Where Will You Challenge Yourself?

2020 has challenged all of us. We’ve learned to work at home and live where we work. Some of us have learned to teach and parent and work. All of us have learned the art of social distancing, mask-wearing, and hand-washing.

So why am I asking about how we might challenge ourselves in the future? I use challenges to try something new, to experiment, and to learn—all ideas I want to do. Not what I do out of necessity.

I hope you have enough emotional bandwidth to consider what you might want to do next.

Here’s how I’m challenging myself in the new year:

  • Decided on one area I want to challenge myself. (I could choose several areas. Yes, I need improvement in many ways. However, I selected one area.)
  • Considered ways I can succeed. (Not precisely risk management. More about ways to take advantage of opportunities to succeed.)
  • Created an environment where I can succeed. (What do I need from my environment to succeed?)

I chose fiction writing as that one area. Could I have chosen other writing or publishing? Of course. However, I want to build my fiction writing career by writing fiction more consistently than I have been.

I can succeed in these ways:

  • Write more fiction words. (Yes, I track my word counts for my various kinds of writing.)
  • Write more fiction projects. (I’ve been writing short stories. I signed up for Collection Classes Now Available to challenge and help me to write and finish fiction projects.)
  • Write at a more consistent pace. (I have a wall calendar arriving so I can give myself a gold star every day I write fiction. That’s reinforcing feedback.)

I will need my grit to accomplish what I want. Notice that my challenge is not a resolution.

Why Not a Resolution?

I don’t believe in resolutions. Resolutions have never worked for me. I find ways around them. Instead, I use alternatives, as in these posts:

Because I can see the big wall calendar with its gold stars—or lack thereof—I expect to learn early how consistently I’m writing my fiction words.

I use a spreadsheet to track my words, which helped me write more words this year than I had last year. (About 100,000 more words.) (I don’t find time tracking helpful at this time, but some people do.)

You might think I spend all day writing. I don’t. I’m lucky if I can get in a good two hours. I’ve learned how to write faster, for all my writing. Fast fiction writing still challenges me, which is okay. That’s the whole point of using fiction writing as my challenge.

Why should I challenge myself in 2021? We still have the virus challenging us in our lives.

I like challenging myself. And I’m lucky enough to have the mental bandwidth to do so.

If you also have the mental bandwidth, I hope you will join me in a way to challenge yourself. Not necessarily for fiction writing, but for something.

That’s the question this week: Where will you challenge yourself?

See you in 2021.

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