Oh, hi there. I guess I disappeared off of the face of the planet to dig in and focus on writing. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been up to:
If you go to this link, you can check out this awesome challenge. #writechain is a challenge created by Faye Kirwin that has you pick a word count and stick to it every day in hopes of creating a writing habit. I challenged myself to write 200 words every day. Guess what? I failed. Ha! But before I failed, I made it to about twenty-four days straight of writing. I was both very proud and very disappointed.
Honestly? I gave up after that. I was a bit overwhelmed with some personal things and decided it was the wrong time to put that much pressure on myself. Despite that, I think that this challenge helped me tremendously. I connected with other writers doing the same challenge and continued to feel encouraged afterward. I love to see my Twitter friends post that they’re still going strong. I enjoyed it a great deal and you know what? I’m now on day forty-three of writing every day. I call that a win.
Instagram Book Challenge
In June, I specifically looked up any writing or book-related challenges I could find so that I could fill my Instagram with pictures and connect with more people there. I found a nice, simple book challenge that looked like fun. Yes, well, I failed miserably. I think I posted three or four pictures with days missing in-between. I have really warmed up to Instagram, but it’s becoming clear that I don’t have the knack for it that all of these other “bookstagrammers” do. I’ll leave it to them from now on, and continue to post sparsely and chaotically. It’s how I do.
You can find my pathetic little corner of Instagram here if you’re into that sort of thing.
For those of you who don’t know, CampNaNo is a challenge leading up to the big NaNoWriMo in November. I picked a 20,000 word count goal for the novel I’ve been writing since the beginning of March. Unlike the other two challenges I took on, this time I won.
I believe that a big reason I made it to my goal is because Camp is developed in a way that gives you accountability partners. I grew up writing with my best friend, and we would write stories almost every day, always harassing each other to update. Camp works in a similar way. There are “cabins” that you can either join randomly or create privately. I shared a cabin with some people I know (Vicki, Amy, Kathy, Michelle, and Sarah) and some people that were complete strangers. In the past, despite always having one person to come to about writing, I was always a bit of a “loner writer.” Camp changed that.
I learned a lot from these people. Seeing everyone’s writing count go up created drive and pride instead of jealousy and resentment. We cheered each other on and helped each other when we were stuck. We shared in an experience that I had previously only seen at its surface value. I felt so empowered when I met my word count and I thought that I would be relieved and want a break–I did NOT! I am OBSESSED with NaNo now. I have fallen in love with this level of writing challenges. I wish NaNo was every month.
By the way, I did end up taking a break anyway. Turns out writing about paranormal stuff every day creates vivid nightmares. So, in the meantime, I’m writing some non-publishable embarrassments as well as stepping out of my comfort zone with poetry and short stories.
Have you participated in any writing challenges lately? What are you working on?