Challenging Myself to Write More

I decided to present myself with a writing challenge this week.

Over seven years ago, I took a New Year’s Action (rather than a flimsy, easily neglected resolution, I went for a more specific action) and began to blog once a week. I created a topic, and I stuck to it, and that was my weekly blog. A year and a half later, I added another weekly post. In time, another. So for more than seven years, I have been blogging anywhere from one to three times a week.

Then I discovered Medium. Blogs as far as the eye can see, on topics over a wide, wide range. This is an amazing place, and I found that my work fit in here. But more than that, the potential presented by Medium opened me up to more as well.

I have been a writer for most of my life. I finished my first sci-fi story at the age of nine (it was fifty pages, illustrated, and perhaps a tad…off, coming from a nine-year-old). However, for long periods of time I denied that writing was my passion, both of and for myself.

But I am a writer. I have had two short stories published in two anthologies, and I have self-published several books as well. Blogging two to three times a week over the years has made me open myself up to this being who I am.

Writing, however, is not where I earn my living just yet. I can think of several reasons why this may be so, and I am actively working to overcome that.

Hence the challenge this week. Rather than my usual two to three blogs — daily blogs. I have more than enough ideas to blog about daily. So, here I am.

The challenge this week is more than blogging

I have spent a lot of time and energy on learning means to improve my life. It has always been a belief of mine that there’s always something new to be learned. All my life I have been a fairly avid reader, and I also enjoy listening to audiobooks. Whether fiction or non-fiction, there is something to be learned.

Many years back, my best friend introduced me to the idea that consciousness creates reality. Maybe it’s a bit hippy-dippy new-agey funky…but then, numerous examples of this concept in action have shown me it’s not total BS. Along the way I have explored many different angles and approaches to this concept, and began to focus on more layman’s terms for both living and explaining it.

I spent years submitting my work to agents and getting rejected. Let’s face it, nobody likes rejection. No matter how many stories we are told about authors facing rejection (like how many times was JK Rowling rejected?) before getting represented and published, that doesn’t lessen the negativity it creates. Hard not to think ourselves unworthy, undeserving, and no good.

After spending several years allowing rejection to define me, I decided it was time to take another approach. Why not self-publish? The stigma and negativity attached to this has been shifting and changing, and the venues for new works are changing, too. So I took that path for myself.

My original approach involved self-publishing pretty epic-length novels. One is almost six-hundred pages. The next in the same series is over four-hundred and fifty pages. A wholly separate novel of mine, the potential first of another series, is more than four-hundred pages.

I am very proud of these works. But in order to embrace the new framework of modern self-publishing, I need to change with the times.

This is what the author does with a 65" touchscreen monitor.

What is really my challenge this week?

I write in two distinctly different genres:

· Non-fiction mindfulness exploration and, I presume, self-help

· Fantasy, Steampunk, science fiction, and similar

More than my frequent blogs, I have books in the non-fiction. And of course, the fiction is there, too.

So what is my point here? I love to write. And yet I allow myself to get distracted, to neglect my work, and to disbelieve my own truth. By challenging myself to get a blog posted daily, I am creating a deadline. With that deadline, I am determining that more writing has to get done.

No, I am not accountable to anyone but myself. But since mindfulness is about our own thoughts, feelings, and actions, the self is the person we tend to be least accountable to. That is why we get out of shape, eat poorly, get insufficient rest, abuse ourselves mentally, emotionally, and physically — because we tend not to be accountable to ourselves.

By presenting this challenge to myself, I have determined that I need to make these blogs happen daily. In setting this deadline for myself, and having this goal, I am proving to myself that I am capable of doing more as a writer.

Why? Because I believe that this is my calling. I have so many stories involving characters and worlds that are incredible, in unique times and spaces, that I desire to write down and share. Also, as I take my personal journey in this life, I desire to share my techniques and discoveries along the way to help other people be more mindful, content, and ultimately feel empowered.

The challenge this week is to prove I am a prolific and capable writer. It is not a chore, because writing brings me joy. That is a part of the challenge, too.

Will the challenge this week lead to a new challenge next week?

I don’t know. It’s important that I meet this week’s challenge first. I write a great deal about living in the now, and that is a major part of mindfulness, too. In the now, can I do more writing?

When I keep away from distractions, and take the time to write, I get more done. I also remember just how much I love to write. This is my thing, my happy place. Writing more is always a good thing…now I just need to determine how to make it pay, too.

Thanks for reading these ramblings. I hope that, like me, you are learning new things to better your writing, and perhaps your life overall, every day.

Written by

I am a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to inspire, open minds, & entertain. http://www.mjblehart.com

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