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  • Writer's pictureDenishea Young

The Hydra Challenge

I learned of the Hydra Challenge during the NaNoWriMo kick-off party this year; and let me just say, it is a lot of manic fun.

It consists of the participants trying to write 500 words in 5 minutes. So far I have not made it. But I have written a surprising amount. The max being over 200 words in one go. I have yet to meet anyone who has completed the challenge but the one consistency among its participants seems to be it's a lot of fun. Most importantly it is great at quieting the inner editor in your head. Simply put your inner editor just doesn’t have time to get its jabs in. Not if you are going to make the aforementioned time restriction and writing goal.

I am not sure as to why it’s called the Hydra Challenge as a Hydra is a multi-headed monster that as soon as you lop one off, two more grows.


Well actually I can see how that fits in the world of writing.

Okay then.

Doing the Hydra challenge reminded me of another writing resource that I used a lot during NaNo 2022. It was called,

It was great. It required the writer to write and keep writing at a steady pace or end up losing all their work. When I say lose it;

I mean lose it!

There is no saving it until you have reached the prescribed time limit. It also does a great job of shutting down the mental editor. Not allowing it much leeway in one’s brain. It’s either let the inner editor free or lose all of the words you’ve written thus far. In my case the editor generally loses except for a backspace here or there.

Another benefit to using this site is that the story becomes more real to me. Like I’m watching it as I type it and due to that things often end up going in many different directions that I had not consciously thought of before. In fact, just writing about it makes me want to use it again. I think I might do that. Only note to the wise.

Do Not Use it when you might be called away!

Nothing hurts more than having to lose an entire 10 minutes of work with only 5 more minutes to go because you are needed elsewhere and you can’t say no.

Now that you have a new writing game and a writing tool that you could use for NaNo try them and let me know how it all goes.

Good luck and remember it’s not over until it’s over!

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