How to celebrate?
Well it wouldn’t be a commemoration without food. Unfortunately, it’s not with that yummy looking cake and fizzy champagne, but with a vegan carrot cake muffin and a huge cup of coffee.
Because an anniversary is not a one woman or one man show, the observation must include the over 130 participants in the April 2012 “30 day challenge to build and refine writer platforms,” given by Robert Lee Brewer (poet and editor).
An event such as this one is also a good time to reflect and assess the writing challenges of the last year.
- The best task: Set your goals. Create an editorial calendar.
- The hardest: Think about SEO. Go to Brewers site for that one.
- The easiest: Join social media site (s) and participate.
- The surprising: Do a Google search on yourself.
- The ‘I didn’t do it:’ Pitch a guest blog post.
Participant writers found their community and pledged to go on after the challenge was over. A year later, over 130 participants continue supporting each other via the Wordsmith Studio website, Facebook page, and other social media sites.
The challenge to one became a writers community for the many. Now that is dedication and commitment.
Every day the new assignment put me in front of a task I feared, some more some less. It forced me to look at what I didn’t want to do. It made me examine, confront, and drill down to the why and find out my truth.
This self confrontation made me assess whether I was being rational or was I just uncomfortable with the assignment. Hands down it was a comfort issue.
Through self assessment you find out if you want to keep the fear or pull up your big girl/boy chones and charge ahead.
The great thing about this challenge was that you were not on your own, and it was easier to cross that frontier with others helping you across. (This is extremely important when you get rejection letters in your email box).
The best and most helpful part of the challenge, for me, was to “set goals and establish an editorial calendar.” From those two assignments I learned:
- Place “butt in chair.” Write consistently, whether it’s daily or three times a week, one or three hours, or X amount of words. Pick a number.
- Post your goals where you can see them. Use a Roadmap. Pay attention to it. Check your progress every week, then bi-weekly.
- Set a time limit on the time sucks (social media). For me it’s write first, party later. Sometimes I can only party for 30 minutes.
- Push past the fears. My top two fears? Spending money for a professional edit and sending out query letters. I did both. After revisions and 10 query re-do’s, I received a request for my full manuscript three days after I sent out the final query letter.
- Submit your writing. I wanted to attend a writer’s retreat, but spent the money on the professional edit, and no longer had funds in my budget. I found an organization, A Room Of Her Own (AROHO), that offered writing fellowships. When I received the award I read the letter several times because I couldn’t believe my good fortune.
But to the hard worker comes the harvest. And best of all, after one year, I’m still in love.
Now, please excuse me, as I have some social media sites to visit and I need another cup of coffee.