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Writing 101, Day Twenty: The Things We Treasure

For our final assignment, tell the tale of your most-prized possession. If you’re up for a twist, go long — experiment with longform and push yourself to write more than usual.

Tell us the story of your most-prized possession.

It’s the final day of the challenge already?! Let’s make sure we end it with a bang — or, in our case, with some furious collective tapping on our keyboards. For this final assignment, lead us through the history of an object that bears a special meaning to you.

A family heirloom, a flea market find, a childhood memento — all are fair game. What matters is that, through your writing, you breathe life into that object, moving your readers enough to understand its value.

Today’s twist: We extolled the virtues of brevity back on day five, but now, let’s jump to the other side of the spectrum and turn to longform writing. Let’s celebrate the drawn-out, slowly cooked, wide-shot narrative.

How long is long? That’s entirely up to you to decide. You can go with a set number — 750, 1000, or 2000 words, or more (or less!). Alternatively, you could choose your longest post thus far in the challenge, and raise the bar by, say, 300 words, 20 percent, three paragraphs — whatever works for you.

Of course, we won’t just throw this assignment at you and run away. First, to give you time to mull things over, your assignment will be due on Monday, June 30. This will give you time to brainstorm, write notes if you’d like, and read other longer pieces for inspiration. For example, you could visit the Longreads topic page in the WordPress.com Reader, or dive into one of the excellent picks on Longreads.com.

If you’re interested in tips on formatting longer posts on your blog, we have all the info you need. More writing inspiration? Check out this great collection of pieces on writing longform prose by notable authors like Truman Capote, Guy Talese, and Katherine Boo.

Need a helping hand? Head to The Commons.

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    1. I’m not sure if once the deadline is met the assignments will automatically be pulled down. If that is in fact the case, grab a notebook and jot down each assignment, post them on your page and ask for any advice from your followers. You can do this!! I’m sure someone from writing 101 will give you a better answer… it was just a thought. I’ll follow you and be happy to offer advice when asked.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think they will keep them because Blogging 101 assignments are still posted but I dunno what the deadline meant. Hehe. I will be just so busy this weekend (and I’m always busy during weekdays, too). It’s just that I realized that I’m having a hard time doing the assignments because they are really challenging and I don’t want to skip or give up! So even though I already have some ideas on latest assignments, I have to post Day 12 first. Haha.

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      1. I agree with you, got reluctant since i was far behind… Still trying to work on my day 10 since i’ve been a bit busy these past few days but will see how far i can go by the weekend

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    2. If I remember correctly, I did day 3 on day 4, then just sauntered in today…and unwittingly did yesterday’s post today by pure chance. So you’re definitely not as bad as I’ve been.

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    3. There’s no deadline — the assignments will stay up as a resource for you to come back to as needed. Different people have different writing rhythms, so it would make little sense to impose a strict schedule on everyone.

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    1. It will take me some time to finish that story so, as soon as will have it ready, I will publish it as the longread series with #longread tag on it…

      ‘Mark, The Winemaker’ is the story of reconnection with a friend of mine that. We used to be the best mates in High School and… both of us left the homeland at the same time, roughly 15 years ago, to begin the journey of life…

      And after all those years, my other friend has found him in Monte Carlo, while waiting for the coffee at the bar… their meeting was purely accidental ;)

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  1. I am a newbie and had no idea that we had to complete all 20! :O

    I just thought we were supposed to write one a day! Day seventeen was my first one, as I had just created the blog! Do I have to write all other challenges too? From day 1 to 16? :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Relax. It’s cool. Just to do what you can or what you want.
      Might be fun to go back and read the others to see if anything tickles your brain and starts you writing – or just remember they are available in case you get stuck some time and can’t think of anything to write.
      No pressure – just fun

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sure! :)

        I was writing because it seemed fun, too! I was expecting for more of such challenges, lol.. Didn’t think it’ll stop at day 20!

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    2. There’s lots of “challenges” around WordPress – always new ones coming out. No doubt you’ll find just what you were looking for. Stay tuned.
      Welcome to the blogging world – and have fun! You’ll find it’s a great place to wander around

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  2. Thanks for all these great suggestions! Having written a fast blurb yesterday–which felt like the equivalent of sneezing Kool Aid on a blank canvas then signing my name to it–I am very glad to get a few more days for this assignment. (I’m also behind on assignments, but oh well; they continue to be stimulating and that’s the point). This project will be easy for me to choose the It, but difficult…ever so difficult… to capture the Why.

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  3. Because I just can’t bring myself to say goodbye …..

    Dear Writing 101,

    I know we’ve only been together for a few weeks, but it feels like it’s been so much longer. Over the past few days I’ve been getting the feeling that you were, for some unknown reason, wanting to put an end to our relationship. Maybe you feel like we’ve ran our course and there’s just nothing else for us to do, but I just wanted you to know I don’t feel the same way. Over the weeks we’ve spent together I really feel like we’ve created some good stuff. We’ve explored some random topics and learned new things about ourselves. Sure, there’s been others involved here and there along the way, but that can change. We can leave everyone else behind and just focus on each other, just you and me. So what do you say? Can we give this thing a shot or are we just going to call it quits.

    Love,

    Your biggest fan,

    Tyler

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hilarious! But don’t you dare try any of this “Just the two of us” crap. I NEED writing. I’m very needy. You will not be successful at your attempts to take it away. I will sweet talk the admins and leave you in the dust! Well, maybe not, but that’s only because I’m a nice person. I’d certainly SHARE though, unlike someone else trying to keep it all to himself…heh-hem. :)

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  4. Here’s mine. It is actually one of my shorter pieces, but, a prized possession, none the less.
    I never did well in school when the assignment included a “short” story. I was just telling my daughter the other day that I am not a Blogger, but a bLONGger. Every post seems to take on a life of it’s own. Would love your feedback :)

    http://sspsbsss.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/360/

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Writing 101 Day 20 – My Bitchin’ Ford Taurus – is here: http://www.buddycushmanart.com Please note that I am only being allowed to post through my wife’s wordpress account, no matter how many times I log off and back in, and I cannot figure it out. So my post may say Susan. If you want to respond to me, you need to go to my link above. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A lot of bloggers who wrote a long post use the “read more” option. I find it often annoying when the connection is slow/bad as one has to reload the part that was already loaded. Am I alone in this? What do you prefer – seeing short shots at several posts at a time and having to hit “read more” or the entire post and having to scroll thru for older ones? Maybe it is blog dependent. I am a fashion blogger and struggling with what is best. here my link in case you want to look what I mean http://www.highlatitudestyle.com

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  7. Today’s post was long for me, at 812 words.

    I’m hoping it’s inspirational for my fellow ladies! Would you mind taking a look and letting me know if you think it’s too wordy? Also, do the images detract or add to my point of view? I’m always unsure of how many to include. Thanks!

    http://wp.me/p4D2xN-8W

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  8. Even tho I didn’t actually keep up, and still have writing to do, I loved it too and don’t want it to end. Great getting up and wondering what I’ll find at 10 am. Even better, looking forward to so many bloggers’ writing. Sure hope there is a 102 !!

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