This year I’ve signed up for another year-long writing challenge, organized by NYC writer and writing instructor Vanessa Mártir and fellow San Diego writer Lizz Huerta. It’s a 52 essay challenge (aka writing one essay per week), and uses the hashtag #52essays2017 on social media.

Here are the rules (copy/pasted from Vanessa’s blog):

  1. This isn’t about producing a polished essay. This is about surrendering to the process. This is for you, no one else.
  2. There is no word limit. It can be as short or as long as you like. Just try to dig into the stories. Why is this coming up? What is it you’re not saying? What is it you want to say? Why? Dig!
  3. Create a blog if you don’t already have one (there are tons of options including wordpress.com, blogger.com, etc.) and post the weekly essay on your blog. You can make it public or you can keep it private. That’s really up to you. The point is to write. If you decide to make the essay public, please post it on the #52essays2017 FB page, and don’t forget to tag the essay with the hashtag: #52essays2017.
  4. You have to post an essay a week, which isn’t easy. I have missed a week here or there but posted it later, usually not past the following Monday. If you miss a week, okay. Don’t beat yourself up. Just try. Push. Write. Then post it.

I’ll be posting links to my weekly essays on this page, so that my fellow challenge participants can read them all in one place. Comments are welcome and appreciated, but negativity is not. (Remember, these are unpolished pieces, not finished gemstones.)

You can also read my pre-challenge Year in Review for 2016, “Out with the old: Reflections on 2016,” here.

Want to play along? Post your first essay on your own blog any time during the first week of 2017 – or whenever you discover this challenge. I look forward to reading your work!