21 Moments Writing Challenge With Christina Katz
This is the perfect program to jump start any writing project. I finished the 21 days with 25 pages of raw and material, and because the focus was on 21 different important moments, the writing is focused and meaty. ~ Lela D.
21 Moments was a perfect challenge to boost my writing slump. I felt no pressure to meet deadlines or write to a specific prompt. I loved the flexibility without being monitored. The price is so-o-o reasonable. I plan to increase my personal commitment on Round 2. Let’s get started! ~ Illene S.
Why I Started The 21 Moments Writing Challenge
I used to teach a class at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington many moons ago called Writing For Pleasure. What I remember about the class is that the quality of the writing was often on par—or even better—than the quality of the writing in the Writing & Publishing Nonfiction Articles class that I taught at the same time.
One thing I have always wanted to do was launch an initiative that would get writers writing every day for both pleasure and increased profits. This is not merely random writing just for the sake of writing, but focused writing for the purpose of writing better and more productively no matter what your writing goals.
Therefore I am pleased to now offer five consecutive months of monthly writing challenges for writers of any level of experience. These writing challenges are available nine months out of the year, except for July and December.
This idea that writing for pleasure can compel high quality writing is something that has stuck with me over the years. If you have read my latest book, The Writer’s Workout, you know I believe that there are many reasons to write, not just one or two.
A few reasons you might choose to write are to heal, to find out what you think, or to find your best ideas on a topic. Then again, you might be working on a project already and coming up dry or needing a push to improve your prose. Or you might be looking for a way in—a place to begin your writing journey and feel your own momentum. Most writers are ready to write, but can benefit from just a bit of direction. All they often need is a writing prompt, that can come from reading a short, inspiring piece of writing daily before turning to their own work.
How The 21 Moments Writing Challenge Works
When I was in graduate school at Columbia College Chicago, one of the many approaches to writing well that was impressed on us was the idea of creating a collection of “instances” around an idea. Instances were simply things that the writer noticed. Of all of the things that I leaned at Columbia College Chicago, writing about what you notice in short bursts that can be collected or expanded individually was worth the entire price tag of my master’s degree.
Of course, there is a lot more to writing well. But good writing often starts with a good idea. And good ideas are often envisioned and written quite quickly, without over-thinking or over-researching. Often what we remember about memorable writing can be measured not just in instances, but even in the brief moments left lingering in our memories many years later.
Memorable writing inspires memorable writing. So vivid, compelling writing is what we focus on in The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge. As many of you know, I am fond of the idea of mastering short forms before you move on to writing long forms. I have noticed over the years that many writers wish to publish but have trouble writing briefly, concisely, and precisely. The key to writing clear long pieces is becoming able to write a series of clear short pieces.
NaNoWriMo is a great program that encourages writers of any level experience to take on a major writing challenge and complete a novel in just 30 days. This is a wonderful idea in so many ways, and I have shared before that I am a big fan of NaNoWriMo. But as a writing instructor, I prefer to see some results in short form before I see a writer invest their time and energy into a long form like a novel. I like to think of writing short forms as the equivalent of investing money in the bank —it guarantee that if you invest your precious time in longer work, like a novel, you will have the skills to create a strong effort someone else might actually enjoy reading.
Once short forms are mastered, they can easily be expanded into successful long forms. One short forms are mastered, writers compose better long forms. And this is where a short, inspiring daily writing prompt can help. Sometimes all a creative mind needs is an excellent example of strong writing. Writing short and tight takes the overwhelm out of writing long. If most writers knew what is involved in writing a long-form publication-quality work, like a novel or a book, some might think twice before jumping on board.
Seasoned authors have an innate capacity to spend huge amounts of time alone, in deep concentration. Often writers I meet, even those who wish to join the ranks of authors, don’t possess the concentration and commitment (or have the financial support) it takes to get a full-length manuscript successfully completed.
If you want to write a book some day, why not start working on writing short forms well today?
Write Short & Tight And Then Repeat
I define writing success as composing a piece of writing that someone else would pay you to read. After you write your 21 moments, you will become a better writer in everything you write.
One way to learn how to write short and tight is to have an objective to write something short and then do it over and over. Readers of Writer Mama and The Writer’s Workout know about my penchant writing short and tight. This is something that has been central to everything I teach writers. And so, in the spirit of raising the quality bar for writers everywhere, I have created a unique, inexpensive writing challenge, all for only 21 bucks.
I call it The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge and here is how it works. You select a month that you wish to work with me. You register for the writing challenge for that month by paying by the last day of the month prior. On the first day of the month, you receive a list of suggestions with various ways to make the most of 21 writing days. Then, for the first 21 days of that month, you automatically receive 21 e-mails from me at 12:05 am each day. Each e-mail will contain an example moment to inspire you to write your moment-a-day to the best of your ability.
Good writing breeds good writing. All you have to do to improve your writing is write 21 of your own moments within a one-month time frame. You get a whole month to write your 21 moments, not just 21 days. This way, you get plenty of days off—seven or more—so life can still happen without getting in the way. There is no reason to feel pressured to perform if something else comes up. But I bet you will miss your writing process on the days you can’t get to working on a moment. And this is a good thing.
The point of the challenge is to encourage writing success for busy, creative people and a big part of success is enjoying the writing you do. If you get sick or you simply want a day off, take it. You’ve got seven days a month to blow off.
Register now for the next session (begins the first day of next month every month of the year except July and December):
Expect an e-mail confirmation upon registration. The workout begins the first day of the next month at 12:05 am (every month of the year except July, August, December). Look for an e-mail from me then!
If your usual e-mail address is different than you Paypal address, simply send me a note after you register and let me know.
What Should You Work On During The Writing Challenge?
Now let’s talk about what you are going to write. You are going to read a short writing prompt daily and then write 21 moments fully and well, one per day. That’s your challenge.
You come up with the moment, it’s not assigned, although I will offer you a long list of personal experience ideas to choose from, if you need help coming up with ideas. Then you simply write a moment a day as well as you can. Your goal is to draft each moment in 250-500 words.
This is not an assignment to write a novel, a poem, an essay, or a short story. But if a novel, a poem, an essay, or short story eventually emerges from a moment you write during this exercise, than that’s wonderful.
I would not be at all surprised if experienced writers find a use for every moment they write during the challenge.
For less experienced writers, none of your ideas will be lost once they are brought to light. Write them as well as you can now. In the process, you will learn how to write concisely, brightly, and, even occasionally, brilliantly.
The point of this writing challenge is to create more high-quality writers, who understand that writing well is not about ego but about the ability to concentrate, commit, and create with all of your senses. Once you learn the power of focused attention and how to wield it in your own writing, you are on your way.
It does not matter what genre you would like to write in; this challenge works for any genre and should improve the quality of your writing no matter what you write, simply because the entire focus is on writing one moment at a time powerfully and well. This is what great writers have always been able to do. Prompts in the challenge come in a variety of genres.
What I Believe After 12 Years Of Training Writers
We all have the potential to become great writers, if we are willing to discipline ourselves to write well. Maybe, if you had enough training, you could enter the ranks of great writers, as well.
Remember, everyone who is known as a “great writer” today was once completely unknown, and prior to that, was completely untrained.
So can you become a better writer after taking The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge? I sincerely hope so, because that is the whole idea. With publishing opportunities all around us, there are an awful lot of people out there who would like to become better writers. My hope is that The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge will provide a quick, inexpensive, and pleasurable way to learn and grow as a writer.
The cost is $21 dollars (21 dollars for 21 days of writing—you don’t have to pay me for your days off each month). Upon payment, you commit to completing 21 moments, whether you complete them in 1 day or 30 days.
When the month is over, I will accept one moment submission from each participant for consideration to include as a future example of a strongly written moment. If your piece is accepted as one of three excellent examples, you will be notified and invited to participate in the next round of The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge for free.
Feedback forms will be made available after each round to participants who wish to offer constructive feedback. The 21 Moments Writing Challenge is also available as a gift if you have taken it—or even just like the idea—and wish to give the experience to someone as a gift.
If you are purchasing a gift, please be sure to use the correct button below (which will ask you to provide the name of the recipient and his or her e-mail address and forward your confirmation e-mail to them).
The 21 Moments Monthly Writing Challenge is not the same as classes or Dream Team coaching with me. Classes and coaching are considerably more expensive and involve direct interaction between students and myself. If direct interaction with me is what you are looking for, please check out my classes and training groups. But the meantime, why not allow me the opportunity to help you become a better writer in just 21 days?
Register now for the next session (begins the first day of next month every month of the year except July and December):
Expect an e-mail confirmation upon registration. The workout begins the first day of the next month at 12:05 am (every month of the year except July and December). Look for an e-mail from me then!
OR purchase a gift for a friend to participate in the next session (begins the first day of next month every month of the year except July and December):
You can expect an e-mail confirmation upon registration. You should then forward the e-mail confirmation to your friend with a personal note from you telling them about the gift.
The workout begins the first day of the following month at 12:05 am and runs every month of the year except July and December. The confirmation that you forward to your friend will tell them to look for an e-mail from me then.
The 21 Moments Writing Challenge was the launching point for my daily writing, and as a result I felt more creative and had more ideas to pursue during the rest of the day. ~ Cindy H.
21 Moments taught me that it is quite possible to write every day, regardless of a job, other commitments or distractions. Anything can be turned into a moment to write about. The possibilities are surprising and endless! Thanks, Christina! I am recommending 21 Moments to others! ~ Ruth Ann A.
The challenge was just what I needed to get my writing going again, and to make writing a priority in my life again in a stress-free way. ~ Ellen S.
I’ve been “stalking” Christina (in a non-scary way, of course…) online for years. Watching her classes, watching her celebrate her students and wishing from afar I could participate. When a friend suggested that I really needed to get serious about my writing I decided I’d jump on this challenge as a way to motivate myself and learn a little from Christina. Best decision ever! It was just right for me! And the nudge to write a moment every day has led me to produce some great writing that I would not have otherwise attempted. Thank you! ~ Christy M.
I got deep thinking, deep writing, and a sense of accomplishment. The writings I produced were all about me – it felt good to loosen up and just write. ~ Krysty K.
I had ideas for stories I’ve been wanting to write, but I decided to just enjoy the pieces Christina gave us to read each day and see what transpired. Sometimes the pieces gave me moments related to what I wanted to write, sometimes not. What they DID do is give me the motivation to write. Every. Single. Day! An additional benefit of the challenge, even though we don’t interact with others: I came to feel part of a group. I looked forward to checking my inbox each morning and the commitment I’d made to writing for 21 days. I used to do morning pages, but for me, I didn’t have the discipline to get it done. This works for me! ~ Mandy S.
I love Christina Katz’s versatility as a teacher. She is always looking for new and creative ways to motivate her students to write. She has done it with the 21 Moments Challenge. Short and sweet, easy to keep up with, and an excellent value. ~ Kristin W.
21 Moments is a great motivator to get started and to keep going. This is a great tool to break out of a writing slump. ~ Leigh B.
These prompts are great! You have the uncanny knack of selecting poems and stories that are some of my favorites. ~ Shirley J.
Christina’s 21 Moments Challenge provided the inspiration and know how exhibited in thoughtfully chosen examples to get me writing in ways I didn’t think were possible for me. Each day of the challenge provided an example of how it’s done. It was up to me to accept the challenge and get it done to the best of my ability. ~ Diane T.
Christina has always affirmed her belief in mastering small forms of writing before taking on bigger projects. 21 Moments is a great place to start, given the smaller word-count and the emphasis on writing every day. Not only can you produce your work piece by piece, but the format also helps you stick to a regular rhythm for long-term success. This exercise helped me formulate pieces of a rough draft for a novel that I have been trying to get together for over a year now! ~ Kristeen M.
Writing one moment each day required focus, the one element I lack most. This course challenged me and the first few writings were rough. When I finally wrote one solid moment with no rambling, I learned how to reign in my wandering mind. I enjoyed opening my email each morning. Now that the challenge is over, my inbox feels empty. However, I’ve gained focus and consistency and am applying it each day. I pull a book off my shelf, read a page and write…one moment. Just one. ~ Diane J.
You are making me want to go back and reread all these classics! ~ Kandace C.
Christina, I just want to thank you for offering the “moments.” The daily prompts helped me to begin to regain my focus and play with different genres. ~ Judy S.
A daily writing prompt delivered to your in box takes the work out of searching for inspiration, yet provides a gentle push to flex your writing muscles every day. Like the best personal trainer, Christina mixes up the genres for the prompts, so your writing muscles do not plateau. ~ Sue L.
I write with pen and paper (first), and that journal I got for Christmas is filling up fast, thanks to the 21 Moments Writing Challenge! ~ Debbie S.
The greatest thing this did for me was get me writing every day; writing every day has always been an area that I struggle with. I told myself that I only had to write for five minutes, but it always ended up being longer. I used the time to attempt some scenes from a novel I’ve had floating around in my head for a while. The freedom to just focus on a “moment” was refreshing and prevented me from getting bogged down in details of the bigger picture. ~ Yvonne S.
The daily challenge to write put my brain on notice to generate ideas, and I generated ideas that I have yet to write about! Thank you for challenging me! ~ Libby M.
Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” …and, since, I’d like to be able to call myself a writer, I need to write. For me. Every day. This opportunity was a powerful reminder of that. ~ Laurie T.
The challenge helped to jump start my writing again after a long absence from the pleasures of the process. ~ Sarah B.
The idea of writing a “Moment” forced me to focus on a single experience or scene or memory each day. So often my journal turns into writing about writing or whining or planning or brainstorming. All good things in moderation, but I found myself sinking into the moments as I wrote them. This led to stronger and more satisfying writing. ~ Heather L.
After rounds 1 and 2, I was doing short focused writing daily. I wasn’t sure I needed another round, but I felt like I hit my stride in round 3, like the first two got me into shape and in round 3 I was just ready to run. Glad I did all three! ~ Sara B.
Writing about 21 moments was both motivating and enlightening. I remembered things I haven’t thought about for years and took the opportunity to reflect on them and then to write about them. I have signed up for the next round. ~ Jo Ann B.
This challenge got me into a groove. I’m writing more and enjoying the writing process better now than I have in a long time. ~ Steffanie L.
Participating in the 21 Moments Challenge is like having your own writing productivity & creativity app. It keeps you in sync with your talent and challenges you to stretch the scope of what and how you write. ~ Rhonda F.
I took this more seriously the second time around because it was fun. It reminded me of what good literature is and provided a much needed deadline and consistency in writing practice. Thanks Christina! ~ Leslie B.
This is a safe place to be vulnerable and learn more about yourself and your writing voice twenty-one times. ~ Annette S.
The challenge was fun, while providing some accountability with the daily prompt. There was a great variety of literature and the inspiration of past participants’ moments to inspire new writing. It’s an easy, painless way to establish a daily writing routine. ~ Crystal H.
Having a whole twenty-one days to write has really lit my fire to keep writing. I give this class a twenty-one writer salute. ~ Annette S.
Register here by clicking on the appropriate button.
Register for higher rounds after you complete lower rounds and proceed through the writing challenges in order: