Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Stepping Out Challenge - Day 17 - Writing Challenge

Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

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Today I am going to be talking about a Writing Challenge that I gave myself.

Try something new for 30 days - Writing Challenge

I believe if you want to try something new to see if you really like it or to learn a new skill you can’t just do it once or twice and really know if it is for you but you have to give it a real go step outside your comfort zone and put effort into it, then you can look back and make better informed decisions.

We usually want to make changes at the New Year, feeling that we get a chance to do things over. We make promises of change and determination – it is going to be different this time we tell ourselves and for the first few days we are giddy with the excitement of change. How many resolutions have you made in the past that you actually kept? How many things fell by the wayside?

One year I signed up for a 2 year gym membership – signed the dotted line, and for what ever reason, didn’t look back – I mean literally, I went 4 times and then had to experience a very expensive non-commitment, I don't know what I was thinking as the direct debits came out of my bank account – I could have gone on several holidays!

That was me at the time, I was good at making resolutions, I would make 5 grand resolutions and at the very far side of the back of my mind I knew I wouldn’t keep them, only to feel bad about myself for giving up on myself. I would then go through the rest of the year with the ‘Self-Critic’ saying ‘see, I knew you couldn’t do it’ and laughing it off in the ‘critic corner’ - some of you know the one down Despondent Street at the junction of Loathsome Lane and Apathy Avenue. 

One year I heard about the writing challenge the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that happens every year from the 1st to the 30th November.  You end up write a book in the month of November. I began to wonder what I could produce by writing every day. At that period in my life I wasn’t necessarily eager to write a book, I wasn’t sure what I would even say. I decided to come to a compromise, I would write, yes, but I would tailor the challenge to fit my needs and meet me where I was while allowing me to push past the minimum requirement. I reckoned that if I was able to do more it would be a bonus. 

I set about ‘thinking about writing’ I would commit to writing 100 words each day. The Self Critic came on board in the corner and started ridiculing me for ‘only’ writing 100 words each day, but I told her I wasn’t a writer or trying to be one, I would just see where it led to, and then I stalled. The November came and went and I still thought about it doing the writing challenge and as I got to the end of November I wondered if just starting would be the right thing for me. 

I wasn’t looking to produce anything fancy in the end like a 50,000 word manuscript. I wanted to write, with no other constraints, just to get the practice in. I didn’t want to make it like my Journal that I do every day but I wanted to have a loose theme and see if I could discipline myself to do something that wasn’t a habit for me. 

Art Journal - Amanda Trought

Whilst I was willing to step out of my comfort zone, be flexible and try and enjoy the journey and I began to understand that there were a few things that needed to put in place to make it a productive time. I wanted to have something start me off something to guide me, and not just have the blank page taunting me, this was quite daunting and I thought that if I felt this way before the challenge then how was it going to be for the next 31 days - it was going to be a rough ride.

As I say, the first few days would have been quite hard, the novelty of doing a writing challenge, and thinking about writing anything other than a journal had worn off, but I managed to come up with an idea that worked for me
Check back tomorrow to see how I overcame the initial block stage

How do you push yourself past your point of comfort and what are the things that you have learnt about your journey?

Tomorrow I will share the second part from my Writing Challenge.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.  Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

Stay blessed and be a blessing.

Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:

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