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Introducing the Theme for November: Experimenting

I’m really looking forward to this month’s theme at Confident Writing: experimenting.

What happens when we experiment with our writing.  The freedom to experiment.  Playing, learning and creating something new.  Trying out different styles, formats and writing voices.  Jumping in and exploring a new medium, new way of working, or a new approach to our writing.

As befits an experimental theme I have only a hazy idea as to where this will take us, but I know I’m going to enjoy changing things round a bit and experimenting with a few different things myself.

So far I’ve got planned:

  • The results of some blogging experiments
  • Introducing a new feature: book reviews
  • An interview with a recently published author on how to get your name in print
  • Two guest posts that are guaranteed to fire up your synapses
  • A group writing project: watch this space for more information (to run 2nd half of the month)

The idea, and the timing, come from the massive writing experiment that’s taking place this month: NaNoWriMo.  I’m not taking part but am watching from the sidelines and rooting for all of you who’ve decided to put pen to paper this month.  Good luck!

[Update: NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month.  Participants aim to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November]

If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions that you’d like me to include under “experimenting” please do just leave your idea in the comment box below.

Image Credit: Ocean tender love cocktail by S1m0ne on flickr

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  1. Jasmin Tragas says:

    I love the theme Joanna! I look forward to reading your posts this month with great anticipation. And now to think of a plot for NaNoWriMo. It would be nice to think I could write 50,000 words…I’ll have a go and see what happens! I think it will be a great way to experiment with a different writing style and genre.

    Jasmin Tragass last blog post..Inspiring Words for Women’s Opportunity

  2. Ulla Hennig
    Twitter: ullahe

    the experimenting theme sounds very interesting to me. As a blogger, I am especially interested in blogging experiments and their results. Your post makes me think of the possibilities of blog experiments in general: mix non-fictional posts with fictional, interviewing people, etc. In general: I am looking forward to November!

    Ulla Hennigs last blog post..Checkpoint Charlie

  3. Robert Hruzek says:

    Can’t wait to see how this month turns out, Joanna! Not to mention my own experiment, for that matter…

    Robert Hruzeks last blog post..What I Learned From… Government

  4. Bo says:

    This is a great theme - I can hardly wait to see where it will take you and then us, your readers.

    I, for one, find the medium of the blog to be an ideal experimental platform. When I began my blog, a photo-blog, a year ago, I intended to post a photo and a relevant quotation. Not much room for experimentation. Then I discovered when I added personal tidbits, the blog came more alive for me, and my readers responded well.

    Now, though I always post a daily photo, I may add a bit of information about a wildflower, news about a National Park I’ve recently visited, even a lesson applicable to life I’ve recently learned. Or sometimes I simply chose a bit of a chat.

    It opens huge vistas to me now that I no longer follow my original guidelines, and I think it has made me a better writer.

    After all, if I am dedicated to writing something for others to read on a daily basis, it requires a certain amount of hard work. But I think the benefits are tremendous to my own development, not only as a writer, but as a person and a member of the collective writing world.

    And I continue to learn so much as I journey on.

    Bos last blog post..Impressionist Autumn View

  5. Karen Swim
    Twitter: karenswim

    Joanna, I’m excited about this month’s theme. I love the idea of taking risks and experimenting to see what happens. I love what you have cooked up so far and I have a feeling this is going to be a very fun month with amazing discoveries. I look forward to the daily adventure!

    Karen Swims last blog post..Paralyzing Perfectionism

  6. Robyn McMaster says:

    Since this promises to fire up my synapses, count me in, Joanna! You did it with just the right words. You certainly have the knack to “pick” them.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Is Your Brain in Gear at Work?

  7. Robyn McMaster says:

    Oops, I read on to note that I’d need 50,000 words. I’m trying to pare down at this point and that’s where my experiments will come. ;-)

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..Is Your Brain in Gear at Work?

  8. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Jasmin, I think it’s a doable word count. The problem (for me) is absence of plot. I’m hoping if I ask my unconscious mind nicely I might have an idea in place for this time next year…

    Ulla, I love the way you experiment on your blog. I’m so excited that you’ve taken a leap already by posting your first poem on your blog. That’s brilliant!

    Robert, I think it’ll be fun and I’m looking forward to seeing where your own experiments take you (and me!)

  9. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Bo, what a wonderful reflection on your blogging journey. You’re one step ahead of me… this is pretty much the question I’m going to be asking about for the group writing project in a few weeks.

    You’re so right about the personal development that goes alongside that learning and experimentation. For me too

  10. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Karen, I see you as an arch adventuress so I think a theme of experimenting will be right up your street. Besides, you can teach us a lot about what you’re learning from your participation in NanoWriMo too. I look forward to sharing that adventure with you.

    Robyn, yes, NaNoWriMo is a big commitment. Too much for me just now. The group writing project will be easy (and short) and I’m sure it’s something you’ll be able to contribute to. Hope so anyway :-)

  11. SpaceAgeSage -- Lori says:

    Experimenting with writing? You mean we get to playing with structure, format, voice, dialogue, perspective, limits, and otherwise warping the time/space continuum? Sounds like fun!

    SpaceAgeSage — Loris last blog post..Connection

  12. Jim Murdoch says:

    Whenever I hear the expression ‘experimental literature’ I grue. I find that an attitude often goes with experimental writing that the result is automatically a success and if readers don’t get it then it is their fault. I always remind people that scientific experiments fail more often than they succeed and that failure is as important as any subsequent successes; we learn as much from our failures as we do from our successes but unless we take risks there will be no possibility of either success or failure.

  13. --Deb says:

    I’ve never done NaNoWriMo, mostly because November is such a busy month for me. (Getting ready for my birthday alone!) I’d love to give it a try, though.

    Oh, and I do love book reviews-which is why I’ve got a blog devoted to them. (Well, knitting book reviews, that is.)

    But-experimenting. That sounds like a fantastic topic. Can’t wait to see what you come up with! Talk about creative writing.

    -Debs last blog post..MM: Got Subject?

  14. Ricardo Bueno says:

    We’re all experimenting on some level with our blog writing, aren’t we? We mix up our content, try new things to reach new readers, etc. We participate in various social networks all the while trying to gauge what’s working and what’s not so that we can focus on what’s most effective.

    We’re experimenting and tweaking our strategy the whole way through :-D

    Ricardo Buenos last blog post..How Well Do You Understand Social Media?

  15. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Lori, if you want and that’s what experimenting means to you! If you can teach me how to warp the time/space continuum that would be an added bonus :-)

    Jim, I tend to agree. But of course “experimental” is quite different from “experimenting”. I agree too about learning from what doesn’t work. I think that’s one of the interesting things about (what I’ve read about) NaNoWriMo: that many of the products are acknowledged by the authors to be pants, but the experience of sitting down and writing each day has been of huge benefit, and a great learning opportunity.

    -Deb, thanks for reminding us that your birthday’s coming up ;-)

    And thanks for the feedback on the theme

  16. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Ricardo, yes, absolutely. I think you’ve captured it really well there. I think that’s one of the reasons blogging is both so much fun and so good for our learning and development.

  17. Miguel Wickert says:

    What is this NaNoWriMo about?

    Miguel Wickerts last blog post..It’s About Connecting People

  18. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Hi Miguel

    I’m sorry I wasn’t very clear about that. I’ve updated the post so it makes more sense.

    This is what i added:

    [Update: NaNoWriMo is short for National Novel Writing Month. Participants aim to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November]

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  20. wilson says:

    Oh, talking about the “Experiments,” I always expected more challeging and exciting events to be took place here…

    I loved the experiments and hope there will be more shocking and provocative posts in this November, Joanna!

    wilsons last blog post..The Hair Care Tips 4: The Speed of Hair Growth is Not Related With the Frequency of The Hair Cut!

  21. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Gosh Wilson, shocking and provocative! I’m not sure I can live up to these expectations!

  22. Robyn McMaster says:

    Not sure how to send you a trackback, Joanna, but I just posted my contribution to your challenge to write on writing experiments. The blog is titled, As a Writer, I Can

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..As a Writer - I Can

  23. Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson

    Robyn, it’s wonderful, thank you so much.

    I get the link automatically - to show up under a post you can add /trackback to the end of the url and it should reach me.

  24. Robyn McMaster says:

    Thanks again for this challenge and opportunity to reflect on how I experiment with writing.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..As a Writer - I Can

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