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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW:

This is a group exercise. You'll be in a "flock" of writers all starting at the same time. Monday to Saturday you will get a writing prompt by email with a target time limit of 10 to 25 minutes. You have 24 hours to do your writing and send it in via a form on the web site. There's no prompt delivered on Sundays, but you may write your Saturday writing any time over the weekend.   

What if I write longer than the allotted time? 

That's fine. But think of this like exercise. Don't blow out all your muscles the first week. Oh, you might want to invest in a timer, or use the timer on your smartphone.

Are these in any sort of order? 

Yes. In general, expect that the time limits will grow a few minutes every few days and the prompts will get more open-ended over time. Feedback from previous groups has helped me put these order of what participants perceived as increasing difficulty.

What if I miss a day?

The goal is to write daily and to build that habit. But if you miss a day, you miss a day. This is a practice, not homework. That said, missing two or three means a loss of momentum. If you get sick or go on vacation or something intervenes, drop me a note or I may cut you from flock if I notice you’ve dropped off. 

Do I have to send my writing in through the web form? 

Yes. You do. Every day.

Do I have to write directly on the web site?

No. I recommend writing in your favorite word processing program or even an email then pasting your writing into the form to ensure that a crash doesn't delete your work.

Is anyone reading these? 

I am! Anything you choose to share on the blog can, technically, be read by anyone (welcome to the internet), but it is unindexed by Google and usually read just by other writers in the group or people you choose to share it with.

Are you keeping score? 

Group standings are posted online. A database that tracks who wrote on which day. It doesn’t count assignments completed; it counts days that you did some writing. If you fell behind and did three assignments on one day, that is still just one day of writing. The group standings are posted online. 

Do I have to post to the blog?

No. Each day you can indicate if you want to make that piece of writing available on the blog or not.

Will I get my work back?

Yes. Everything you submit you'll get back at the end of the 40 Days in a digital booklet.

Do I need to have a theme for my 40 days? 

No you do not. You can, but I can't assure it'll all pan out like you think.

What is this good for anyway? 

This exercise, especially at the beginning, is about building a particular kind of writing practice and figuring out how it can fit into daily life every day, at least for seven weeks. Beyond that, what you get out of it is sort of up to what you do with it.