For the past year I have been doing a little self challenge on Facebook. It's the 365 Photo Challenge. Every day for a year you take a picture of something from your day. I took the idea from a Facebook friend who took it from a Facebook friend and some of my Facebook friends have taken the idea from me and run with it as well. I only have 8 more photos to take and I will have made it my year. It's been fun and it has been a challenge at times. Remembering the camera, remembering to take a picture, deciding what to take pictures of, trying not to judge if an event is "worthy" of a picture, balancing the number of pictures of the cat with the boy so the boy doesn't complain...yeah, there were challenges!
But now I am nearing the end and I am trying to decide what my next challenge will be. I keep coming back to writing. I did a little mini challenge of blogging everyday for a month last year and I got through that one. Could I blog every day for a year? Probably not. Could I blog once a week for a year? Probably but is it really a challenge? Shouldn't challenges make you stretch a little? I like taking pictures but I am a little multi-focused at times so committing to actually getting a shot of the day every day was the challenge for me. What could I challenge myself with in regards to my writing?
I thought about it for a few weeks (yes, the next challenge has been on my mind for awhile) and I ran the idea past Brent and C last weekend to see what they thought and I think I have come up with my new challenge. Ready? I want to be a published author by my 43 birthday. Ta da! Challenge! The rules are simple, it can be anything, short story, magazine article, web article, book, poem...anything. As long as it's someone else publishing it and I get paid. The paid part is the challenge. I could submit a ton of writing to different sites and hope they pick up an article, but to get paid for my work...now that is something to stretch for!
So what that means for you is a lot more writing of mine to read. I need to write more and more often to make sure I am writing something I can try to get published. Ride a bike around the block before deciding to take a spin up to Mt. Hood! A friend of mine is trying to get her book published right now and is writing about the process she went through in writing it. One of the things that struck me was she starts the same way I do. She "writes" in her head. Works the whole scene out, the dialog, the setting everything, and does this over and over before she puts it on paper. I do the same thing. I cannot tell you the number of blogs and stories I have "written". But I have a problem with that next step of taking it from my head to the page. So the first challenge for me will be actually WRITING!
So watch this space for a flurry of activity. I will be finishing up some loose ends, things I have said I would write about (and I have...in my head!)and new things. And I will write about what I am doing towards being published. The first step I took? Updating my wishlist on Amazon with a ton of "How to Get Published" books! It's a start right?
Here's to challenges both big and small!