If you’ve been following my blog for a while or if you’ve taken a look through the archives and my social media accounts, you may have come across my 100 Words a Day challenge. I stayed with that challenge until I’d put out 50 prompts – not in 50 days sadly, but I was quite determined that even if I couldn’t finish it in the time frame I’d wanted to, I would finish it somehow anyway. I had originally intended it to be an ongoing thing as I’d been having a ton of fun making the graphics and doing the prompts but it was getting difficult to continue on doing the prompts every single day – I simply didn’t have the time and I didn’t always have the motivation either.
Still reluctant to let go of the mental exercise, I instead transformed it into the 10 Word Stories challenge which is still ongoing. It’s by no means easier to squeeze a story into ten measly words but it is by and large faster which is what I needed – and still need.
This challenge taught me a lot about being a writer. It also taught me a lot about the difference between continuing an ongoing project and working on a new one. It is incredibly freeing to just be able to write, to not have to worry about plausibility and back story and not even have to develop characters more than in just a rough sketch. It’s also limiting and can be annoying because I haven’t always wanted to let them go after that little bit of time.
Common sense and practicality meant that I had to learn lest I be stuck with a few hundred unfinished stories to juggle. And so, learn I did. I especially learned that it is both possible and necessary to put something down and come back to it in the future when one has the time.
I’ve done that many times and I will continue to do it to save my sanity. Funnily enough, this challenge taught me about more than writing. It taught me to limit myself when necessary, it taught me how to be consistent… Most importantly, it taught me to not force consistency. There are times when you just can’t make it and that’s okay. You don’t have to make excuses and you don’t have to keep apologizing and feeling bad for learning your limits and making them known.
Writing has always been a way for me to learn about myself and this challenge was no different. With that in mind, I’ll be re-embarking on it – because I enjoy it and it brings me pleasure. I’ll be doing it differently though – no compulsory schedule. I’ll do it when I want to and when I can manage to and that’ll be just great.