Day 30: What will you take away from this challenge?
This challenge has been a fantastic exercise in discipline. It’s helped me treat writing like a job: something I must show up for each day and see through, regardless of how energetic (lethargic), creative (stodgy), and enthusiastic (dead to the world) I am feeling.
Needless to say some entries turned out better than others, but in a world where deadlines and chip-away progress are very real and standard I come away with a sense of accomplishment at having simply completed them all. The progress and especially the unanticipated inspiration storms that result from butt-in-the-chair dedication are empowering, to say the least. If only I could apply the same tactics to writing my first book—incremental goals and regular deadlines, that is—I think it would go from dream to reality much faster.
One unexpected spoil I take from this challenge is an increased sense of writing community both online and off. I admit I often fall on the side of cynicism when it comes to social media, and yet—among all of the pontificating, photo-posting, status updates, and other time-suck frivolities—we get these rare gems like Writer’s Relief and WordPress actually, successfully used as platforms to facilitate exchange. Each day I enjoyed reading and relating with comments left by other writers in response to the facebook prompts put out by Writer’s Relief, and each day I was met by a flurry of likes and comments on WordPress after posting my extended responses. I really feel that, thanks to the challenge, I have been able to reach and connect with writers I might otherwise have never encountered.
Thirty days of consecutive posts have also, I should mention, done wonders for my readership 😀 They are modest milestones for my sapling blog, but since undertaking this 30 day challenge The Read Room has passed both 1,000 page views and 50 followers. Huzzah!
Oh, and did I mention I had fun??? I submit some of my favorite entries as evidence:
12 Reasons to Read Julie Israel. You’re Welcome. Here I get into one of my favorite writing forms—lists—and save polar bears as well as school children.
Good Idea, Bad Idea In which I play off the old Animaniacs’ game with a ridicu-list of Dos and Don’ts for facilitating productive writing.
Ghosts, Superhorses, and Sock Monsters The question for this prompt was “What did you write (when you first started writing)?”
Enter Peter McBunterbeans In this entry on my strongest genre (playful/humor) I include an excerpt from a recent short story. Check it out! 😀
Of Swords & Excuses In which I relate a humorous, but unfortunately very true, agenda of reasons for evading the hard work of sitting in the chair and making a start.
Revision, or: Hell & Hot Pockets Tell me you are not intrigued by this title. Um, it’s basically a ranting freewrite about all the things that go wrong in my revision “process”. Also know as Murphy’s Law.
Some of my less playful, but more informative entries:
Stealing Inspiration (#lifehacks) Why every artist should steal.
Fables & Folklore In which I babble excitedly about fables, folklore, and fairy tales as well as why, even as adults, we should read them. P.S. Magical Realism! Woooo!
The Myth of the Muse This post is on inspiration, imagination, and how to brainstorm and generally be a genius.
Of course I welcome reader feedback, too. For those of you who followed, joined, or simply stumbled helpless and unsuspectingly onto one of my 30-day posts, please feel free to enter questions, comments, and interpretive dance moves.