How to Start a Bullet Journal [the award-winning sequel]

After my far too enthusiastic post a couple of weeks ago about my great love for my Bullet Journal, there was a huge outcry amongst my readers (so it was like 3 of you, but that’s basically huge) for a tutorial on how to start a Bullet Journal. Since I love you, my dear readers, so much, I am here to regale you with another Bullet Journal post. Hold onto your hats, kids, because this time I’ll be teaching you The Way of the Bullet Journal. You might want to take notes.

p.s. – Because I am so deep in The Way of the Bullet Journal, I’m not even sure if what I’m going to share makes sense to any brain but my own (not even kidding, kids). Seriously, though, it makes so much sense in my head, but it’s one topic that I struggle to articulate to others. SO, I’m including links to other articles/posts throughout this post in case I’m not making enough sense.

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~ Part One: What is a Bullet Journal? ~

Technically, it’s “an analog system for the digital age.” Now, I grabbed that definition of the official Bullet Journal site, and full disclosure, I had to look up the definition for analog. It was completely unhelpful. So, those of you who magically understand what an analog system is, yay for you. For the rest of us who are confused, I’ll try to explain it semi-concisely.

The creator of the Bullet Journal, Ryder Carrol, puts it this way: “It’s an analog system designed to track the past, organize the present, and plan for the future.”

A Bullet Journal is a completely customizable medley of organization, planning, lists, and sometimes art.

You can make a list of goals for the year in your Bullet Journal. You can also plan your day out in your Bullet Journal. You can track your spending in your Bullet Journal. You can keep a diary in your Bullet Journal. You can put doodles and sketches in your Bullet Journal. You can track your habits in your Bullet Journal. Basically, a Bullet Journal is all things to all people; it can be whatever you need it to be. Planner. Diary. Sketchbook.

The heart of Bullet Journaling is recording information and planning all sorts of things with speed and readability. This where the use of bullet points comes in. In a Bullet Journal, as much information as possible is conveyed through bullet points.

Boho Berry has a far more excellent explanation of a Bullet Journal in this post.

~ Part Two: Supplies ~

Yes, you need some supplies for your Bullet Journal.

  • Notebook (this one’s a major shocker)
  • One black-ink pen
  • Ruler (optional)
  • A pack of multicolor pens/colored pencils/fine-tipped markers (optional)

When it comes to picking out the right notebook for your Bullet Journal, there a couple things to keep in mind. There are “actual” Bullet Journals that you can buy off of the official Bullet Journal site, but you don’t need an “actual” Bullet Journal. If you want to hop over and buy one off of there, that’s fine, but if you’re looking for something that has a bit more of your personal flare, you’ll want to check out your local office supplies store (aka: the closest thing to heaven on earth).

Consider if you want lines, dots, grids, or blank pages. A lot of people seem to favor dotted grids for their Bullet Journals since it’s more distraction free than the lines or full grids but has a bit more structure to build off of than a completely blank page. But, dots, grids, and full blank pages are hard to come by in notebooks these days. So, you can just be like me and grab a notebook full of traditional lines and work with them or ignore them.

I mention the ruler just because you will likely need to draw lines of some kind at some point in your Bullet Journaling career, and a ruler makes sure that things don’t get wavy.

Also, the multicolor pens, etc.. are mentioned because a lot people like to add a lot of color and life and doodles to their Bullet Journals, but you don’t need them to keep a Bullet Journal.

Also, when it comes to size, you want something small enough to shove in your purse/backpack/briefcase fairly easily, and so keep it on the petite-medium side of things.

~ Part Three: The Elements of the Bullet Journal ~

NOTE: Before we move into this next part, one thing needs to be clear. Originally, the Bullet Journal was designed for planning and orginization, but a whole sub-culture has developed that fuses art with their planning. So, some Bullet Journals are minimalistic while others are dressed to the nines. You decide how you want your Bullet Journal to look. I just wanted to give you fair warning before you search “Bullet Journal” and are demolished by the pages and pages and pages of wildly intricate and decorated Bullet Journals. As you’ll see from some of the pics I’m including in this post, people do all sorts of crazy things in their Bullet Journals.

There are some key elements that make a Bullet Journal a Bullet Journal, that lend themselves so intrinsically to all that a Bullet Journal is that without them it wouldn’t function nearly so well. We’re about to dive into Deep Bullet Journal Lingo.

  • an index
  • the future log
  • collections

The Index.

You’ll want to set aside the first 2-3 pages of your Bullet Journal for your index. Your index is your table of contents. Anything important that goes into the Bullet Journal gets logged in the index with it’s page number so that you can find it more efficiently in the future.

photo credit: thelazygeniuscollective.com

The Future Log.

The future log is usually put in the couple of pages that follow the index. Now, people have all sorts of varying ideas about what a future log is/should look like. Some say that it’s used for a year-at-a-glance, others say that if something is coming up, you just put it in the future log and that’s that (e.g. – “Hey, Mable. Lucy’s throwing her husband a birthday party on the 12th. Wanna come and bring a salad?” You would put something like this in your future log: June 12 – Lucy’s hubby bday party; bring salad).

So there’s this kind of future log:

photo credit: thelazygeniuscollective.com

And then there’s a more decorative of future log:

Image result for bullet journal future log

photo found somewhere in the depths of Pinterest

 

And there’s also this kind of future log:

Image result for bullet journal future log

photo credit: unknown

Since there are lots of ways to approach a future log, do a Google search for images and scroll through all the pictures until you come across a version that strikes your fancy.

Collections.

Collections make my heart happy. Collections are your lists of things. Books to read = a collection. Gratitude log = a collection. Weight tracker = a collection. Collections are one-two page lists of related things. (I keep all my collections in the back of my Bullet Journal so that they are easiest to get to.)

I have a collection of flash fiction ideas. I have a collection of all the birthdays of people I love. I have a collection of people who I want to endorse my novel when (if) it gets published.

When it comes to collections, the possibilities are quite nearly endless.

Here’s a collection of place this person/business has traveled to:

Image result for bullet journal collections

photo credit: unknown

Here’s collection of things a person is waiting to happen/receive:

Image result for bullet journal collections

pc: boho berry

This person got very elaborate with her collection for books to read:

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pc: unkown

The next three Bullet Journal terms are directly related to the planning aspect. We’ve got:

  • monthly spreads (aka: monthly logs)
  • weekly spreads
  • daily spreads (aka: daily logs)

Monthly spreads are usually at the beginning of each month in your Bullet Journal and usually include: monthly goals, monthly tasks, and a calendar of the month. Monthly spreads are perfect overviews for each month, basically mini-future logs.

Weekly spreads are at the beginning of each week. Here’s where you have your weekly tasks list and week-at-a-glance. You write up your to-dos and events for the week in the list and then plug them into specific days in the week-at-a-glance (this makes so much sense in my head, and so I hope it makes sense to you guys too).

Daily spreads are where you plan your day and record anything eventful. You can simply go with a to-do and event list, or you can plug all the stuff for your day into a schedule. The Bullet Journal is completely customizable, so just go with whatever works best for you.

Here’s an example of a very involved daily spread:

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photo credit: unknown

Here’s a less specific but very decorated daily spread:

Image result for bullet journal daily spread

photo found in the depths of Pinterest

~ Part Four: Further Reading ~

Okay, here is where I give you alllllllll the helpful articles and videos that have helped me as I navigated The Way of the Bullet Journal. I’ve only scratched the surface, really, but instead of regaling you with a whole series of my own posts that don’t exactly make much sense, I’ve decided just to send you out to the best places to get more information.

Places to search #bulletjournal for visual inspiration:

  • Youtube
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram

Specific links:

Check out Boho Berry’s series she did on Bullet Journaling. Her posts are full of very visually appealing photos that are well-suited for those who want to add art and doodles to their Bullet Journals.

Here’s a video from Ryder Carrol (the creator of Bullet Journaling) that captures the keys of Bullet Journaling.

This is an excellent post on Bullet Journaling that goes into signifiers, migration, and threading.

Another good one for the artsy people out there is this post from Bullet Journal Inspiration.

~ Conclusion ~

If this post did nothing else, I hope that it provided some good places for you to go to get more info on Bullet Journaling. It can be very overwhelming, and so I hope this post broke it down into a few more manageable bites.

Will you be starting a Bullet Journal? Tell me honestly: was this post helpful or just confusing? Will you put art into your Bullet Journal? Should I give you a tour of my Bullet Journal at some point in the near future?

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – a shout-out to my parents who have been married 30 years today!!!!

Some Truth About Trials

Life isn’t all flowers and sunshine and laughter; there are tornadoes and riptides and tears. That’s just the way it is because we live in a fallen world, and that’s the way it will be until Jesus comes back and sets everything right. Until then, though, we all come to face trials and hard times and seasons of life that knock us down and kick us around in the mud.

Today I want to talk a little about those times.

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Some things need to be clear from the outset:

1. Trials will come; there is no getting around them. They are inevitable.

2. Trials come in all shapes and sizes–a lost friendship, death of a loved one, financial crisis, divorce, destroyed dreams, etc.. And then sometimes everything goes to pot at once and something’s falling apart on every side.

3. Trials are not necessarily punishment for sin. True, some trials are the natural consequences of sin, but some trials just come.

4. Trials are from God, and in light of His sovereignty, each heartbreak has a purpose.

The purpose of trials.

Simply and ineloquently put, trials suck. To be in the midst of a trial is to be in the midst of a storm; to be in pain physically, emotionally, or spiritually or all three at once; to suffer. It’s so easy to ask how it’s possibly good, to want to know what purpose it serves, to wonder why God would put you, your friends, your family through this.

The answer is (basically) this: trials test our faith and devotion and draw us into deeper intimacy and reliance on God. (Perhaps that’s an oversimplification, but it’s what I’ve got, kids).

Through trials, we are brought to the very end of our strength, and the end of our strength is where we usually begin to seek God for His.

Through trials, our love for God is tested–will we turn on God because of the pain, or will we fall into God because of the pain?

Through trials, we usually begin to seek answers to difficult questions about God and suffering, and in doing so, we can learn more of who God is.

Through trials, we are sanctified, made more like Christ.

Here’s the thing: the attitude we carry through the trial decides how we will make it out of the trial.

If we only ever view suffering as something we have to endure, something we have to survive, that’s all we’ll ever do. We’ll endure it, we might survive it, and we’ll definitely be scarred by it, but we won’t ever be more because of it. If anything, we’ll be made less by it. All the hurt will still be there, and after a little while, it will become bitterness and weariness because we made it through the fire by the skin of our teeth and nothing more.

But if we view our suffering with the mindset and belief that God is completely (and by completely, I mean completely) sovereign, and that everything (and by everything, I mean everything) He does has purpose, and that He is more (and by more, I mean far more) than enough for us, we will flourish.

When we are seeking God, when we are desperate for Him, when we cry out to Him, when we are broken and worn, when we trust Him and love Him and want Him, He is gracious to lavish His Spirit upon us. And when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with peace, which isn’t the absence of strife and pain but calm in the midst of it. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are filled with joy, which isn’t only an emotion to be tossed about in our stormy hearts but also a choice we have to make.

God uses trials to 1) foster deep intimacy with us and 2) grow us.

And, yes, it’s hard to be excited about these things when we’re in the trial. It’s hard to be sobbing until your throat hurts and still think, “Oh, I can’t wait to see how God is growing me through this.” I get that because I’ve been there, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Sometimes we can get a glimpse of what God’s doing when we’re in the midst of suffering, but so often it takes time and hindsight and maybe even waiting until heaven to see where God worked.

The point is, God is working, and He’s working it all together for good. The thing is that our idea of good is often different from what’s actually good. We have to remember that God doesn’t think like we do, that He sees everything while all we see is the right now, and we can’t even see that with much clarity.

So please don’t go through your trial just trying to keep your head above water; trust God with that. Go through your trial with your eyes and heart open to the Holy Spirit and what He can accomplish in you.

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – this post goes out to all my beloved ones who are in the tempest.

P.P.S. – continued reading can be done where I first found this truth: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, Romans 5:2-4, James 1:2-4, James 1:12, 1 Peter 4:12-13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and Isaiah 55:9.

I just really love my bullet journal and think that everyone should have one [a novel by me]

There was A Time when my days were passed in Chaotic Disarray. I darted around life as a mess, perpetually nine minutes late. I was as organized as a rabbit on caffeine (translation: not very organized at all). Those were the Dark Days.

But then I was trained in The Way of The Bullet Journal.

The Story of How I Was Trained in The Way of The Bullet Journal:

*my friend Amanda and I were discussing our goals for 2017 over grilled cheese*

Amanda: “And so I put it in my Bullet Journal so that I’d remember to do it everyday.”

Me: *chokes on drink* “You have a Bullet Journal?? I have heard of this thing, but what is it?”

Amanda: “I will show you.”

*I was converted to The Way of the Bullet Journal that very hour.*

I love my Bullet Journal (in case any of us had any doubt). This post is an attempt to tell you why and somehow convince you that you should keep a bullet journal of your own.

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I’m actually getting things done.

I set goals and make to do lists and plan my week and my day and I’m actually getting things done. So many times Before I learned The Way of the Bullet Journal (and, no, I won’t stop capitalizing that) someone could ask me what I did in the morning before work or what I got done on my day off and my reply would be: “Oh, you know, things. Some things happened, a lot of different things in fact, so many things for sure, you know.”

Was I all that productive Before my Bullet Journal?

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Now, I didn’t squander days away (for the most part) Before my Bullet Journal, but I didn’t make the best use of my time. But now that I have my Bullet Journal, things are getting done (novels are getting finished, blog posts are more consistent, etc..).

I’m less stressed about the things I have to do.

My Bullet Journal has helped me lay out goals, come up with plans, and realistically *collective gasp* approach my tasks lists.  Yes, I still get stressed because I’m still no expert on handling stress, BUT my Bullet Journal has lowered my stress levels because I feel like I’m actually aware of all the things that I have to do whereas Before my Bullet Journal, I was a bundle of confusion, stress, and chaos.

Speaking of confusion…

I’m not as forgetful.

I always have seventeen tabs open in my brain, and then there always used to be four tabs that I accidentally closed and then forgot about resulting all manner of awful moments of remembrance such as:

“Hey, Rosalie, have you sent that email to so-and-so yet?”

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“Rosalie, you took pictures of that, right?”

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“Have you called that place yet, Rosalie?”

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“Rosalie, did you give that calendar to Mr. Such-and-such?”

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Note: while this does still happen, it’s only about once a week these days instead of four times a day, and I’ve discovered a wonderful thing called Diversion.

“Have you done the research on that thing yet, Rosalie?”

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So now when I’m faced with questions such as: “Rosalie, have you….?”, “Rosalie, can you…?”, or “You need to…”, I can say:

“It’s going in my Bullet Journal.”

“Let me add that to my Bullet Journal.”

“It’s already in my Bullet Journal.”

“That’s a box in my Bullet Journal that’s already been filled in.”

Speaking of Bullet Journal boxes….

Filling in little check boxes is enormously rewarding.

Once I finish something that I put in my Bullet Journal, I get to fill in the little blank box next to it. It’s like checking something off a list, but so much better somehow. I think coloring in the little boxes releases endorphins (happy hormones) in my brain, and leaving boxes unfilled (aka: tasks unfinished) breeds cortisol (that’s a stress hormone) in my brain. No joke.

Getting stuff done is great, but being able to fill in the boxes next to that stuff in my Bullet Journal is even better.

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I have structure and flexibility.

“That’s impossible!” you may cry.

Well…

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It’s possible with my Bullet Journal. A Bullet Journal is the very definition of customizable on a day to day basis, and yet it provides structure for each day.

Before and After.

My life Before I learned The Way of the Bullet Journal:

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My life After I learned The Way of the Bullet Journal:

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Moral of the Story.

There are a so many more reasons why I love my Bullet Journal, but suffice it to say that I do not regret my Bullet Journal and I think that you all should go out and buy a notebook to be your Bullet Journal because Bullet Journal = literally the best thing since sliced bread.

Now, since I didn’t care to take the time to explain anything (psh, that would have made too much sense) about keeping a Bullet Journal or what it looks like or why check boxes are even involved and need to be filled in or how exactly it’s completely customizable and did not even mention the role Pinterest plays in Bullet Journaling, go Google it and prepare for your mind to be blown.

Let’s chat it up.

Have you heard of Bullet Journals before? Do you have one? Do you think you’ll start one (the correct answer is “yes”)? Why do you love your Bullet Journal?

With love,

Rosalie <3

P.S. – a special shout-out to Amanda for taking the time to show me her Bullet Journal and inspiring to start my own (as well as inspiring me in so many other ways).
P.P.S. – I still don’t get everything done, and I definitely don’t get it all done in a timely fashion, but most of it happens eventually, which is far better than some of it happening at some point which is how things went down before my Bullet Journal. #fulldisclosure

20 Ways to Fill Your Empty Notebooks

Raise your hand if you have more than five empty notebooks languishing somewhere in your house.

Okay, now keep your hand up if you have 10 empty notebooks. 15?? 20? 25??? 5000??

You can put your hands down now (full disclosure, I never saw if your hands were up or down for obvious reasons).

Any decent person has at least 3 empty notebooks in their custody at any given time. For those of you who don’t have 3 empty notebooks, well, we still love you (for the most part…. most of the time).

Ahem. This post is for the decent people who find themselves with an abundance of empty notebooks.

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  1. Bullet Journal (aka: The Ultimate Journal).

This is an amazing journal to keep because you can use it in so many ways. A bullet journal can be your day planner, your calendar, your money tracker, your book tracker, and where you keep track of your favorite names (wait, you don’t compulsively collect the names you like???) all in one. That is why this is The Ultimate Journal. It can hold as much or as little as you want.

  1. Devotions Journal.

The devotions journal is another essential. This is where you can write down all your notes from your quiet time 1) to help process what you’re learning 2) to write down tangible application (aka: action you will take in light of your time in devotions) and 3) to revisit them later.

  1. Favorite Quotes Journal.

Quotes are easy to like but difficult to keep track of if you don’t have a central place to keep them. Hence the favorite quotes journal. Find a quote you like, flip to a fresh page in this journal, and jot it down.

  1. Thanksgiving Journal.

Cultivating a thankful heart goes a long way when it comes to discontentment, anxiety, and even depression, and one way to work towards being more intentionally grateful is to keep a journal filled with things you’re thankful for. Try to come up with a couple new things to put in this journal every morning, and it will slowly change your attitude.

  1. Morning Pages.

Morning pages are supposed to be done right after you wake up in the morning. You tumble out of bed, grab a pen, and start scrawling. You’re supposed to write anything and everything that comes into your mind in an attempt to help you have greater focus throughout the day. Once you’ve scratched out three pages of stream-of-conscious thought, you set the pen down and begin your day. Personally, morning pages aren’t all that helpful for me, but they help Abbiee a lot, and so you should think about trying them out for a week.

  1. Reading Journal.

When reading a book (especially nonfiction), it can be very helpful to journal as you go to help process all the information that you’re taking in, and a journal dedicated to such a practice is perfect.

  1. Food Diary.

This one’s good for people who like to be fit. If you bite it, you write it.

  1. Writing Exercise Notebook.

No, not exercise like crunches or anything like that (I just wanted to clarify for those of us who are triggered by exercise). The writing exercises I’m talking about are free writing, answering a prompt, trying to rework a sentence, or any other writing related task given from a writing workbook/book on the craft. Instead of loose leaf pages floating around and piling up in awkward places, consolidate all your writing exercises to a single notebook.

  1. Language Journal.

This is for those of us who are learning a foreign language. If you don’t already keep a language journal, I don’t know how you survive. For me, keeping a language journal while taking Spanish helped me keep track of new rules, write down vocab to make into flashcards for later, conjugate verbs, etc.. So if you’re learning a new language, consider starting a language journal.

  1. Discipleship Journal.

A discipleship journal is a tracker of sorts for people who are discipling other people. After the disciple-maker meets with the disciple, say for lunch, the disciple-maker jots down a few things: thoughts on the meeting in general, specific things to pray for the disciple, good questions to ask the disciple at the next casual meeting, and so on and so forth. If you’re serious about discipleship, you may want to think about starting a discipleship journal.

  1. Blog Log.

Okay, this is not a log really, but “Blog Log” sounds better than “Blog Journal” or “Blog Notebook” (guys, how it sounds is half the importance of the whole idea). Everything blog related goes in this notebook: long hand drafts of posts, ideas for future posts, schedule for posts, etc.. Of course, because I’m obsessed only mildly with this blog, I’ve had a blog log for quite some time.

  1. Mindmapping.

Mind maps. I’m not sure if it’s one word or two, and they’re tricky things that I have yet to master BUT I’VE READ THAT THEY’RE SO HELPFUL. So go look them up and think about using one of your notebooks for mindmapping. (This point = perfect precision.)

  1. Poetry Journal.

If you have poetry skills–and maybe even if you don’t–put them to use in this journal.

  1. Doodle Practice Notebook.

So you doodle professionally (be honest, it’s most likely for your bullet journal). Why not keep all your doodles (aka: bullet journal practice) in one place?

  1. Mutual Love Note.

This is such a cute one for married couples! You exchange love notes in a journal that you swap back and forth, and it makes what’s called a Mutual Love Note.

  1. Novel Notes.

Anything related to your novel goes in here: outline, character sketches, snippets of dialogue, etc.. If it pertains to your novel, it goes in here. This is helpful so that you aren’t digging around your desk for that scrap of napkin you wrote that piece of backstory on because it all goes in the novel notebook.

  1. Your Novel.

In the event that you are a slightly insane yet very swanky almost-human (aka: an author), you can choose to write your novel out by hand. With a pen. In a notebook. By hand. With a pen. By hand. Your whole novel. With a pen. In a notebook. By hand. I may be repeating things because I’m in awe of people who do this; namely you, Nadine Brandes.

  1. Flash Fiction Journal.

Personally, I like to write out the first drafts of my flash fictions by hand. Keeping all these rough (very rough) draft flash fictions in a journal helps me know where to find them and somehow makes me feel like a genius (true story, kids, and it’s got nothing to do with the fact that my flash fiction journal is a blue notebook that has “Brilliant Ideas” emblazoned on the cover).

  1. Memory Journal.

I wasn’t sure what to call this one. It’s the very base idea of a journal, the most fundamental kind that has ever been kept–a diary, a vault for memories made of paper and ink. You track history and emotion and upheaval and the daily grind in this bad boy. It is, perhaps, the first kind of journal.

Well, I’m going to abruptly and awkwardly end this post now with a misshapen bookend.

What do you usually use notebooks for? Do you have any empty ones lying around? Do you think you’ll use any of the ideas listed above?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – the amazing Kara Swanson is still accepting applications to the launch team for The Girl Who Could See!!! Go sign up and spread the word with me!

P.P.S. – who here noticed that I skipped #19?

P.P.P.S. – who here now feels like the title of this post is a misleading lie in light of the previous post script? And don’t raise your hand because we already went over the whole hand-raising thing not working at the beginning of this post.

The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash

Today is the day that you will always remember as the day I officially announced The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash. Okay, so none of us are probably going to remember that, but I can always hope.

I’ve fallen hard for flash fiction in recent months, and in an attempt to spread the love and joy and oh-my-goodness-someone-hold-me and all that jazz, I have decided to host a flash fiction writing challenge. Details below.

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What is flash fiction?

Definitions vary depending on who you talk to (some even argue that there is no suitable definition). For the purpose of this challenge, a flash fiction is a story that is 1000 words or less. I suggest checking out this article and also this article for a more complete rundown on flash fiction.

A challenge, not a contest.

This isn’t a contest, guys; this is merely a challenge (also, I find using merely to modify challenge strangely ironic). There will be no voting or scoring or saying whose is best or whose is worst. There will be a giveaway (more on that later), but it won’t be based on “merit”.

This is only supposed to challenge you to write, to venture into a new story, and to exercise certain writing muscles that are typically neglected. Hopefully, this will inspire and motivate you as a writer.

How it works.

If you are up to the challenge, you can fill out this form.

Everyone who signs up will be sent a unique prompt (song or picture, depending on preference) to use as a springboard for the story. You will have three weeks to write your flash fiction.

Ideally, you will post your story on your blog, mention in the blog post that you’re participating in The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash, share your prompt in the post, send me the link, and then I will compile all the links to the stories into a wrap-up post here on Penprints (please let me know if that doesn’t make sense).

Note to those without blogs: please join in the challenge. Even if you are unable to post your story on your blog, you can still send it to me in Word or Google Doc form, and I can format it into a clickable PDF that will be included in the wrap-up post (again, please tell me if that doesn’t make sense).

The timetable.

Sign-ups will be open through May 10, 2017.

Prompts will be sent out by May 13, 2017.

Stories/links to stories are due back to me by 11:59 pm on June 3, 2017.

The giveaway winner and wrap-up post on Penprints will go live on June 5, 2017.

Reasons to participate.

Now, you may be asking (or you may not be, I really can’t know), “Why should I participate in this challenge? Why should I write a flash fiction at the behest of this strange person on the internet?”

I’m glad you asked. I’ve taken the time to compile some solid reasons why you should join me in this challenge.

1. Because I think flash fiction is amazing.

You know what, I could stop right here with that reason alone because it is. so. solid. But for the sake of the unconvinced few, I shall continue.

2. It will stretch you as a writer.

If you think writing a good story in 1000 words or less is easy, think again. Flash fiction has redefined hard for me as a writer, and writing it grows me so much.

3. It may help you out of a writing slump.

It is so rewarding to hold a completed work of your own fiction in your hands, but novel writing takes a long (long) long time. While still time-consuming (it typically takes me 30 minutes to eck out a rough draft and then another couple hours of editing), flash fiction is much quicker to finish than a novel, and I’ve found that it gets all my writerly gears humming happily along.

4. Oh, also, there’s a giveaway.

All those who send their stories/links to their stories to me will be entered into a giveaway.

The giveaway prizes are: a one year, print subscription to the Splickety Publishing Group magazine of the winner’s choice and a hard copy of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction (if the winner already has these, a comparable prize will be negotiated).

5. I want to read a story of yours!

No two people can tell the same story, and so I very much want to read how you tell a story.

Guidelines.

– Your story must be 1000 words or less.

– Anything with excessive violence or profanity will not be included in the wrap-up post.

– Any erotica will not be included in the wrap-up post.

– Your story must be sent to me by 11:59 pm on June 3 to be included in the wrap-up post.

– You must have fun. ;)

And that, kids, is The Penprints Flash Fiction Dash.

Please share this post with anyone you think might be interested in participating! Also, the hashtag to use is: #flashficdash.

In case you want to slap it on any social media or blog posts or anything, here are the various challenge buttons:

logo 5.png

the challenge circle on a transparent background

button 1

button 2

button 3

If anything is unclear, just let me know in the comments below so I can amend this post to make it as comprehensible as possible.

Guys, I’m jazzed.

Do you think you might participate? Have you written flash fiction before?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – did I mention that there’s a giveaway?

P.P.S. – also, did I mention that I’m jazzed?