Okay, I am biased about this subject, but out of good reasons. I currently run the March part of a continuously running Writing Challenge (writingchallenge.org), and I love it. But besides that it is the most fun I have had on Twitter for a while, there are real, tangible reasons, why I think, writing challenges, on social media platforms work well.
Here are 5 of them:
Accountability in a work environment, in which we are left to our own devices and flexible time management, can work wonders in productivity. People work better with deadlines, and clear set goals and these challenges provide such. Some challenges work with charts, others with chains, but however they decide to utilize the accountability of their participants, the results speak for themselves. More people write consistently when they made a commitment outside of themselves, to someone else, then when you are working without a clear deadline. Accountability challenges provide that for you.
Working together with peers gives participants an opportunity to give and receive encouragement. Sometimes all we need is a kind word from someone who has already written a book or is going through the same steps you are, to get unstuck and stick with the planned project.
3. Sound Board
There have been times, where being able to share an idea with the group, or asking a question about a plot or character, has brought new insights, because of the viewpoint and shared (mostly kind) opinions of fellow writers. This is a great, often overlooked aspect when participating in these challenges.
4. Lasting connections
Challenge participants are really nice people who love to connect with others who have similar interest. We all automatically have a common ground, on which to build lasting relationships on. What a nice way to find friends in an otherwise solitary profession.
5. Professional connection
Many participants work in related fields, such as publishing and editing, or web design. I have come across a few people who’s services I will be using, once my projects are to that stage of development where their services are of value. This is a wonderful way to find people you can work with, that you can trust. After all, you already know them.
If you are looking to join one of these continuous challenges, I recommend checking the three examples below. Again, I am biased about the first one, but the other challenges are great as well.
My 500 Words
Of course, there is the ever popular NaNoWriMo in November and the CampNaNoWriMo in April.