Last fall a writer I know started to keep track of her output on FaceBook. I was quite impressed with the numbers she was putting up. So, I challenged myself to keep up with her. (Of course she didn't know it at the time, but we spoke about it briefly and she was doing it to push herself. In turn her actions pushed me as well.) To my complete and utter amazement I did it.
She is an incredible talent and has since landed herself an agent.
Sadly, for me she's stopped posting her output on FB. However I have since completed a NaNo challenge, written poetry and have done many things I didn't think were possible with my writing.
The challenge I put to myself showed me I really can do anything if I tried. Yes, I had help. There are many people contributing and supporting me and for that I will always be eternally grateful.
Since this fall I have stopped dabbling with my writing and really come to terms with the possibility if I work hard enough I will be able to attain my goals.
I'm not boasting. I still have a lot to learn. I have only just started to come into my own. And it will take time (as much as I hate to admit that. :D) But I'm willing to work for it.
I set goals for me to push myself. While it's not an original idea I've started doing so on FB. It helps me feel like I've accomplished something. And now I see what she was talking about.
The hardest part challenging myself was that afterward I had stories but nothing to do with them. I've gotten rejection after rejection. I freaked out because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I battered other writers with questions of how I could be a better writer, what markets should I sub to, what lesson was I learning?
Then my panic ceased. I sat back and looked at what I'd done to myself. I was waiting for someone to give me an answer. Then I realized I had to find it for myself.
No challenge or goal can be reached without stumbling that's just not how life works.
I've since started revising, reading articles every day (those of you who haven't been over to Magical Words really should give it a try, published authors giving advice to writers on writing. It's incredible.) I found some good writing homes with amazing people who are willing to give and take. They are also great cheerleaders. I've opened my ears to critiques and I have listened to advice on which books give the best advice.
I have really started to study the craft without going to college (bc there is no way I could afford it right now) and I've started to pay attention.
Then I got my first personal rejection with an invitation to send the story back if I chose to revise it.
It was gold to me.
And it was good advice. I'm awaiting the response still, but I feel like the story I reworked (with a little help from some fabulous ladies) really is the start of my writing career. While it might not fetch a big price, I've taken the first step in the right direction.
I don't think I am the only person out there who can do this. I know anyone can. Challenge yourself. It doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything you think you can't do, but want to. There is nothing to be afraid of, failure is apart of life and if you/I fall, get back up and try again until you reach whatever light you want.
You might find it's not as hard as your mind made it out to be.