Writing A Story A Day: An Interview with Julie Duffy

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Writing

For the Master Class Series on Short Fiction, I knew right away who I needed to interview: Julie Duffy, the mastermind behind StoryADay. What is StoryADay?  It’s a month-long writing challenge where writers commit to writing–and finishing–one story every day for the month of May.  It’s also an awesome website, filled with daily prompts, forums and other goodies to help writers through the challenge.

And look!  It’s May 1st, the first day of the StoryADay challenge.  If you think you’re up for an intense and exhilarating writing challenge this month, head to the StoryADay website and sign-up.  But before you do that, here’s the video interview with Julie Duffy to tell you a little more about StoryADay.

In the interview, Julie tells us how the StoryADay challenge came about.  She also shares some stories about what it was like doing the challenge herself and techniques she used to find ideas for stories or to find time to write.  Just in case you don’t have time to watch the video right now, I pulled my three favorite tips that Julie shares in the interview.

1)  Don’t worry about running out of ideas.

You don’t have to hoard your ideas before the challenge, worried that you’ll “use them all up” and have none left for the month of May.

“One of the best things I got out of the challenge was to learn that creativity feeds creativity.”

          – Julie Duffy

2)  To do a challenge like this, you have to make writing a priority.

You may have to give some things up to do the challenge and you may have to make discriminating choices in how you use your free time.  But that’s OK.  After all, it’s only for a month.

“Two things I would say I learned are to write first and to write fast.”

          – Julie Duffy

3)  Ideas for stories are all around you.

Contrary to popular belief, hiding away in a cabin in the woods can actually be hazardous to your writing.  Going to work or taking the kids to school, while it may cut into writing time, also forces you to be out in the world and can help you spark ideas.

“As you’re walking around every day, write down three story sparks…  You will find yourself starting to see things like that all the time.  I just encourage people to write them down when they see them.”

          – Julie Duffy

What are you waiting for?  Head on over to the StoryADay site and join the challenge.  Just click the banner below and sign up.  Then let us know in the comments so we can cheer for you.  Write on!

  • Great interview, Gabi & Julie! Julie’s point about getting in the habit of noticing things every day that could become stories resonated with me. StoryADay sounds like a huge challenge – just the sort of thing to jar one out of a rut and up to a new level of productivity. Having a community going through these growing pains at the same time can make all the difference.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • I am so excited about StoryADay… Writing Challenges juice me up, more than perhaps any other sort of writing. I must be a goal junky or something. My first story is up… and I may edit it a bit later but for the most part, I am happy with it as is!

    Happy May Day! (and thanks for the interview… I’m following you on twitter now!)

  • Pingback: Julie Duffy on Finding Story Ideas - DIY MFA : DIY MFA()

Enjoyed this article?

Spread the word: