Writing Challenges: 5 Tips for Success
Photo of the Author at work
Embarking on a Writing Challenge:
Whew, this is my last hub. No, it’s not the last hub that I will ever write but, the final hub of my January (2011) Hubchallenge. What’s a Hubchallenge? The Hubchallenge is a self imposed writing marathon of completing 30 hubs in 30 days. In whatever way you complete this challenge is up to you and your personal preference and schedule. In other words, if you chose to write around the clock for a week your thirty hubs could conceivably be completed in seven days.In fact, many hubbers will write two a day and complete this in half the time.
Other writing challenges: 14 Niche hubs in 14 days. What is a 'niche' hub? It is one subject that you choose to consistently write on as an 'expert'. Writing niche hubs is supposed to help you gain views from a particular group of followers who enjoy the subject you're writing on. http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/105166
Simone just added two new forum topics about writing challenges and the support that we all need from each other. In this link: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/105249 Simone explains the various writing challenges that are available and the rules to follow when posting hubs during a particular challenge you are following, such as where to post the links to your hubs.
In this link: http://hubpages.com/forum/topic/105248 she encourages everyone who is involved in a writing challenge at Hubpages to share it here. Why? Because openly professing a our intentions is one of the reasons we continue on our path towards the finish line.
An outside writing challenge is the National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo. It starts each November 1st across the world and is a support site to encourage the completion of 50,000 words in 30 days. To read more follow this link: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
This was the beginning hub for my 30 in 30
- Insanity is 30 hubs in 30 days
It is New Years Day of 2011 and this is the waking moment when I turn over in bed and ask, What did I do last night? Dont get too excited. This isnt a story about sex. Im not the...
Preparing for the 30 Hubs in 30 Days Hubchallenge
I began my Hubchallenge on January 1, 2011. I had been toying with the idea in early November. Disappointed that I made so many excuses as to why I couldn’t get another hub done by the end of the week, and needing to increase my writing time, I began to seriously consider committing to the challenge. Somewhere in the core of who I am there is a strong competitive gene. Not competition towards others, but with myself. It charges me. It gets me motivated and focused.
Commitment is an important trait for me-it represents honor. I knew that if I committed to something it would take an act of God or a highly unusual circumstance to pull me from it once I started. In addition to that, I would also have the dilemma of saving face. As part of my master plan I would tell other people about what I was undertaking and I would have to cross that finish line on time or be accountable about why I did not stick to my priorities as planned.
Next, I analyzed the best date to begin. I looked at the data of what I knew: the holiday calendar of activities ahead of me, my work schedule, my personal schedule, my own habits and organization. That done, I came up with some dates-I knew it could not be before the holidays, so that eliminated December. I also knew that I liked to follow the dates in an easy manner so the logical date for me was to start on the first of the month…whichever month that would be. But, also taking my habits into consideration I knew that if I prolonged the start of the challenge to later in the year I may lose my interest.
Once I set the date I took a notebook and drew up some plans: a list of hub ideas, dates I would focus the majority of my writing, i.e. days off, along with dates I would post certain hubs.
Lessons learned about taking on a challenge
January 1, New Year’s Day, was the perfect choice for the beginning of this challenge. Like the New Year itself, I was starting off fresh. What a nice way to begin. Today is the 30th-my deadline date. What did I learn along the way? Well, I learned many things; here are a few that I will share with you:
I like to challenge myself . Although that isn’t a new realization, I am sharing it with you. Why challenge ourselves? Because, challenges push us in ways that we would not ordinarily push our own selves. It takes us beyond our usual boundaries and perceptions of what we can do. It triggers our potential and demands greatness. Out of greatness rises success.
I learned that my system is different than others, but works for me . Each hubber will have to find what works for him and to realize that what works during one Hubchallenge may not work the second time around. In other words, flexibility and individuality are important.
I learned to look just far enough ahead to keep myself on track. We succeed when we take it one hub at a time and don’t jump into worrying about deadlines needlessly.
I learned that I have a great group of hubber companions here at Hubpages. That also was not a new piece of information. I knew from the start that the community is largely made up of some dedicated, talented writers who support each other in their art. I appreciate that and feel grateful to be a part of it.
Writing Challenge Poll
Have you ever participated in a Writing Challenge or Marathon? Please comment below
5 Tips for Success with any Writing Challenge
Here are 5 tips for having a successful Hubchallenge:
1. Organize- I can’t emphasize this enough. Make a list of topics to write. Keep research material close at hand. Make a calendar with suggested hubs to keep you on track. In the words of my friend Richtwf, who gave me this advice in the early days of my challenge, “Plan your work and work your plan.” and “Success breeds success.”
2. Clear a day for writing- This goes along with ‘organize’. Keep one day for your writing time. Don’t have a day? Devote, and stick to, a block of four hours. That should be long enough to type out your work and at least begin a hub. If it isn’t complete save it for a later posting.
3. Communicate-tell family and friends what your goal is for support. If they know that you are on a writing marathon they will most likely not interrupt you with other tasks when you are doing your writing block.
4. Focus-turn the television and phone off. Work out of the way of the main traffic. If you experience writers block do something to interrupt that by clearing your head. While you work, don’t get sidetracked with other things on Hubpages, i.e. reading and commenting, or playing the forum games. Stay focused to keep you on track.
5. Give yourself a break-don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make it. Learn what blocked you from reaching your goal and do things different next time. Be sure to try again.
Thank you to all who supported my efforts and good luck to all who are taking the challenge.
Benefits of taking a Writing Challenge
By taking the challenge you get to push yourself to a higher level of writing demands.
You also get to post your hubs in the forums, the Hubchallenge, and if you are fortunate, like I was, and you coordinate your hubs with the Hubmob challenge, you get two places to post them.
You get to meet new people who are drawn to your work based on the forum threads, as well as reunite with old friends that you’ve alerted about your challenge. Then read the comments that everyone leaves on your newly posted hubs.
Two other incredible surprises that occurred along the way is that one of my last hubs in 2010, http://hubpages.com/hub/10-Ways-to-Sabotage-Your-Weight-Loss-Program turned out to be a featured article of the week this month. The last time I checked this hub had gotten over 1600 hits. The hub with the most hits in my account. Imagine the delight I experienced each time I opened Hubpages; and, second, my hub score hit and stayed at 100 for three consecutive days.