Dare to Write

Summer is finally here!

This has always been a nostalgic time of year for me. As a kid, I spent my days devouring stories–less a book worm and more a book serpent. I could never get enough. There was never enough time. Summer reading always brings to mind stories like Wuthering Heights, The Secret Garden, Treasure Island, Nancy Drew mysteries, and Thornton Burgess animal stories.

When I wasn’t reading (or harrassed by my younger sister) I was writing my own stories. With no demands on my time other than to swim, picnic, or explore the woods, writing was a carefree luxury that I indulged in daily.

Now older, with children of my own, and more serious demands made on my time, writing and reading for pleasure are rare activities for me. I often hear the same from my coaching clients–how difficult it is to fit writing into a life that is already full with socializing, work, home maintainence, family responsibilities. Maybe the closest anyone can get is 15-30 minutes of reading in bed to close an exhausting day.

My local library holds Summer Reading Challenges for kids and adults alike. I join every summer, and I always switch up genres from book to book–historical romance, murder mystery, non-fiction adventure, drama, MG books, poetry. Anything that sounds more-ish, any world I can tumble into, any provocative idea. The library gives me a chance to return to those lazy-daisy days of summer and indulge in something many people take for granted–reading for pleasure.

Why not do the same for your writing?


This summer, Dare to Write a short story, a novel chapter, a memoir excerpt, a poem–anything! Length and structure and quality are unimportant. Just focus on getting words onto the page. Devote time to your writing each day the way you would a visit to the beach or a gathering at a BBQ.

Send me what you write and earn a chance for a free coaching session or a free copy of one of my two handbooks for writers, available now in ebook form on Amazon!

I don’t care how it is put together. I don’t care if it’s handwritten or typed. I don’t care if it’s a wreckage of words. All I care is that you wrote this summer.

Dare to Write Summer Writing Challenge ends on August 26, 2016. Any questions? Leave a comment, along with your pizza, in the box below.

Have a writerly summer!


42 thoughts on “Dare to Write

  1. A book serpent, haha, I love that! I just read an article on how important it is for children to be bored over the summer, meaning that they need unscheduled time to be creative on their own terms. To figure out if they want to explore the garden for two hours, or read for four hours. To discover themselves, really. I think this could relate to adults too. We need to allow for unscheduled time to just be creative and have fun. I love the idea of your short story challenge, one with no rules – the perfect summer play! I don’t write fiction, but, who knows, maybe my writing will take me there, and if it does, I’ll send it to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

      • I re-read your post and see that you are looking for short stories, so never mind. Mine is a novel and I’m sure more than you are willing to take on! P.S. I was a summer reading fiend too. My mom would scoot me out to play to get my nose out of a book!


      • Well, you could always just send me a chapter or two of your novel! I really am offering this opportunity as a way to get people to find time to write and produce something. It honestly doesn’t matter to me if it’s a short story or a novel chapter or a poem. In fact, your question has prompted me to revise my post accordingly!

        So, I hope you play! 🙂


  2. It’s winter here, Kate and I’m loving it! Because it’s usually so hot in the tropics I can’t think in summer (they call summer thoughtlessness here being ‘troppo’) LOL
    My pizza is ‘Supreme with the lot’ Yum , hope you like it 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a generous offer Kate. Oh how we long for the days when time was aplenty, and we could read till our heart was content.
    I”m currently busy rewriting and revising my newest book, but if I should reach the editing stage before your deadline, I’ll try and squeeze in another project, lol.
    Enjoy the pizza! 🙂


    • Hey Debbie — I do miss those days, reading and writing for pleasure without the guilt of knowing there are dirty dishes in the sink or laundry waiting to be folded.

      Great — I’d love to see something you wrote if you get a chance. I actually changed my challenge a bit to include chapters from novels or memoirs or even poetry — basically I’m just hoping this challenge will get people writing because they want to write!

      Thanks for the pizza!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Remember the days when we used to think of summers as “time off?” 🙂

    I really like the idea of this challenge, Kate! I already write everyday (on my commute, because it’s a good use of time, but I also long ago took a page from your book about getting up early in the mornings to focus on my writing), but I can cheer on others to do the same! I am itching to get back to shorter free-writes in the midst of my novel rewrite, so maybe I will send you some pages from one of those when the summer is done? 😉

    Good luck with all the summer activities you have going on! I will be thinking of you – and cheering you on, too – as I do my daily routine.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Mayumi — I would love to see what you have. As I mentioned in our FB exchanges, length isn’t an issue. I just want this challenge to spur people to write something, anything, that brings them joy. There is no pressure! Even if you just send me a page, it counts! 🙂

      I love hearing that you’re becoming an early bird to write. Are you enjoying it? I have to admit that I love being up that early because the birds are singing and the human world is still. My mind/soul is highly creative at that time of day, probably a result of post-dreaming. Some people don’t care for early morning, but are successful at writing late at night, another time when the world is fairly still. It’s just important that we find the time that works best for us!

      Good luck!


  5. It was great having all that free time to read and write as a child, but even though we don’t have the same kind of time now, I think it prepared us by giving us that space to find something we loved. Great idea for a challenge, I hope it spurs lots of people on to write who are struggling to find the time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Andrea, I agree. Childhood is designed for us to explore and have adventures. Not just physically but spiritually too. I discovered my love for writing stories when I was a kid and it’s always stayed with me. Enjoy your summer!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m relieved that my library allows us 3 weeks to take books out, and usually I can renew them once or twice so long as it isn’t a current popular book that everyone else wants to read. That gives me a good 6-9 weeks to get one book read! I’m not a slow reader, but I don’t have enough time in my day to read as much as I would like. Good luck with your stack!


  6. What a wonderful challenge! I’m writing this summer, as I’m teaching two different creative writing classes, so will find a story to send to you in a week or so. Love it! And yes, I have fond memories of childhood summers where I could park in a sun-lit corner of my bedroom and just read for hours. Ahhh, how I wish I could take the time to do that now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! That would be great. I’d love to read a story of yours. You have a few more weeks to do the challenge, so no rush!

      My daughter spends all her free time reading, and I watch her with envy. I tell her how lucky she is, that she’ll always have these memories of summer reading, so much more meaningful than memories of summer social media! 🙂


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  8. What a fantastic idea, Kate! I’ve been challenging myself with submitting three short stories on top of my novel work. I’ve submitted two and and polishing the third one up. It’s amazing what you can get done when you decide you are going to do it and commit to it. 🙂


    • That’s great, Kourtney! Challenging ourselves to do a bit more than usual helps us grow and feel really good inside! 🙂 I agree that we often don’t know what we’re capable of till we set up some goals and reasons to make them happen.


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  11. I like the idea of a writing challenge over the summer. I know I struggle with coming up with anything around this time of year. And with working two jobs, it’s more difficult to find that time to write.

    I want to participate in this challenge. I have a story or two I want to submit. And I feel like I need something like this to keep me sharp. I do have a question. I use Open Office instead of Microsoft Word. I tried to convert it to Microsoft Word, but had no luck. I wonder if it is still possible to submit a piece.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey G.R.! Yay, I’m so excited that you’re up for the challenge! From what I understand, I should be able to read an Open Office document via Word, so please send it along.

      Looking forward to reading your work and thanks for participating!


  12. What a kind and generous offer, the trouble is do I send you an adult piece or a silly childish story from this blog (mudpilewood). I am about to raid your old posts and see if you have tips on getting reviews for a kids book as I am failing miserably, people have stopped me in the street and said they love it but getting them to post reviews is hard work.


    • Hey there! I know exactly what you mean about getting reviews written and posted. I struggle with the same problem. I have two ebooks out, and four times as many downloads as there are public reviews. I don’t understand it. I’ve even given 10 copies away *for free* with the exchange of an honest and fair review. I’ve only received two reviews out of that 10. It’s maddening.

      I wish I had some valuable tips on getting reviews. I’m still fairly new at this indie publishing game. The best method I know of is to be present on social media, but not in a spammy kind of way. Build an online audience, grow a fanbase, give them something they want. Then write a few posts on your blog or on Facebook about why reviews are important for an author’s business–because that’s what we’re running once we go indie. Many people really don’t understand the importance of reviews, so it’s up to us to educate them (but in a kind, non-threatening way! 🙂 )

      As far as sending me something you wrote, it really doesn’t matter! I will read whatever you send and give you some general feedback from one writer to another! This is meant to be a stress-free and pressure-free challenge, so send anything on which you’d like a little bit of a professional, helpful critique. 🙂

      Thanks for swinging by!


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