Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wrap-Up: Two Writing Challenges

At the start of September, I decided to jump-start my fall writing season (kids back in school!) by joining two writing challenges. I'm a bit late with the wrap-up, but here's what I accomplished:

The Monster Review-a-thon focused just on writing reviews. It was  just one week (when I had only two days with the kids in school), so my goals were modest:
In all, on my book blogs that week, I managed:

Review of Defending Jacob

Review of The Ask and the Answer

Post on Book Adaptations on TV

Weekend Cooking Post

So, not quite as many reviews as I'd hoped, but the challenge did serve as an extra motivator to get back into my normal blogging routine. And I wrote another review, plus the Big Book Summer Challenge Wrap-up Post the following week.

I also joined Sit Down and Write 4 Challenge, hosted by Stories Inside: the Writing Blog of the True Book Addict. My goals were:

  • The book review goals listed above, plus two more reviews and/or book blog posts next week.
  • Write and publish 3 new posts for my chronic illness blog, Learning to Live with CFS, which has been badly neglected this summer.
  • Write and send 4 new pitches, including 2 for travel articles.
  • Finish the first draft of chapter 1 of my book on living with chronic illness.
  • Edit my article on CFS into brief guest blog posts for a supplement website (paid work!)
Wow. Yeah, OK, I might have been a bit overzealous! But again, joining the challenge sort of gave me permission to focus mainly on writing last week. I finished:
  • The reviews and book blog posts listed above, plus a review of The Time Machine the next week.
  • I wrote four posts for my chronic illness blog.
  • I wrote and sent four pitches, and yes, two of them were for travel articles.
I didn't have time to work on my book (that always seems to be the case!) and I still haven't received the background materials for the paid job, but I felt good about the progress I made in those two weeks. Next time, I think I may try to focus on one area of writing at a time to see what I can accomplish that way.

The only problem is that I put priority on writing last week and let everything else now I've spent most of this week running around, catching up on all the household necessities and to-dos I put off last week! As a result, I've had no time for writing at all. Sigh. There must be a way to find a nice balance!

Anyway, I enjoyed both writing challenges and found them helpful in re-focusing my writing work. Have you tried any writing challenges? Or do you have any tips on finding time for writing along with all the other things that must be done?

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