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A Writing Challenge During a Hectic Period of My Life

Updated on October 10, 2013
I like to find cool spots such as this to write down ideas and rough first drafts ~ This is in the Scottish Garden section of Wickham Park in Manchester, CT
I like to find cool spots such as this to write down ideas and rough first drafts ~ This is in the Scottish Garden section of Wickham Park in Manchester, CT | Source

Life's Challenges

A few months ago, I read a post by Karen Hellier, which presented her own HubPages challenges for the year. One of them was an October 10/10 challenge, in which you write 10 hubs between October 1-10th. Some of the challenges she presented were for an entire month, and I don't usually have that much time available to devote to quality pieces. But 10 days seem like a reasonable block of time, so I committed to it. At the time, my life was pretty laid back and easy, and there was no way to know that I would be traveling down a different road. In July I arrived at a fork in the woods, and I was directed down a different path than I planned on going. For the first several weeks, I felt thrown off-kilter, and didn't have the desire, motivation, or focus to get much writing done, with the exception of a very therapeutic piece I did on happiness, and a few light pieces on another website. But after taking the time to reflect, plan, and pack up my belongings for a move I hope to make soon, I have found my desire to write. My muse is back, and it gives me pleasure and inspiration again.

Just over a week ago, I realized how close October was, and I was a little disappointed at the timing in my life. For a moment, I considered throwing in the towel, and I'm sure everyone would have understood. Things happen in life. But for my own sake, I decided that I will at least TRY! Even if I don't succeed, I will be better for the effort.

Here it is, the night before the first day of my challenge, and I am reiterating my acceptance of the challenge, and putting on "paper" some of my thoughts.

Wickham Park: Oriental Garden's Moon Bridge ~ This is another of my favorite spots for reflecting and writing
Wickham Park: Oriental Garden's Moon Bridge ~ This is another of my favorite spots for reflecting and writing | Source

Other Writing Plans

During the next 10 days, my main focus will be writing quality articles here. But here is what I also want to do, moving forward:

  • Build up my new Pinterest page
  • Write some shorter pieces on Bubblews
  • Work on some fiction pieces. It feels good to write stories just for the simple pleasure of writing down what my mind thinks up. Since I don't have a lot of time, I don't want to focus on my book, but short pieces don't take much effort or time
  • Dabble in poetry a little, just to give my mind some relief from any negative thoughts that might creep in. It's good for the mind to try out new things, as well
  • Gradually build up my writing pieces, and get started on trying to sell some of them (or fresh pieces) to magazines or other publications. I followed Bill Holland (bllybuc on HubPages)'s advice on buying the "Writer's Market, and I fully plan on using it

A Challenge to Myself

I am not only returning the call of the writing challenge, I am also doing this for myself. What do I hope to gain from this?

  • I want to budget my time, so that I am able to accomplish the many tasks that are in front of me at this time, as well as get some writing done. I recognize that in a few weeks I will have even less time, so I want to get used to using my time wisely now
  • I want to get some more quality pieces written for the sake of having more content
  • More articles means more interaction from my lovely readers
  • I have so many ideas in my head, and it will be nice to get some of them penned
  • This gives me something productive to do, distracting me from over-thinking in areas of my life that don't really need it anymore
  • A feeling of accomplishment
  • Confidence and self-esteem
  • With every piece I write, I learn something new, or else re-introduce something old in a fresh new way that gets me thinking
  • I hope to provide others with pieces that will be useful, inspirational, thoughtful or relevant in one way or another

Advance Preparation

I believe that the key to accomplishing this challenge is getting ready for it beforehand. On that note, I was visiting Connecticut a couple of weekends ago, and I brought a notebook with me. I'm glad I did, because I made use of the free time I had while in the condo, at the park, and on the bus during my trip home. Here are a few of the things I did in advance, as well as a few things that would have made it even easier for me now:

  • I thought up topic ideas. I was surprised at how easy they came to me!
  • I wrote down general and specific ideas for content within the hubs
  • I decided on some of the types of photos I would include in some of them
  • I thought of some new photos to take that would be appropriate for any given topic
  • I jotted down ideas on links to related posts to include
  • It would be handy to think of what kind of videos, tables and quizzes to use
  • I wrote down what I planned on researching or reading up on beforehand

Wickham Park: Foo Dog in the Oriental Garden ~ Guardian Lion
Wickham Park: Foo Dog in the Oriental Garden ~ Guardian Lion | Source

Picking Up the Pieces and Moving On

Even though I have a lot going on in my life right now, I don't want to stop posting articles. I can use writing as a useful tool as I figure out what to do with my life, and move on. I have a lot to do, but it doesn't take up every moment of my day. I just need to use my time wisely.

I don't know what life holds for me as I take this new path In my life, but I do know that I just need to take one step at a time. I will think of what I want in life, and take the steps needed to get there. Sometimes things seem just out of reach, but I know I will get there at some point. Life is not just a destination, it is a journey. I want to learn a lot along the way, and wherever I end up, writing will always be a big piece of me.

I invite you to join me on this trip. Not everyone is going to be able to participate, but I will enjoy any interaction I get- not only in the next 10 days, but for whatever amount of time we are here in this corner of the internet. Have a great week, everyone, and thanks for reading.

When life feels like it is going nowhere, this song inspires me

10 Hubs In 10 Days Goal:

I want to update this every time I write a new hub during these 10 days. Here they are:

October 6th Update: 11:30 a.m.

At this point, I only have one published hub. It probably seems like I just forgot about this, or didn't have time. But that is not true! Part of the time I have been busy, since I have had to devote hours to finding apartments to view during my upcoming trip to Connecticut, as well as come up with questions to find out and ask. Also, one day that I was scheduled off from work ended up being another work day, so that was a cut of about 8 or 9 hours. This past week I actually worked a full 5 days, which is more than usual for my part-time job.

Fortunately, I have several hubs started, and I have plenty of ideas for these other 9 days.Today I am going to try to finish two of them, and work on a few of the others. It will be a challenge to catch up, and even more so to stay caught up (since I will be gone on the 8th and 9th). But I want to try hard, and see what I can come up with!

October 10, 2013: To Be Continued ...

Here's the scoop. I have been trying to figure out where to go, and what to do in my life. I decided on a plan. I worked towards it, although things didn't work out exactly the way I initially hoped. I was disappointed, but then I found a new place to live in Connecticut. I hope to move there within the next week or two, and now my need to have at least one job lined up is imperative. Even though it is tempting to make time to write everyday, I need to spend almost every spare moment, and all of my effort on finding a job. Once I do, I can move, and start a fresh new life!

Even though I only got two hubs completed this month, the challenge has caused me to write the three hubs that I may not have gotten to right away. It got me motivated and inspired to write again. I have material and ideas for more, and they will sit to marinate while I am away. So sit tight, and I will be back in a few weeks.

Source

Author Information

To learn more about the author, or read more of her works, click on http://kathrynstratford.hubpages.com/

Feel free to comment ~ I love feedback from my readers

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    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      This is an awesome hub. You can do it, whatever it is you need to do.

      You have a terrific song to listen to and help you get going.

      Don't overdo and tire yourself out.

      (Is this your first hub for the challenge?- It should be it is almost October!)

      Sorry I chickened out on this 10 day challenge, but I am here for you, to cheer you on, though I won't be doing any myself.

      Best to you.

      I am sharing this.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well I wish you well, Kathryn! I know how tough a time this is for you, so if you pull this off you will have accomplished a great deal. Best wishes to you my friend.

      bill

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND,

      You have done plenty of challenges, so I don't consider your lack of participating in the writing as "chickening out"!

      I am getting two jobs in Connecticut, and moving soon. I won't know when until one of the jobs calls me in for an interview. It'll be the first time since 2007, and the second time ever, that I have lived on my own. Scary, but exciting.

      I absolutely love that song! It is beautiful and inspiring.

      I will be careful not to overdo it. I know my limits!

      Haha. I could "cheat" and call this the first one, but it isn't quite October. Close, though! Barely over 2 hours to go.

      Thanks, WND, I appreciate that you're cheering me on! That is as valuable as writing in the challenge, I think.

      This is my first challenge! I'm excited.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Thanks, Bill. I am glad I finally actually feel like writing. For a while it felt a little too much like work, and I couldn't focus. It was hard to put my thoughts into words, and it was frustrating. But right now I feel like I can do it. If I don't get all of the way through it, no big deal- as long as I try!

      Have a great night, and don't melt in the rain!!!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Sounds to me like your ready for it. And remember a great saying: "Progress not Perfection" I like your style and I hope you like it too.

      This is a good hub and it is motivating me. Thanks

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Great to have you back and I too know what a tough time you have been through lately so kudos to you my friend! This is an awesome piece I took much inspiration from. Forks do crop up on our path as I have discovered and faced this past year of writing. A tough year but through it I managed to hit personal targets that I finished yesterday here on HP. I will be following your challenge with much interest and you are in the right place now which is terrific, well done you! Are you heading back home by the way? Wishing you all good things for this next step in your journey, I know you have the determination, passion and resolve to accomplish.

      Up, useful, awesome, interesting, shared!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Best if everything in your journey

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sounds like you are prepared and up for the challenge. Good luck and don't overdo it. Enjoy the process of writing.

    • Gypsy48 profile image

      Gypsy48 3 years ago

      Good for you and keep writing! I like your positive attitude, it will take you far.

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 3 years ago from Georgia country

      I'm glad to hear you are concentrating on your writing again by doing a writing challenge. I hope and wish that this tough time will soon be gone. Good luck and a lot of inspiration for your writing challenge. I'm looking forward to reading more of you.

    • Abby Campbell profile image

      Abby Campbell 3 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      Good for you, Kathryn! Challenges are great! I wish you well! By the way, where are you moving? Different town/city?

    • epbooks profile image

      Elizabeth Parker 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      I'm so sorry to hear that you had been going through rough times. I know how difficult that is to move through, but it looks like you are well on your way. I, for one, am VERY glad that you chose to start writing again. I thoroughly enjoy your hubs. They are informative, educational, witty, interesting and inspirational. You make a difference when you write, so I am happy that you are doing more of it. Now, if you'll excuse me, I noticed you just wrote another hub, so I'm off to read it! :)

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Eric,

      I feel quite ready for it, thanks. I'm glad you like my style. I do, too. Sometimes I see articles by others, and I like their style. But I think it is interesting that everyone's is a little different.

      I'm glad it's motivating you, and I will keep what you said in mind. Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 3 years ago from Florida

      Sure sounds like you have it altogether, girl! I admire you for your positive attitude and fortitude! I like you goals, and I am sure you will make it. Good luck.

      Voted Up and shared.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Suzie,

      It is great to be back!

      I'm glad that you have managed to accomplish things that you wanted to, despite this year being tough for you. I hope things are going well, and that next year is better than ever.

      I am waiting on a phone call from my previous employer in Connecticut, and once that happens I will line up an apartment in that area. It isn't right where my family is, but it is a 1 1/2 hour bus ride away from them. I lived there for 3 years before I moved with Andy to Boston, so it is familiar, I have friends there, it's cheaper than here (by far), and I have 2 guaranteed part-time jobs that will hold me over until I can find something more substantial. I will have to work my butt off initially, but I think it will work out in the long run.

      I can tell you one thing- I feel worlds better than I did 2 months ago! Things are not perfect, but it's bearable.

      Thanks for reading, and for your thoughtful reply. I'm always delighted to hear from you.

      Have a wonderful night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mhatter99,

      Thanks, I appreciate it! By the way, I'm really enjoying the little poems and limericks you post on Facebook. Great entertainment, and it's impressive how often you write them!

      Have a great night.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      FlourishAnyway,

      I am pretty prepared, and so far it's going well. I'm happy that I feel like writing again.

      I will be sure not to overdo it, thanks for the advice. I will b e sure to enjoy the process.

      Have a great night!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Gypsy,

      Thanks, it feels great to get back to writing! I work much better with a positive attitude than negative. It would be so draining to go through life sad.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a great night.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Janet,

      I think this challenge will be good for me! I already feel great, one day in.

      Thanks. I think this tough time will leave me. In the meantime, I will be thankful for what I have, and work hard to get what I want.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and have a fantastic week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Abby,

      Thanks, I'm happy to be participating in this challenge. It will help me focus on productivity, and it will preoccupy me.

      I am moving to Connecticut, about 2 or 2 1/2 hours away from here. It is only about 1 1/2 hours away from my family, and it was where I lived for three years before moving to Boston. I know people there, have two part-time jobs lined up, and it is much cheaper than the Boston area. But I will also live close enough to this town that I could visit if I felt like it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a great night! It's so nice to see you.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Elizabeth,

      Thanks. I feel so much better than I did only a few weeks ago. Part of what has made me feel better is actually taking action, and deciding what to do. For a while I wasn't sure if I was staying in the area, or leaving. So it was hard to focus on one thing.

      I'm glad I have started writing again, too. Everything felt so surreal before, but now that I have been getting used to my life the way it is now, I have the urge to write now. And I don't feel guilty for doing it.

      That is an incredibly sweet thing of you to say. Thanks. I really do try to a difference in my own small way, and I hope that many of my posts are helpful to others. And coming from the inspirational queen, I feel honored :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and for being supportive and friendly to me. I enjoy seeing you around!

      Have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mary,

      Thanks, I appreciate it. Sometimes I feel like I don't have it altogether, but lately I have felt so much better about life, and about writing. In a few days I want to start writing more posts on Bubblews, too. I have actually written out content for several, but haven't taken the time to actually type it up, and search for photos. But it is amazing how many things I see around me that provide inspiration!

      I always enjoy reading your work.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a fantastic week!

      ~ Kathryn

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 3 years ago from California

      Good luck Kathyrn! I am pulling for you!!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Audrey,

      Thanks, I appreciate it! I have already written one hub today, and I have more than enough ideas for the next 9. I'm so happy that my passion for writing has come back.

      Have a great day, and thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      ~ Kathryn

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      All the best Kathryn and I admire your mind set.

      Thinking of you and know you'll succeed.

      Voted up.

      Eddy.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Kathryn!

      I am so proud of you! Wishing you the very best in this special writer's challenge. I will be supporting you every step of the way, and while my own world is topsy turvy these days, I want you to know that your example lights a fire under my own muse's southern hemisphere. LOL!

      Blessings and aloha...always...

      ~Joe

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      It sounds to me as though you are one plucky lady and you put me to shame. I have several draft hubs waiting to be finalised and should have done them all by now and I have plenty of time if I organised it properly! However, you've made me resolve to try a 10-day challenge though it'll have to be in 2 weeks' time as I'm going away. Best wishes and the best of luck to you, not only with your challenge but also in your life. You have much support on hubpages, deservedly so, and we're all behind you. Keep strong and positive! Ann

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I just wrote an update. Don't worry, I haven't given up!

      ~ Kathryn

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hi Kathryn, This is so inspiring. I hope you will post this on the HubPages forum as an idea to inspire others. Writing 10 hubs seems much more reasonable a challenge than 30 in 30 days.

      Also hoping things will work out for you in your new situation. I've pulled up stakes and started over more than a few times. It's like a clean, fresh start with all kinds of possibilities. All the best to you.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Peg,

      Thanks for the encouragement. I have started over several times, and I have a pretty good attitude about it. My life will be very different, and I expect to struggle at times, but I look forward to what life has in store for me. I will try to make my life great, and enjoy any given situation I am in.

      I never even think of posting in the forums! Great idea.

      Thank you very much, and I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

      Kathryn Stratford,

      Just read your update. Bless your heart. You do what you can. You are extremely busy and still you are concerned about the challenge. Whatever you do or don't do, we are here for you. Don't exhaust yourself.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      WND,

      Thank you, it is so sweet of you to say that!

      I'll try not to exhaust myself. I'm in the mood to write at the moment, so I would rather be focusing on this than anything else.

      Thanks for being here for me, I appreciate it!

      Have a fantastic Sunday!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Okay, I only got one hub done tonight. But I took the time to make it just right, and I also put some work (jotting down notes, finding photos, etc.) for other hubs.

    • UMHiram profile image

      Unique Hiram 3 years ago from Midwest

      Enjoyed reading this Hub Kathryn ... looking forward to reading more. - Unique

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 years ago from San Diego California

      I don't think I could ever commit myself to such a challenge. I'm always burning the candle at both ends, if you know what I mean. I commend you for your hard work and commitment. Great hub.

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Unique,

      Thanks, I am glad you enjoyed it! I won't be writing as often as I was hoping right now, but I plan on getting right back to it as soon as I am moved and settled in.

      Thanks for reading and commenting, and have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Mel,

      Well, in this case I bit off more than I could chew. I ended up working more often than I thought, and have had to go to Connecticut to search for a home and jobs, so I no longer have time to work on this at the moment. So I know exactly what you mean!

      I plan on getting back to writing once I am moved and settled, and in the meantime I have quite a few ideas, and material.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I updated this hub. I didn't accomplish the challenge, but at least I gave it a go. Have a great week!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      Hi Kathryn! Last year, I tried to work on writing 100 hubs in 100 days! I made it to about 45 days or so when a death in the family stopped me dead in my tracks. I never did finish that challenge, but it was a great experience. This year, I have decided that I am writing 2 articles per week for 52 weeks which will give me 104 articles this year. So far I have 4 written!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image
      Author

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      Donna,

      That was a very big goal! I'm glad you did so well for half of the challenge, but sorry for your loss. Sometimes things happen in life that disrupt our plans, and that sounds like a big one.

      Good luck with this year's plan. 2 articles per week sounds a little more realistic. I would love to make that kind of plan, but have settled for a goal of 2 per month. If I go over that, it's a bonus. I may do some kind of challenge here and there to increase my hubs a little quicker. I have so many ideas that it would be nice to spend more time working on them.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, and have a wonderful day.

      ~ Kathryn

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      You too, have a great day and fabulously productive year!

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