Start August Right with the Write Fifteen Minutes a Day Challenge

Yet another reason YA author Laurie Halse Anderson is amazing? The Write Fifteen Minutes A Day Challenge. The rules? Write for fifteen minutes a day, everyday during August. That’s it. No need to submit anything or log anything. Just hit fifteen minutes a day.

I like the idea of this way more than NaNoWriMo, in which you try to write a thousands of words. Fifteen minutes a day is way more manageable. And they don’t even have to be words that are all going to the same thing. Want to write a short story one day? Go for it. Work on your novel the next? Rock on. Want to spend fifteen hours writing? Well, maybe allow yourself a few bathroom breaks, but you can do that, too. It’s just about getting yourself started.

Also, love this response as to why Anderson is leading the challenge:

Because the arts flourish in community. When kindred spirits gather they raise each other up. The differences between someone who has been published and someone who hasn’t are not nearly as dramatic as you might think. I still struggle to make time everyday to write. I still choke at the thought of the blank page.  I never write as well or as thoughtfully, or as fast as I want to. But I love writing. I’d be scribbling stories if I had never been published. It is the writing – surrendering to the magic – that is the best part of my day. It balances me, and makes me feel alive. I want to share that with you.

This really captures what it’s like to be a writer. It’s hard, and it doesn’t get easier. But not writing is way worse than writing, and once you commit to a little amount of time, you get to be part of another world.

I’m definitely going to take part in the WFMAD Challenge. Are you?

Best of the Best Reading Challenge

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, even if you really enjoy a particular activity. Goals and personal challenges can help broaden your experiences and introduce you to new, exciting work. I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut recently (mostly out of laziness) so I think YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best Challenge might be perfect for my spring reading. The details (in short):

“The 2012 Best of the Best Reading Challenge will begin at 12:01AM EST on Sunday, April 1. Once the challenge starts, you’ll have three months (until 11:59pm on Saturday, June 30) to read as many of the 80 titles counted among YALSA’s 2012 Best of the Best as you can….The Best of the Best are the winners and honor books for the Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz Awards as well as the Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks, Best Fiction for Young Adults, Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, and Quick Picks.”

If you read at least 25 titles, you will have “completed” the challenge and can submit a reader response about your fav/least fav/middle fav title to be published on the Hub. Reading also earns you blog badges, including a super exclusive badge for reading 80.

Obviously there are lots of great titles to choose from, and several are books I might not pick up otherwise. (I’m looking at you, nonfiction.)

Check out the Hub post for more info on taking part in the challenge.

Start Thinking of Your Thoughtful Comments

You know that feeling of hope when you craft a new blog post and hit Publish? Ah yes, you say, this will truly get them talking! This will be the post all my readers love! Viral, here I come.

And then you wait. And wait.

That’s the nature of blogging. For the most part, you put it out there without any kind of response. That’s why it should be something you find personally fulfilling, not just fulfilling because it gets you attention.


The Fourth Annual Comment Challenge is all about spreading the blog love. The details: you comment on (at least) 5 kid lit blogs everyday for 21 days. Get conversations started. Let bloggers know their work is appreciated. Maybe they’ll even comment back!

Head over to MotherReader to sign up. I’m excited to find lots more awesome children’s/YA blogs to add to my rss feed. Please share any cool blogs you think I’d like!