Go: Challenge Yourself

Have you stretched some personal comfort zones and flexed those writing muscles yet?  Great.  I’m glad to hear you’re building your skills.  That means it’s time to challenge ourselves to do something new.

Okay, I’ll go first.  There have been times I’ve become so comfortable writing a certain style or genre that I began to believe that’s all I could write.

For a while I was sure I could only write fiction.  I don’t know how I got that idea planted in my head, because I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words in non-fiction.  I even have more than ten years of experience in writing technical manuals.  But I managed to convince myself I should stick with the fiction I had become comfortable writing.

Sometime later I was convinced I couldn’t write flash fiction because I write novels.  Wrong again.

How did I move past my self-doubt?  I changed my mind.  I made up my mind that I could write anything I wanted to.  And then I did.

And every so often I make a conscious effort to learn something new and take my writing in new directions, to meet different challenges.

So, I did volunteer to go first, didn’t I?  Well, last week I mentioned a project I’m working on with the local library.  They haven’t launched their publicity yet, so I’m going to hold off on details for that.  But I will say it’s something I’m passionate about, and that I’ll be learning new tools in order to present the program.

The second challenge I set for this year was to create a new source of income with my writing.  I just received certification as a ghostwriter, so I can check that off my list.  Talk about fun and interesting!  I can’t wait to see where this writing path leads.

Rounding out what I will accomplish in the first half of this year is a project for a 365-day prayer collection.  This opportunity arrived early this week and I leaped into the project with no hesitation.

If it sounds like my momentum builds each time I move into a new writing challenge, that’s because it does. 

The more I learn and grow, the more opportunities show up, and the more I enjoy what I’m working on.  And the greater the level of interest I have in writing, the more I learn, and the better my skills.

How do you intend to challenge yourself this year?  What new writing skills will you learn?  What brings new excitement to your writing each year?  If you haven’t given it any thought, challenge yourself to write something new or learn a new skill.  I dare you.