. This weeks topic is Intimate Details. Have a great week!