Wow. So July kind of flew by didn’t it?
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll noticed posts ramped up during July as I took part in the Word-High July Challenge as hosted Maria of Doodles and Scribbles and Rosema of A Reading Writer. It was a pretty wonderful challenge, that I really enjoyed doing. It kept me creative pretty much every day and, best of all, it was a pretty big learning experience! So, I thought the best way to finish off July would be to include some Word-High July Lessons Learnt!
- I can write every day: Before I took part in the challenge, I used to grumble that there weren’t enough hours in the day. Weeks would go by when I hadn’t blogged, or written, or photographed, or edited. I’d end up feeling like I was wasting so much time in my life. Having a set goal to write each day told me that doing something every day was actually achievable; I just needed discipline!
- Life does get in the way: Contrary to the point above… Sometimes life does sometimes get in the way. July was perhaps simultaneously the best and the worst month for me to have done Word-High July. For numerous reasons I found myself very busy, with work, family, house moving, illness… At times it was difficult to write every day, with all the rest of my life taking place around me. The positive thing to take away from this though is that it’s important not to beat yourself up. I’ve shown that, from a 30 day period, I managed to write 80% of the time. That means life got the better of me only 20% of the time… Which is fairly small and pretty understandable when you think about it!
- You can plan ahead: This is less about planning an actual story and more about planning your time… As seen above, I missed 20% of my days writing. Some of these were unavoidable, I had loved ones in hospital and I had to spend a lot of my free time moving things from one house to another; Nobody’s fault. What I did learn though, is that some of the days where I did do my writing… I could have easily carried on writing. So, perhaps this is a lesson to stay ahead of the curve? Have a post or two or three, lined up and scheduled so that I’m always prepared! And, if I know something is coming up (like a particularly busy weekend) I can utilise my time before it better!
- I do need to edit: When I was writing for Word-High July, I was writing on the day, every day (80% of days). This meant that the stories I were producing were nothing more than a barely proof read first draft. I wasn’t always particularly proud of the work, sometimes it was something fairly hastily written with the sole goal of filling a slot. As I’m working on a novel, this is an important lesson for me that I need to give my work time to breath, come back to it, re-edit it and put more time in to it. You don’t always get it completely right first time, but you might get a little something right!
- I can write: Point above taken, I am still proud that I did actually write some stories and I was actually inspired enough to write these pieces… Sometimes coming from Prompts which, at first, had absolutely no inspirational impact on me. It’s taught me that I can actually write something that people find enjoyable to read and, combining that with the other points, I will be able to produce something substantial!
So was Word-High July a benefit to me? Yes. Immensely. Whilst I didn’t meet my target of a post every day, it’s taught me some valuable lessons about my writing and the way I write. It’s reinforced some things I already knew and it’s given me a new perspective on other things. Here’s to my future writing goals and here’s to being creative almost every day!
Did you take part in Word-High July? Maybe other, similar challenges? What did you learn? Have they helped you?