5 Lessons From A Writing Challenge

Thank YouFor A Wonderful Month

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!

Grateful For A Busy Week – A Celebrate The Small Things Post

Avalon Media: Gratitude For A Busy Life

This week has been incredibly busy, and I am loving it! I want to share with you a few things that happened, and that are in the plans so you can follow me along, and not only do I get to express to you how grateful I am to have you as a reader, but maybe I can give you the inspiration to do what others have given me the inspiration to do. Follow my dream. Go for it. It’s incredibly busy but a lot of fun!

1. I am grateful for the fact that my book Mixing Spices: A Flavorful Guide To Creating Awesome Herb And Spice Mixes
is available for pre-order now! It will be released on April 2nd, and I am totally excited to present it to you.

2. I am also grateful that the month of running #MarWritingChallenge has been awesome. What a wonderful group of people those writers are, I am honored to be a part of them. Next month, one of our own Sara Whitford, who has just published her book, which is in the top 10 on Amazon called  The Smuggler’s Gambit (Adam Fletcher Series Book 1)(buy it now!)
I am so proud of her – will be taking over as the head cheerleader. The month of April will be time for a different set of challenge, which I will talk about in the next point.

3. I am excited and grateful to have a theme for the A to Z challenge, and guess what, at the end of the challenge (April 30th), I will be given away a pdf of the entire series to anyone who signs up for my email list. In honor of my books theme, I am writing a  Quick  A to Z Guide to Herbs And Spices. So if you want a copy end of April, leave me your email here or in the comment section below.

4. I am so very grateful for the following news: I have three more books that are almost done, waiting to be released! One is a Flash Fiction collection “Flashes of Light”, which is in the final editing phase, and two other Kindle books, that are in the same series as the book I mentioned above. One is about creating your own dog food ( I mentioned last week that I have special care dogs, and I cook for them, so I am sharing my recipes), and about making tea blends – I just love teas! Stay tuned for exact publishing dates!

Enough about myself, what was your week like? I hope you had a lot to celebrate!

Blessings!

Claudia

Wait! Don’t leave without subscribing! I want to be able to give you a copy of the Quick A to Z Guide To Herbs And Spices on April 30th!

>>>>>>>>>>>>Subscribe Here<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Thank you!

“Writing Challenges”: 5 Reasons Why You Should Join One

Writing Challenges

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:

1. Accountability
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.

2. Encouragement
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.

WritingChallenge.org
750 Words
My 500 Words

Of course, there is the ever popular NaNoWriMo in November and the CampNaNoWriMo in April.

Happy Writing!