With #aprilwordsaday drawing to a close, I wanted to find out what the participants thought of it.
I decided to take up my own challenge and was joined by Peter Paega (@PeterPaega) and Tyler Loiselle (@TooLtaeToBlink) on twitter. Together we strove to write creative responses to the daily prompts and shared the results publically on our blogs (Sofluidyourbeauty, Tomorrow’s Life and April Words).
Personally, I found the challenge really satisfying. It’s hard to make yourself write something every day, even if you need only write a sentence (as is the case in a six word story). Life gets in the way and you can find yourself falling behind. However, I found that perseverance paid off and the process was becoming easier and more enjoyable as we progressed.
I tried to approach the challenges with different styles but found that I preferred flash fiction over any other type of creative writing. I find that poetry flows easily, but the flash fiction was more of a challenge as I was thinking outside the box with regards to the prompts. What I found particularly fascinating was how similar our entries were at times. For number 11. Trigger, Peter and I both approached mental health.
Here’s what Tyler (in red) and Peter (in blue) thought of the challenge:
- What made you decide to take part?
I decided to take part mostly because I embrace challenges. I follow you, (@SoFluid) on Twitter and saw you were embracing a new challenge and wanted to take part. I haven’t used Twitter to the fullest extent, in which I should, but felt that this would help with every day interactions with fellow writers and get some people to read my work.
- Tyler – One of your entries (number 9: Crystal) read like a song. Do you write songs?
I will probably never claim to be a musician in this lifetime. However, a while back myself and two other friends had a plan to start a band. So I jumped on the writing lyrics bandwagon. I have written several pieces that would probably work well with music, but they probably won’t ever be made into anything you’d hear on your iPod or the radio.
- Peter, I really enjoyed your style which sometimes had a comedy/dark humour element to it. Is this your usual style?
I don’t know if I have a style. I really stopped writing a couple of years ago and I think some of my submissions show how rusty I am. Comedy is really hard, I find the dark humour easier but sometimes it doesn’t actually get to the humour bit.
- Sometimes our entries were very similar in theme, for example number 11: Trigger is on the theme of mental health. I find this fascinating, especially as I was careful not to read other people’s entries before writing my own. What do you think of the coincidences?
Yes it was surprising, but reading your stuff I thought we were often quite similar in approach. In the real world I imagine we would find a lot in common. I can’t honestly remember what triggered trigger, it was probably just me trying to take a different angle on the word.
- What is your usual writing style/genre of choice? Did you find yourself trying new types of fiction during the challenge?
I prefer screen-writing. It’s my passion. Writing screenplays keeps me out of trouble, but I can totally get my characters into trouble. I love it. I feel like I truly get better with each new script as well. As far as genre, well I like writing everything, but I’d say I gravitate more towards comedy. I tried as little comedy as possible in this challenge, and think I succeeded. A writer will always be writing and one shouldn’t limit themselves to a specific style/genre.
I used to do short stories and radio plays. I submitted a few to competitions and The Writers Room but didn’t get anywhere and my ego felt a bit bruised. I’m not used to writing such short stories and I rarely write poetry so yes it’s been a new challenge.
- Did you find it difficult to keep going? Did it get easier or harder as time went on?
I did not find it difficult to keep going. It wasn’t a chore, but it wasn’t recess either. I am always writing anyways, whether I want to or not. This just gave me a bigger reason to share. I would say that the difficulty stayed the same, because putting yourself out there, on the page and on the Internet, is not always easy.
No difficulty to keep going but last week I was decorating and I struggled for time. Today I am behind due to work so real life gets in the way.
- What was your favourite type of writing (i.e. loglines, flash fiction, poetry) and why?
As far as non-scriptwriting work, I have always had a bias towards poetry. Poetry, grammar and punctuation can do what they want. I think it’s the artist’s free reign on paper, no one can stop you from making your art. Even if they criticize, so what, there is no right or wrong.
Honestly, I had to look up loglines. I really enjoyed the poetry and surprised myself with one or two lines. The reflection submission was my personal favourite.
- For me, my daily mood would help inspire what I wrote. What, in addition to the prompts, inspired what you wrote?
For this challenge, I looked into the words and into my personal life. I wrote a lot about how I feel/felt when I thought of those words. If they have any meaning. One for the Road for instance, was something my Grandfather would always say to me and it has always stuck with me. Write about what you know, you’ll enjoy it more. You’ll learn more about yourself.
Yes mood definitely but also stuff that was on my mind. For instance there was a bit of fuss about Ricky Gervais’ “Derek” and it got me thinking about what the programme was really about. I felt it was about the vulnerable and it certainly inspired worn shoes. Usually though it was the daily words that started the mind ticking.
- Have any of your entries inspired you to take them further?
Some of them have potential, but I have so many serious projects that I want to get done first. However, one should never say never.
Not yet but I think I am going to keep in the habit. I might dig out my Movie Draft software and write the next blockbuster
- Did you discover anything about yourself or your writing whilst taking part?
I learned that life is way too easy to skate by. If you think you’re good at something and don’t change your style/the way you do it once in a while, you’ll never learn anything. You should always be looking to be better at what you do. That’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. Just always become better and never stop learning.
I was surprised at how easy it came. It got me wondering if it was any good. I mean some were better than others but it’s hard being your own judge and none of us were giving negative comments so maybe I still have a certain lack of confidence.
- Will you continue to pen more short works of fiction on a regular basis?
Again, I have a bunch of priority projects. I used to write short stories on a weekly basis (5-7 pages usually). I know someday I’ll work that back in to my writing.
Yes. I have thoroughly enjoyed this. Even getting lost for just thirty minutes in total creativity is so rewarding. I’m also a keen photographer and I do a similar thing with blipfoto.com taking an image each day.
- Following on from this, will you be continuing to use the blog you made for the challenge?
I will be taking part in #MayWordsADay. So yes, continue I shall.
I’m not sure. I have a few parked blogs and I just built a creativity website which is partly inspired by AprilWords so I might start blogging on there and just link it to Posterous.
If you’d like to take part in #maywordsaday, here are the prompts: