Today’s suggestion for the 500 words challenge is to outline my main goal for taking it on and then explain how I hope to achieve this. These three questions should help me clarify things:
Why did I take it on? What do I want to achieve over the next 31 days? How will I go about it?
Hopefully, by the time I finish this post, we will have some answers to these three questions.. And yes, as you’ve guessed, I’m winging it here.
Why did I take on the challenge?
This question is easier to answer and I mentioned some of the factors in the Day 1 post. After Christmas, I had to deal with some writer’s block and this gave me a right old fright. Oh, the irony that I used to give out about too much stuff flying around my head. Now here I was in the deserted garden, not a bee, bird or butterfly in sight.
Slowly, stubborn being that I am, I began to claw my way back until eventually I was writing again. The whole experience chastened me and I knew that I never wanted to go through something like that again.
I found the 500 Words Challenge online and my intuition told me to go for it. Gut feelings are usually right and anyway, what do I have to lose? Maybe some sleep.
What do I want to Achieve?
Since I framed this post in terms of three questions, I’m going to think about my goals as three wishes…Three things I’d give to myself if I had a magic wand.
- Find my real self as a writer. A bit vague, I know, but I see this challenge as a journey of discovery. Who am I? What do I want to say? How much do I share?
- Begin a serious piece of work. Be it fiction or memoir, I need to decide. And then just go for it.
- Develop connections with other authors. Writing is obviously a solitary exercise, but I’m a very social person and value these type connections highly.
How will I go about Achieving my Goals?
The most important thing is to stick with the challenge. Get those 500 words down every day. No shirking behind Twitter feeds or mindless TV. Or even that old therapeutic favourite, ironing.
Experiment with what kind of writing/genre suits me most. So what if some or most of the writing falls flat on its’ face? I’m giving myself permission to write freely with minimal preparation or editing. Just for the joy of it. Embrace it.
Hopefully, a pattern will begin to emerge for me, something that will help steer me in the right direction. We all have a story to tell, it’s just how to go about it. Memoir or fiction? There’s more honesty in the first, more leeway in the second. The only way to find out is by practice and that’s what this challenge is all about.
Ireland. It’s what I know. That will be my theme. Literally just decided this, it’s amazing what focused pressure can do.
I’ve already got to meet/know some amazing people through writing connections, both personally and online. Their kindness and support are so important for all of us beginner writers. I’d have given up long ago without them. I hope someday to be able to do the same for others.
Day 2 of 500 Words Challenge by Jeff Goins.