I completed the writing challenge with 20,000 words. Not bad for one month of writing. I was very proud of myself because I did a few thing I've never done with my writing.
I started a book from the beginning and worked toward the end. I plotted the whole book. I learned it’s hard to write every day, but if I have to, I can.
My lessons learned from this challenge:
You have to motivate yourself: Writing is a career you do by yourself, if you don't believe in your own writing, who will.
Team motivation is wonderful: I did this challenge with my writing group and they were amazing with their encouraging words for each other. Some days reading how they were coming along, encouraged me to continue on. It’s nice to have someone cheering you on.
Believe in yourself: Especially on the days when you think your writing sucks. I heard a quote from Dora the fish in Finding Nemo - Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.
I created my own - Just keep writing, just keep writing. Some days you wonder why you do all of this because no one will ever read your writing. You say those words to yourself, just keep writing, just keep writing. One day the writing will be worth it.
Write even when you don’t feel like it: This is hard when you're not a published author. I usually write when the muse hits. However that will change when I become a published writer. Writing on deadline is a term you hear a lot from published authors. You can't write when the muse hits. You have to write even when you don't feel like it. This month there were a few days I didn't feel like it. Sometimes I didn't write, which cost me in my daily word count. There were days when I didn't feel like it but I pushed on and wrote. I think some of those days were some of my best writing.
Read a good book to motivate you: I made the mistake of agreeing to this challenge, when I'd also agreed to judge some books. The good thing about the books I was reading, is they inspired me to write. I wanted to be able to tell a good story like the books I was reading.
Writing challenges aren't for everyone, but I do believe they are helpful for jumpstarting your writing. It helps you create goals and how to work toward them.
What did you learn from the writing challenges you participated in?