I love a challenge.
Run a 5K race?
Fight in the ring?
Yeah, let’s do it!
Blog 26 times in a month?
Bring it on!
Write 50,000 words in a month?
Blog 26 times and write 70,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo in the same month?
Of course! Wait…um…er…this isn’t working, actually.
Signing up for a massive Camp NaNo at the same time as the A-to-Z Challenge was, in a word, idiotic. Something had to give, and in the end, it was my novel.
You might think it was also idiotic to choose blogging over my actual fiction, but I don’t regret it one bit. My novel is still there this month, and I got so much out of the Challenge.
I met amazing bloggers; reconnected with “old” blogger friends; and learned some awesome stuff. I was blown away by some of the year’s ambitious themes, especially the ones who wrote original short fiction and poetry everyday. Or Tarkabarka, who read 26 epics! I don’t think I could get through one.
One of the most important things I learned–and here’s where the insecure part of this post comes in–was that there’s a lot of people out there who love to read about the darker side of life. Who are as interested in the Loch Ness Monster, Ouija boards, serial killers, and unsolved mysteries as I am.
When I changed my blog to reflect the kind of fiction I write, I was really nervous there wouldn’t be an audience for it. My previous blog was full of optimistic advice about how to live an awesome life–which was great, and I enjoyed writing it, but it has nothing to do with my fiction. And there are a million self-help advice blogs out there that are written by people with PhDs in the subject. It was time for a change.
The reception I received during the Challenge proved that I was on the right path. I wasn’t getting 100+ visitors a day like Alex (thank god! I honestly don’t know how he manages to visit that many blogs everyday), but it was enough. It was more than enough. I’d found my people.
You are my people.
As writers, we’re insecure about many things. If you get an opportunity to discover you’re going the right way, it’s priceless.
That’s worth failing a challenge for.
Thankfully, I failed the right one.
Those of you who liked my creepy A-to-Z posts will most likely enjoy my book, and it’s cheaper than a cup of coffee right now. The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave is my first published book, and it just came out yesterday! Here’s what it’s about:
Sometimes evil looks like a fuzzy teddy bear.
Still grieving the untimely death of his dad, ten-year-old Josh Leary is reluctant to accept a well-worn stuffed teddy bear from his new stepfather. He soon learns he was right to be wary. Edgar is no ordinary toy…and he doesn’t like being rejected. When Josh banishes him to the closet, terrible things begin to happen.
Desperate to be rid of the bear, Josh engages the help of a friend. As the boys’ efforts rebound on them with horrifying results, Josh is forced to accept the truth—Edgar will always get even.
The Bear Who Wouldn’t Leave:
The Insecure Writer’s Support Group’s purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Original art by Cheesetor.