creative lessons from the blog challenge

Challenge your challenges. You may learn something new.

You know how sometimes a challenge shows up and you have no idea why it came to you but you know you need to tackle it?

Happened to me a couple of weeks ago. 

Apparently sometime in the past year I got on a list for a 30-day blogging challenge. I vaguely remember thinking I should do one but we were moving at the time. However, this time I don’t have any excuse except it feels like a big commitment.

So here I am on Day One of Paul Taubman’s Ultimate Blogging Challenge. (That’s a link there in case you want to take on the challenge as well.)

I hope it’s only a coincidence that it starts on April Fool’s Day but getting started I felt I faced two big challenges if I wanted to succeed at this.

If not now, when? The Time Challenge

Time felt like a hurdle because I’ve got a busy month lined up. Family visits and a one week contract to provide communications training. However, as a creativity coach, I know waiting for ‘enough time’ is a myth. We’re all busy in this life and there’s seldom really any free time.

I also know we MAKE time for stuff that’s important to us. Expanding the reach of my blog is one of my goals for this year. Growing my readership puts me in touch with other creative folks. This blog is one avenue I use to inspire your creative journey by sharing my own.

I’m making the challenge my focus for the month. That doesn’t mean the rest of my life will be hold. Rather, when I have pockets of time, I’ll write and scheduling future posts for those days when I know time will become more of a challenge.

I also ordered a BlueTooth keyboard for my Ipad so I can write when I’m not at my computer but have a pocket of time. It’s amazing what you can accomplish in 15 minutes and those pockets add up.

The Topic Challenge

The other thing making me gulp a little is coming up with content every day for 30 days! Until I stepped back and realised I have at least 30 ideas in my bullet journal already. In addition I did some research and came up with another list of almost 60 ways to spark creativity.

I’ll draw on these lists over the coming month.

The Blog Challenge folks also email a topic suggestion each day. When it sparks something I’ll change up the subject to add variety and spice. So looking at the ideas and support I already have in hand I can see the Topic Challenge is also a myth.

Creative Lessons Learned

Challenging my own challenges reminded me of some important truths about the creative process.

The ‘problem’ of Time and Topic come up on a regular basis whenever I talk to creatives about doing The Work. We tell ourselves there’s not enough time or we don’t know what we want to do (and romanticize by saying we’re ‘blocked’)

If we want to honour our creative call we must challenge these myths. The way we start is by making a decision to do what it takes. We show our commitment by creating accountability outside of ourselves. That accountability gets us moving and taking action.

That’s why I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge AND why I’m letting you know. If I believe you’re looking for my posts, I better show up. (Kind of like a running buddy waiting at the end of my driveway.)

Your “Challenge”

I’m asking for some blog love during this 30-Day Challenge through comments and feedback. I’d also love it if you would share some of the posts out there on social media. I’ve made sharing easy as possible for you. Just click any of the icons to the left of the posts (or at the bottom if you’re on your smart device).

For my part I’ll try to keep the posts fairly short most days. I value your creative time and I want us both in the studio or wherever you find your creative happy place.

15 thoughts on “Challenge your challenges. You may learn something new.”

  1. Congratulations on starting the 30 challenge. I look forward to following your journey where you’ll share some interesting topics, I’m sure. Cheers!

    1. Thanks, Barb for being such a great friend and supporter (and the cheers!) So glad we’re connected.

  2. Hi April — Time! Yup, we always claim that time is the challenge. I’m not so sure it’s time that’s the challenge. It could be lack of confidence, low self-esteem, procrastination, fear of failure, etc. But it’s so much easier to blame time.

    I’ve been in this challenge a number of times over the years. The first year it was difficult to keep up. Blogging once a day was rough….and not just in regards to time. Then I realized that we don’t have to blog every day. The challenge is really to set up a viable and realistic time table for you to blog – and stick to it. Because it’s quality – and not quantity. When I tried posting every day, I found myself putting out junk – just to be able to keep up. Well, junk blog posts weren’t going to a thing for my credibility except to diminish it. Just food for thought.

    I’ll probably post three times a week this time around. Possibly more. We’ll see.

    Eydie 🙂

    1. Great advice, Eydie. I’ve set unrealistic expectations in the past for myself and yup, found myself putting out ‘fluff’ just of the sake of meeting a goal. I’ll choose quality and see where we go with this. Good to ‘meet’ you!

  3. Welcome to UBC! I am a newbie & this is my first UBC! I am shuddering in my shoes – & wondering What have i signed up for! Can I really do this? But then, you make such valid points in your post here – There is nothing to be gained by postponing this challenge – so let’s jump right in! 🙂 Good Luck! & I will be back trow to read your Day 2!

    1. Thanks! I know what you mean. When I pressed send on the registration I had a moment of panic. How would I manage it? Then I realized like everything else – one step at a time. Love your blog and look forward to checking in to see what you write this month as well.

  4. Hi, Aprille! Thank you for helping me to challenge my own challenge myths. It’s amazing how we put up all kinds of roadblocks to stop us from doing the very things that we say we want to do. Reading your post has encouraged me to get out of my own way. Good luck on completing the 30-day challenge…I know you will get it done. Looking forward to following your journey. Visiting from UBC!

    1. Thanks, Stacey. I know what you mean. Our own worst enemies. It’s our brain trying to protect us because it’s uncomfortable with change. I often have to stop and ask myself “What’s really true in this moment?” Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Time is one of the largest constraints for me. Usually by the time I have time to sit and write I’d rather be in bed. lol

    Good luck on this challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing the creativity you share.

    1. Thanks, Nona. Time.Sigh. Always a constraint. But another way to look at it is that deadlines actually make us more creative!
      Looking forward to sharing the journey with you.

    1. It is a little daunting but I’ve already decided it will be what it will be. I’m certainly writing more these days so I already consider it a success! Thanks for reading and connecting.

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