Last Day of the Writing Challenge
I cannot believe it, I’ve managed to complete the Jeff Goins 500 Words 31 Day Writing Challenge. You might think that doesn’t rate highly in life achievements and I guess you would be right. Still, for me, it’s a celebration. So many times I tried stuff like this in the past but didn’t follow through.
I credit Jeff with making the challenge clear, interesting and achievable with effort. It was difficult at times. Maybe the theme was uncomfortable, like writing your own eulogy. Or called for thinking outside the box, like writing in someone else’s voice. But I always gave it my best shot and I’m happy about that. So, what did I learn?
I know this was a writing challenge, but it had knock-on effects on how I saw myself as a person.
Could I commit to doing something outside my comfort zone? Hit Publish on posts that I hadn’t time to edit, review, make perfect in my eyes. I learned that my idea of perfect was just that. An idea, not something based in fact. This has helped me in other areas of my life and I’ve learned to be happier with me, mistakes and all.
And what about perseverance? I’ve shocked myself by keeping going, even when I didn’t feel like it. I could have made loads of excuses, like the day I had to spend hours on a project for my creative writing class. I got home from the class at 11 30 pm and I had a choice. Pull the duvet over my day, or stick to the challenge. But something deep inside wouldn’t let me quit and I turned on the PC. It was tough, but worth it in the end.
One of the best things I learned was how many lovely, supportive people there are in the world. I treasure each and every one of you, you helped me get through this gruelling marathon, gave sustenance when I felt like giving up. You know who you are and I’ll never forget you.
Have I developed as a writer? I can only talk about the ways I think this writing challenge has helped me.
The idea of getting up early and journalling was never on my agenda. Anyone who knows me can testify that I’m very much a night owl. But Jeff’s advice is sound, there is a portal to the imagination reserved for larks and I’m glad I found it. Before distractions, before second-guessing, but maybe not before coffee. Sorry, Jeff.
It was great trying out different writing styles. The hardest for me was the “Pick a Fight” instruction because that’s not really me. But I did it, as best I could. My most enjoyable was probably my attempt at Drama writing in the Kilmeadon post. Maybe because it let me explore my politically incorrect side? Some posts were emotionally draining, like the letter to my 13-year-old self or the poem called Fairy Ribbons. But I learned a lot from those like we all do when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.
Do you know the best thing I found during the writing challenge? My voice. I never knew what that meant before, but I do now.
Thank you, Jeff.
Day 31 of My 500 Words 31 Day Challenge, hosted by Jeff Goins.
The photograph is my own, shot at Trim Balloon Festival