Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

31-Minute Challenge: A Family Affair? A Guest Post

Today I am pleased to share another guest post from Dori Stone, a writer and enthusiastic participant of this month’s 31-minute challenge. I have seen it for myself and should have warned you: writing can be a highly contagious activity! 🙂

When I started the 31-day 31-minute challenge, excitement and determination filled me.  I hoped to use it as a stepping stone to focus on my writing.  Who would have thought it would actually change my life?

I’m not a famous writer, just a person who enjoys writing.  So when Katia encouraged the challenge participants to write a guest post for her blog, I said, “Not me!”  But then, I took a breath and said. “Why not me?  What do I have to lose?” Quickly before I could chicken out, I wrote Katia and almost immediately, she accepted my offer to “submit something.”

What had I gotten myself into?

I didn’t stop to think about it, I just sat down and wrote from my heart and hit the send button. Again, almost instantly, Katia responded, “I’ll use your post in early January.”

A few days later, I couldn’t believe my eyes when my words and picture appeared online.

Something equally spectacular happened as a result of the challenge.  A couple of days before it started, Katia posted something like this: “We have 29 participants, wouldn’t it be fun if we could enlist two more people? Then, we’d have 31 writers, writing 31 minutes a day, for 31 days.”

Hmmm. I thought. My husband used to write…could I convince him to commit?

When I twisted his arm, he said, “What would I write?”

“Anything, anything at all,” I said.  Then I promised, “No pressure, just 31 minutes.” To seal the deal I served him prime rib on New Year’s Eve and promised to forget about signing him up at the gym.  And, poof, just like magic, he agreed to “try it.”

Now I can’t get him to stop! He’s up before dawn, writing. He forgets to eat, sleep and take out the trash.  He’ll sit for hours at a time with his laptop, lost in his own world spinning thoughts into story.

Yes, life is different now. Together we write, 31 minutes each and every day; most days much more than that.  To some, 31 minutes seems hardly worth doing but in our house it is life altering.

Thank you, Katia.  And good luck fellow challengers.

Dori and Jim Stone

I am so thrilled that your husband caught the writing bug, Dori! Look for his post next week, challenge participants!

So… we’re in the home stretch now, aren’t we? I know the month flew by for me, partly because of the Vermont College of Fine Arts residency, I’m sure. How about you? Just six days left! How has the writing been going? What have you been learning about yourselves, your process, your work?

Here are a few blog posts from others who have been participating:




January 25, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,


  1. Dori, What a great post. I’m glad you and your husband are working on the project together. It’s fun to have a partner in writing. It’s such solitary work. Keep it up!

    Comment by Jessica | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  2. I don’t think I could write with someone else right there. I can write in a crowded room, because no one knows what I’m doing. But I like to mutter to myself under my breath–not a good writing partner.

    Comment by Wendy Greenley | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  3. Ha-ha! I have written with my daughter working on her own picture books by my side and loved it. The energy in the room is just amazing.

    Comment by Katia Raina | January 25, 2013 | Reply

  4. Dori, it’s so cool that you and your husband are both writing! Although, I agree with Wendy — I have to be alone to write.

    Katia, I’m still plugging away at it, as much as two hours a day. I wrote 2K yesterday! What have I learned? That I need to write first thing after breakfast, and not get online at all, or it’s just too tempting to check my email or see what people are talking about on facebook. As long as I don’t click that icon, I’m good.

    Comment by Joanne Fritz | January 26, 2013 | Reply

    • Awesome, Joanne! I am so happy for you. Sounds like you’re getting tons done.

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 26, 2013 | Reply

  5. This is what I call a power couple. It’s awesome that the two of you are doing this challenge.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | January 28, 2013 | Reply

    • I know, right, Medeia? I love that too.

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 29, 2013 | Reply

  6. This is funny, amazing and wonderful. (unless you miss having the trash taken out)

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | January 31, 2013 | Reply

    • Ha! I haven’t actually thought of that, Joyce! (But I’m sure Dori and Jim have…) 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | January 31, 2013 | Reply

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