Friday, October 30, 2015

Live, Learn and Have Some Fun!

Recently, very recently (this October!), I joined Writer’s Digest Platform Challenge (Writer's Digest).  I did so with some trepidation because I am in no way even close to becoming a seriously published writer, and I had no idea if I could put myself out there.  However, Robert Lee Brewer(on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer) has a way of making one feel like there is value to who they are and what they write so I took him up on it. 
Every day I print out the directions and staple them into my notebook and carry it around with me so I remember a few things.  One, that I am part of this group, and two, that this is a challenge I am going to step up to and complete.  I have been awful in posting to the challenge page every day, and engaging in the #platchal conversations on twitter.  I’ve considered going back to when I stopped and just posting “Done” for every day I missed, but I feel like that was just a part of the challenge I missed and if I get dinged, well, that’s my problem. 
I will tell you this – it was a really cool experience.  I’m glad I did it and I look forward to using some of the tools we gleaned from this exercise, but I will also step back and see what is working for me and what isn’t.  Being on social media takes a lot of time out of a person’s day!  And it takes twice as much time when you have personal and professional sites!  The fun part of this challenge was meeting so many different people and connecting to them through this craft that we all have in common.
I also joined Yeah Write! (Yeah Write!) for their weekly challenges.  Already I am learning that just submitting something you wrote isn’t good enough.  One needs to know the challenge fully before beginning and how to use correct punctuation to be considered for public judging.  Unfortunately for me, I raced through the challenge idea with my eye on finishing the challenge and submitting it on time.  As easy as that sounds, it was not easy at all.  And it was just plain dumb.  I’m a better reader than that, and I am a better writer. 
That said, I never realized my punctuation was wrong.  I’m still having trouble processing that and it worries me.  Will a good editor eventually take care of that for me?  At this point in the game, I’m a little bit set in my ways and I don’t want to worry about whether a quotation mark is in the right place.  Is this wrong of me?  If someone corrects it enough times will I finally get it?  I wish my aunt was still alive.  She would set me so straight! 
Even though I got shot down with my first submission I am going to try again next week.  This group at Yeah Write! seems like a pretty good group to be in, with a lot of feedback and folks interested in the same thing- writing.  They give good advice and take one’s questions seriously.  They post interesting things to think about and seem to genuinely want your opinion.
Another challenge that I came across with this submission was linking a link-back to their page.  I had never done one and even though the directions were clear on their part, and even though I have been blogging for over a year, I had no clue how to get the link to work!  After some help from my new on-line friends, I was able to get the link right!  I guess you could say I learned some new things this week that might not help me out on Jeopardy, but should help me in my writing and blogging.
It’s not like I didn’t know writing was a challenge.  I always knew my novel wouldn’t write itself.  But for now, I realize I’m not alone in it.  I have found community through the Writer’s Digest Platform Challenge and through the Yeah Write! group, and for that I am ever so thankful!
It's a journey I'm going to take.


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