birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

What's your approach to daily writing?

I got this question from Lark CK:

Are we supposed to edit our writings before submitting them? Recently I did a 500 word write which we were not suppose to edit. Is this the same with our writes? 

It's entirely up to you. My only guidance here would be that you don't really count editing time as writing time, however. Don't write for six minutes and edit for six. Over the nine months I've been running 40 Days, I've seen any number of approaches. Some people just look at the prompt and start writing right away for the prescribed time. It's ready-set-go every day. I've had other people write in the morning, then polish and submit in the evening. I had a group get the prompts the night before so they could sleep on the idea.

Point is, the goal is daily writing. Whether you're getting a first draft or a lightly polished first draft is up to you.

As some of you may know, I'm a professional editor. (For the next few months I'll be editing op-ed articles for the Los Angeles Times.)  When I first conceptualized this program for myself, one of my goals was specifically to write without editing myself. I needed to turn off my self-editing switch and re-learn how to just plow ahead to the end. (Board? Read one of my first self-directed 40 Days writes from Lent 2016 here

So that's still my approach. But it need not be yours.

Other questions? Send 'em to me at

Onward and upward!

-- Robin




Happy Friday

No prompt on Sunday.