Plunging into a new experience, such as participating and leading a challenge of any kind, comes with new tasks and lessons. As I reflect upon the fun moments I was honored to share with the accountability group from WritingChallenge.org, I wanted to share my closing reflections with you all. I have come across lessons that others and I have learned throughout these writing challenges, and wanted to share them with you.
Here we go:
1. Hard work pays off
Well, like most people, I already knew that and applied it (mostly), but watching people who have worked hard on their projects finish them, publish them, and some of them make it on the bestseller list reiterated that sentiment, and made it visible. Hard work does create results, even if at times it seems like there is no progress, eventually you will push through, and come out stronger at the other end.
2. Consistency is essential
Not only is it important to work hard, but to work hard every day, without allowing yourself to slack because of a bad day, as builds discipline and a continuous flow. Writing daily makes it easier to get back into the grove of your story and stay there, this is even more important if you are writing genre novels. Your connection with your story deepens, and you build a more stable and realistic relationship with your characters which translate upon the page and to your reader.
3. Do not compare yourself with others.
When logging word counts or tweeting about your results, it is important to not compare your progress with that of the other in the group. Everyone has different circumstances and different work environments, therefore the results will not be the same, no matter how much you wish you could log as many words as that other girl on the challenge. The only thing this type of comparison will get you is a feeling of guilt, which might even keep you from writing and participating.
4. Ask for help.
Groups like the writing challenge are there to assist you. Because we all come from different backgrounds, experience levels and years of writing, we all have different knowledge to contribute, which you might not expect. If you have questions about a particular subject related to writing, ask. Most likely someone is either in the same shoes that you are in or has the answer to your question. Either way, it is a win.
5. Celebrate progress
You worked hard, you deserve to pad yourself on the back. Really, this is an important step in the process because by celebrating yourself, you can see what you have already accomplished, and reflect on the lessons you have learned, which in turn motivates you to keep on going. You are writing a book, a process that has been compared to running a marathon. Keep in mind, many people are simply saying that they want to be writing a book. You are actually doing it. That alone is worth celebrating, don’t you think?
If you have never been a part of a writing challenge, I highly suggest that you start with the upcoming April Writing Challenge #AprWritingChallenge on Twitter. For more information, visit writingchallenge.org, where you can sign up, find out how to log your progress, and where you find the rest of us. We are here to cheer you on!