Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Advent Calendar for Writers

Did you ever do an Advent Calendar when you were little?  Every day you got a little morsel of chocolate.  Now that we're adults, we can eat chocolate whenever we want, so I don't see the appeal in the traditional Advent Calendar.  But, in the spirit of improving my writing, I thought I'd put together a fun December schedule of writing activities to put the Christmas spirit to work in my writing.  I am also working on brevity, so my word count may be a bit limiting intentionally.  I will be sharing my responses on this blog, and I encourage any writers out there to use this as they see fit, and share your responses as you wish. 
1 - Coming out of the Thanksgiving season, write a blog post about what you're thankful for.  If you've already done that, write a blog about what you're looking forward to (in the next week or in the coming month, keep it short-term).  Word count: 300 - 700.
2 - Write a Christmas letter (whether you send it or not is up to you) about what you've been up to this past year.  Word count: 350 - 650.
3 - Compose five tweets about your favorite parts of Christmas, with links to a graphic, video or song.  What gets you into the Christmas spirit?  What do you look forward to (eating/drinking/singing/watching/doing)?  Word count limited to 140 characters in each post.  
4 - Write a short essay on the best Christmas gift (1) you've received, (2) you've given, and (3) you'd like to give.  Word count: 450 - 1500.
5 - Write a short story about the holidays in some fictional world - on Mars, set in the future, or set in your favorite fictional world, etc.  Word count: 500 - 750.
6 - Write a parody to a beloved Christmas song or poem.  Word count: varies
7 - Write a blog post about what you're looking forward to in the following year.  Word count: 300 - 700.  
8 - Create a To Do list of the best Christmas traditions to partake in or to start.  Word count: 150 - 450.  
9 - Write a review of a product you've purchased or received in the last year that you absolutely love.  Who else would want one?  What makes it unique and life-changing?  Word count: 300 - 650.  
10 - Write a blog post about your favorite quote from a Christmas movie.  Include a clip if you can find one!  Word count: 300 - 700. 
11 - Write a short narrative about the worst (and/or most comical) Christmas disaster you've experienced or heard about.  Word count: 300 - 750.  
12 - Interview a friend, colleague or distant family member about their Christmas traditions and write a blog post about it.  Word count: 350 - 900.  
13 - Write an essay about the true meaning of Christmas.  Word count: 450 - 1500.  
14 - Use your stories from #5 or #11 to write a Seussical short rhyming story.  Word count: 75 - 400. 
15 - Write a short narrative about your favorite Christmas from your childhood.  What made it feel magical?  Did you believe?  Word count: 500 - 900.  
16 - Write a report to Santa that an Elf on the Shelf would write if he was watching you.  Have you been naughty or nice?  Word count: 300 - 650. 
17 - Write an essay describing what would be a perfect Christmas holiday for you.  Who would be there?  Where would you celebrate?  What would you do?  Word count: 450 - 1100.
18 - Write a blog about Christmas shopping, what you love, what you hate, what you might do differently next year.  Word count: 400 - 700. 
19 - Use your response in #15 to write a dystopian version of the story.  Word count: 500 - 1200. 
20 - Compose five tweets about the ironies of Christmas.  
                              - OR -  
      Write an essay about the logistics of Santa Claus, how the elves know what to make, how Santa delivers presents to all the kids in just one night, how Rudolph's nose shines bright enough to lead the way through fog without blinding Santa, etc.  
21 - Write an original poem about family, winter, holidays, traditions, love or peace.  Word count: varies.  
22 - Write a letter to someone who is no longer walking this Earth.  What would you want to tell him/her?  How would Christmas be different if he/she was still here?  Word count: varies. 
23 - Write a blog post about your favorite Christmas song or story, and the emotions it makes you feel.  Word count: 450 - 900. 
24 - Write a warm holiday greeting for social media, that rhymes to send to your friends and family.  Take a nice picture or choose one from earlier in the year to share with it.  Word count: 25 - 100.  
25 - Write a heart-felt thank you for all the memories you've made and gifts you've received. Word count: 35 - 75.  
                                                       - OR - 
      Write a short narrative about the fun you had celebrating Christmas this year, and what made it so special.  Word count: 400 - 750. 

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