You can’t tell from looking at this blog, but I’ve been writing a lot lately.

First, for Encore Magazine. This month I’ve turned in three articles and am almost ready to submit a fourth. Plus, I just got a new monthly assignment because the writer who’s been doing the regular short arts features has too much on her plate. I’m suddenly feeling a little full myself.

I have also been taking an online class through It’s called Creative Nonfiction Boot Camp, and it’s meant to help me get in the habit of writing every day. We’re supposed to post 300 words a day each weekday in response to the instructor’s writing prompts — or on whatever we want. If I post something at least three days a week, I can send the instructor a longer piece to critique at the end of the week.

I’ve done better than I thought I would, but not as well as I’d hoped. I don’t know whether my Encore deadlines have made me more successful or less. I’ve felt pretty pressed for time, but as much as I hate to admit it, I tend to be more productive the more I have to do.

I spent hours on my posts for the first week of class, but I’ve found I can write a short piece in less than an hour, even sitting in the living room after dinner. Of course, these are just writing exercises, only seen by about 16 friendly strangers, so I have not been as perfectionist as usual.

That’s an attitude I need to work on. If I don’t get faster at writing and revising my article assignments, I’m going to be in trouble. It is satisfying to crank out a complete package that is exactly 300 words. Like I did just now.