FFxiv 30 Day
Writing Challenge

September 1st - 30th, 2020
#FFxivWrite2020 #FFxivWrite

Welcome to year 4 of our annual FFxiv 30 Day Writing Challenge, folks! Run by Moen Moen, better known as sea-wolf-coast-to-coast on tumblr and MoenMoenFFxiv on twitter.

First and foremost, the purpose of this challenge is to break the power of perfectionism over your personal creative process. Some folks frown on the 24-hour submission deadline but I think that it’s a critical part in getting people to just go ahead and submit something, even if it’s not perfect, and in doing so perfectionism begins to lose its power day by day.

If you’re someone who rarely creates because the fear of it not being perfect keeps you from starting or finishing, then this challenge is designed for YOU!


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

Rules

RULE #1
You cannot submit things that you’ve already written – Even if the topic is the same. All entries must be new and freshly written for this challenge.

RULE #2
It doesn't have to be perfect – Relax! Use this as a low-pressure opportunity to loosen up and de-rust your writing chops. No one will be judging your work for quality or length. The purpose is to get into the habit of writing daily. Don’t overthink it, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s all for fun! You can always go back and polish up your favorite entries when the challenge has ended.

RULE #3
Absolutely no griefing, harassing, or trolling other writers – This will earn you an automatic disqualification from the event.

RULE #4
Tag NSFW content with #NSFW and put it below a cut (if available) – Similarly, if your entry contains graphic or violent content that may be triggering to others, please include a brief trigger warning at the top of your post. Be considerate of your readers.


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

How to Participate

1. Visit sea-wolf-coast-to-coast on tumblr once a day at 12:00pm (noon) PDT for the prompt of the day. All prompts will be one word or a brief phrase that you can interpret however you please.

2. You have 24 hours to write something for that prompt. Each prompt deadline ends at 12:00pm (noon) PDT the day after it was first posted. But, late entries are accepted! They simply won't count toward the participation prizes - unless submitted on a makeup day.

3. There are no length or skill requirements (short & sweet is fine!).

4. Use the hashtags #FFxivWrite2020 and #FFxivWrite

5. Submit the link to your entry post here: https://forms.gle/2x9GYu73YTVbPAeR8

Unlike previous years, entries will be accepted from any and all online writing platforms - not just tumblr. Submitting a link to your post each day ensures that I can find it and count it toward the final participation numbers at the end of the challenge. Please submit a link for each individual entry that you write each day, even if you don't want it to be counted toward the participation prize (the form will give you the option to opt-out of prizes if you want). Knowing that every entry has been counted and that I can find them all is important to me. It makes me happy! :)


About the Deadlines

You can join any time, late entries are welcome! They simply won’t count toward participation prizes - unless submitted on a makeup day.

There will be no 24-hour deadlines for the first week, September 1st - 7th.

The 24-hour deadline is in effect from September 8th - 30th.

Makeup/extra credit days every Sunday - good for 1 entry.

Every entry posted within its 24-hour deadline will count toward a participation prize raffle at the end.


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

About Prizes

In early October, I will total up the number of all entries made within their 24-hour deadline and on makeup/extra credit days and draw winning numbers for a black & white portrait of their character drawn by one of our volunteer artists.

The number of available prizes depends on how many artists volunteer.

While we do have prizes, remember that getting a prize is not the ultimate purpose of this challenge. It’s a chance for you to beat the snot out of perfectionism in your creative process by just DOING IT! :D


If you’re an artist and you would like to volunteer to do a simple black & white illustration as a participation prize at the end of this challenge, click on the "Volunteer..." button below and submit the volunteer form. I'll be accepting volunteers until October 1st-ish. You can absolutely still participate in the challenge as a writer, fully eligible for winning a participation prize yourself, while also volunteering as an artist.

More info on what volunteering entails can be found below in the "Prize Guidelines - For Artists" section below.


Prize Guidelines - For Artists

For the sake of keeping things relatively simple and maintaining the same look/feel amongst the art prizes from year to year, I have a set of guidelines that I ask all of our volunteer artists to adhere to regardless of skill level:

Example of a simple b&w art prize

Visual Guidelines

1. Final art should be a simple line art portrait of a single original character of the winner's choose with minimal shading. You can put more detail into it if you'd like but it's not required. Up to you!

2. Final art must be monotone. You can add one additional small pop (like eyes, or a small necklace, or a trickle of blood, etc.) of a single color to the piece if you would like, but be aware that I may ask you to reduce the amount of color if I feel like it's too much.

Additional Guidelines / Info

1. There are no skill requirements in order to volunteer as an artist. We get a good blend of skill levels and experience amongst the volunteers each year.

2. Winners will be assigned via a random raffle. Once selected, it'll be up to you to communicate with your winner to gather references. Please remember that this is not a commissioned piece, so you're not required to check in with your winner, take feedback, and make adjustments to the art. Doing something quick and simple from the provided references is just fine in this case.

3. If your winner would like more extensive work done to the piece then I encourage you to share your rates with them and followup with a more finished paid commission version after the initial black and white prize piece has been completed and posted. Your time and skills are valuable, and I encourage you to price it accordingly!

4. By volunteering, you're only expected to deliver one singular prize piece for this challenge. However, we do tend to have a couple of winners carried over from previous years whose artists were not able to complete the work for various reasons (it happens, no shame!). If you have a hankerin' to complete more than one piece, let me know and I'll assign you to one of the remaining winners still waiting for art.

5. You'll be added to our volunteer artist's discord for support from our fellow volunteer artists, easy communication with me, etc. We've got you!


Moen Moen is an Art Director

For some further context, I'm an Art Director IRL. It is my job to work with creatives every day, organize their work, give them direction, make sure that their work falls within the requirements, and to advocate for them. I was also raised by artists and have a very personal understanding of the value of time when it comes to producing art, and the importance of learning to advocate for yourself as a commissioned artist, asking for payment to go the extra mile instead of going there for free. At its heart, my suggestion to keep your prize piece on the more simple side ("simple" for you, whatever that looks like) is anchored in a desire to provide you with some opportunity to upsell your work a little bit if you want to - start with a nice black and white for free and offer the option to colorize it at your normal rates. That being said, you're welcome to put in as much time and detail into your final prize piece as you'd like.

As a volunteer for this challenge, I would love to be able to promote you by reblogging/retweeting your prize work, and by adding your info to the "Artists" page in the hope that it yields some future work for you.

Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

If you're thinking about volunteering to be one of this year's prize artists but want more info, head over to the "Prizes" page. I've outlined some guidelines for you there that will be helpful in deciding whether to volunteer.


Artists

Looking for your next commission?
Check out the work of our volunteer artists!

2020

60+ volunteers so far, and accepting more through October 1st-ish!

Artists will be announced in early October.

2019

2018

2017


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

Recap of Previous Years

When I decided to start a 30 day Writing Challenge for my FFxiv community, I expected maybe 50 entries? Never did I ever expect this thing to take off as it has. The numbers are wild, y'all, and thanks to Tumblr's idiosyncracies (shadow banning, hiding @ mentions, etc.), there are hundreds of more entries that never made it to my eyes, and therefore were not counted in the final numbers. :( But, submitting a link to your entries each time you finish writing one will ensure that I see your work and that it's counted.

The following numbers include entries submitted within the 24-hour deadlines, make-up entries, extra credit entries, and late entries.

  • 2017 - 2,451 total entries counted - Recap Posts

  • 2018 - 3,641 total entries counted - Recap Posts

  • 2019 - 6,543 total entries counted - Recap Post

  • 2020 - TBD

  • Total Participation Overall - 12,635 total entries counted

Prompt Participation by Year
Total Participation Year to Year
Prompt Participation by Year

In case you're curious - The dips seen in 2018 and 2019 were for make-up/extra credit days. There were no make-up/extra credit days in 2017, nor a set weekly day for make-up/extra credit entries in 2018. I've made adjustments based on your feedback each year, which is how Sunday became our regular make-up/extra credit day each week (starting in 2019). Most folks who are all caught up on entries choose to take the day off from writing on Sundays, and I don't blame 'em!

Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald

FAQ

Should I submit my link even if it's late?
Yes, please do! Submit a link to every entry that you write in response to the prompts, please!

Should I submit my entry link even if I don't care about winning a participation prize?
Yes, please do! I rely on folks submitting their entry links in order to generate accurate stats for the Challenge overall once it's completed. Putting together the stats brings me immense personal joy, so submitting your entry links will contribute to the warm fuzzy feelings that keep me running this challenge each year.

Do I have to start writing from prompt #1 and write them all in order? What if I want to skip some?
Nope! All participants are welcome to skip prompts that don't speak to them and only write for prompts that they have ideas for, if they want. And, if you're learning about this challenge late you can start with any prompt that you'd like. However, if your goal is to make the 24-hour deadlines for as many prompts as you can then I'd recommend starting with the most recent prompt rather than with prompt #1.

Can I submit multiple entries for the same prompt for my different characters?
Sure, go for it! Only the first entry that you submit per prompt will be counted toward participation prize eligibility (assuming it was submitted within the 24-hour window), but I would absolutely love to see all of the entries that you've written!

English is not my first language. Can I write in my own language or does it have to be in english?
Entries can be written in any language! In fact, if you're most comfortable writing in a different language then please do so.

What does "no rough drafts" mean?
Previously, rule #2 was worded as "no rough drafts, no re-dos." After a couple of questions about that rule I realized that the way that I worded it was a little confusing so I've since reworded it to what it is now: "It doesn't have to be perfect!" The intent behind this rule is to encourage you not to worry too much about putting your best work out there during the challenge. The purpose of this challenge is to break the power of perfectionism and/or fear in the writing process, and the usually involves just going ahead and writing something every day.

There are a lot of participants who treat what they write during the challenge as initial unpolished ideas - some even submit links to Google Docs that only I can see for now. When the challenge is over they go back to their favorite entries, re-write them or polish them up, then repost somewhere where they'd like others to see it. This is a great way to approach the challenge!

It used to be that if we saw a "Like" from you on tumblr that it meant that you had seen our entry and therefore it was counted. Should we still reach out to you if we don't see a "Like"?
Nope! There's no need to reach out to me if you don't see a "Like" from me on your entry anymore. The challenge has grown to a size where it's impossible for me to see everyone's entries via a hashtag search (especially considering how many accounts/entries tumblr hides from the tag search).

Instead, submitting a link to each of your entries via the Google Form is how you ensure that your entries are counted. If you see the "thank you" confirmation message after submitting your Google Form, then your entry has been counted.

Is there a way for me to check to see that my entry has been counted? Maybe in your spreadsheet?
Yes - coming soon! I'm currently working on creating a version of the master Google Form intake spreadsheet that I can share publicly that will allow y'all to search for your entries and confirm whether you submitted them or not. That should be ready during the second week of the 2020 Challenge, so stay tuned!

Those of you who check "yes" for the question "Would you like your entry to be omitted from the public spreadsheet?" will have your entries omitted from the public spreadsheet but I'll still be able to see them privately. Similarly, none of the contact information that you shared with me will be viewable to the public.


Buy me a Kofi
Banner art by Dr. Griswald