I’ve been trying to focus more and more of my energies on writing things lately. Not just that, but writing things that I’d be willing to show beyond the dark corners of the Internet or one or two friends before hiding them in a drawer forever. It’s been slow going so far — the problem with most of my ideas is that I feel they’re beyond my reach currently, and I want to practice on horrible stuff that matters less before I even make the attempt to realize them.
That only works so far, so when an opportunity came to pull the trigger on a few things I’ve been only messing around with I took it in both hands. You’re looking at one of the (hopefully) 150 writers who have joined the Clarion Write-A-Thon for summer 2012!
In case you haven’t heard of Clarion (and I certainly hadn’t until a friend was accepted to go), it’s a wonderful organization that hosts a Sci-Fi/Fantasy Writer’s Workshop every year. Writers who are accepted participate in an intensive six-week program, where they write stories, critique others and get feedback from some impressive established authors. This year, people will be taught by Jeffrey Ford, Holly Black and Cassandra Clare amongst others.
It sounds like a wonderful experience, and like most of those you can’t really keep it going without a little help. That’s where the Write-A-Thon comes in. A group of individuals sign up and pledge to hit a certain goal. It can be a certain word count per day or through the six-week period, setting aside a certain chunk of time to write every day, or a number of short stories to be completed. Once the pledge is made, friends, family and fans (where applicable) can make donations based on those goals or just for the effort in general. The donations go to keep Clarion’s lights on, and genre writers from all over the place come together in the spirit of writing more and writing better.
I’ve joined this year, with the goal of writing 40,000 words between June 24th and August 4th. I’d love for sponsors to donate a mere penny per word, or $40 if I hit my goal. If ten people do that, I’ve hit my goal of $400 raised for Clarion. Modest, I know, but it’s only my first year and I’m not comfortable with asking people to join me in charitable causes just yet.
If you’d like to sponsor me, feel free to go to my author’s page here. I’ll post excerpts of my writing there as well as here when I can, and if you follow my team blog you’ll see even more stories from a few really great authors.
I have two projects specifically in mind for the Write-A-Thon, and I’ll be working to get those solidified so the writing is as smooth as possible. Exactly what those are will be forthcoming in a future post, but I thought I’d get the word out now!
I’m fairly excited about this, and also nervous. I’m pretty sure that the stories I write won’t come out on paper the way they sound in my head, but that’s true of every writer I’ve ever known. The trick is facing that reality head-on, making peace with that, and learning to be flexible and open to the surprises of the writing process. Very much looking forward to making that happen, and for a good cause no less.