Finishing A Writing Challenge

Finishing a Writing Challenge

I am so grateful I stumbled across the write 31 days challenge when I did. I found the challenge in mid-September and it was the perfect encouragement I needed to start writing! It was also the encouragement I needed to keep writing. Finishing the things I’ve started has never been my top strength; it was helpful to have an outside commitment to help me succeed.

I wrote and/or published something on the topic of parenting every day in October. Better yet, I liked everything I wrote, and some of my essays I even loved. You can find them all here.

When I started the challenge I was afraid of a few things (isn’t fear always why we don’t start things?):

I was afraid I would run out of things to write about.

I love parenting and I love writing. Parenting felt like a natural fit for my writing topic. Still, days 1-7 flowed from the pen (err, keyboard) relatively easily and I wondered if I could sustain this. Did I really like writing about parenting enough to keep it going for over thirty days?

The answer–joyfully–was yes! I was usually writing ahead by at least a few days. Whenever I had spare moments I worked on editing or writing. And the best news of all, as the month drew to a close, I realized that I had MORE things to say! I currently have about 10 drafts of parenting-related posts waiting to be completed, and I’m excited to write them!

I was afraid I would get bored of writing about parenting.

Parenting is an extremely broad topic, but it still felt a bit constricting. I enjoy many other things besides parenting; what if I want to write about these other things?

While this is still holding true at the end of the challenge–I can’t wait to write about a few other things buzzing around in my brain–I realized I like the focus of one overarching topic. It gives my blog a focus, and gives me focus when brainstorming content.

I was afraid I would get sick of blogging.

I’ve had blogs off and on since college: it’s that combination of loving writing and not finishing things that gets me every time. In all my time blogging I never had a strict editorial calendar or daily writing session. I worried that if I forced myself to write or publish every day I would end up never wanting to write a blog post again!

Thankfully, the opposite is true for me. If I had just remembered what I learned when I read Stephen King in college I would have known that a writing discipline creates a better writer. The more you read and write the better you get, and the more enjoyable it becomes. I’ve found that I really enjoy having a writing time set aside each morning, an editing time each night, and an editorial calendar to stick to (for the most part).

In fact, I realized I like blogging so much I switched Unwavering Fable over to a new host in the middle of the month. That was exciting and a huge learning curve!

So, what’s next for Unwavering Fable?

Although I really love that I completed this challenge by posting every day in the month of October, I don’t want to keep posting every day. I like having weekends for family time, and not worrying about getting a post published. Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to follow this plan moving forward:

  • Keep my writing time in the morning before little daughter wakes up. My brain is sharpest at this time and it is a nice bit of solitude. It helps to get all the thoughts out at the start of the day.
  • Post content on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays. These are my planned days, and while this doesn’t mean I won’t ever post on a different day, I’d like to have a consistent schedule.
  • Write about parenting a lot…and other topics, too. I like writing about my faith. I also like writing about travel, and pregnancy, and healthy living. My main topic will be parenting, but there will be other bits added in, especially as they relate to parenting.
  • Explore other ways to grow my skills. I’d like to read more about parenting and writing and all the topics that interest me. Growing my skills will only make this a more successful and enjoyable endeavor.
  • Attempt to make some money writing. This is an odd one for me, as I’ve never thought of writing as something I could do for a living. I mean, I know writing can be a career, I just didn’t think of it as something I could do. That being said, you may see affiliate links and/or ads on the blog sometime in the future. I hope this doesn’t affect your reading; this is something I’d like to explore as a way to support my family in a small way.

My biggest takeaway from this writing challenge is to rise above the fears and practice what you love! It is easy to listen to your fears and worries, and hard to take the step forward. I’m so very grateful I did! I encourage you to do the same: find a challenge, join a community, make a commitment to yourself, but find a way to take on that project you just can’t stop thinking about!

I’d love to know: what are you contemplating trying, but are maybe too afraid to take the leap? Also, what would you like to see more of on Unwavering Fable? Thanks for reading!