+ Thoughts on NaNoWriMo

Anyone that knows me or has followed along with my artwork will know I love a good challenge. 30 days of drawing, Art Slam, Inktober, Pokemonathon, and 100 happy days are all challenges I’ve participated in in the past. I also love making goal lists. When I was 20 I participated in a leader conference that required you to write down 100 life goals. I’ve also stayed true to my original list of 30 before 30. Some challenges I have failed, while others have been a huge success. Last year I was able to complete a “hard” Art Slam which forced me to draw every single day for 3 months. It was during this time that I was also working two jobs and saving up for this year of traveling. It was incredibly hard but I finished and it really was a big personal accomplishment. Especially because I had failed the previous two years to even make a month.

Here are five things I’ve learned from challenges in the past:

1.      Challenges are great tool for growth. Even if you don’t finish or get as much done as you initially want to you’ll most likely still grow at least a little bit.

2.      For me a challenge usually kick starts a change in my lifestyle that I’m looking for. Drawing every day for a month helped me to create a habit that stayed with me for a while.

3.      Challenges allow me to see my strengths and weaknesses and evaluate where there is room to learn and grow. For example: I’m typically very good at organizing and planning but have a hard time executing my plans.

4.      A challenge forces me to have a daily commitment beyond what I would normally have in a work day.

5.      Lastly challenges are a huge source of inspiration. Especially when the challenge goes beyond a personal goal and takes to social media. When there’s other people to connect with that are going through the same journey as you it becomes very inspiring to see their work and motivational to have someone to get feedback from as well. Socially sharing a challenge promotes progress!

NaNoWriMo is a national challenge for writers to write a novel in one month. While I’d like to write a novel someday I’m not really looking to start right now, but I really liked the idea of writing everyday. I was planning on participating in my own way but was fortunate enough to stumble across Kristie over at Venga, Vale, Vamos whom started up a facebook group called the NaNoWriMo Traveling Blogging Challenge. She’s also set up an informative post about the challenge’s goals and an awesome badge to support the effort.

The things that I’m really looking to accomplish during this challenge:

1.      Have fun with different writing styles. I understand some people like to create a specific “voice” for their blogs and I respect that! Personally I feel like there are many types of tones that can be used on one blog to talk about different things. My personal blog posts will not sound like my travel advice and both will sound very different from my artwork and my vlogs. I want to explore options and have fun no matter what the results.

2.      Meet some new bloggers! I’ve already checked out a few blogs from other people participating, and it’s been great to meet new people online that have similar interests. It’s always nice to give and get feedback from a community.

3.      Making writing a daily or semi-daily habit. I already journal pretty regularly and I’m so happy and proud of my personal journals. They allow me to go back in time and step into how I felt about something in my life. It has been very valuable for my personal growth and understanding of who I am and how that’s SO very different from who I used to be. I’d like my blog to grow with me and stay with me as a testament to who I was, am and will be. Daily writing will help that goal to continue.

4.      Faster editing. In art college I learned that there is such a thing as overworking a piece. Sometimes you just have to let it be and fly out into the world even if you aren’t satisfied. You’re going to see more flaws than anyone else and it’s better to move on to a clean slate with the lessons you learned from the piece before. No one is perfect and everyone can forgive a typo every once in a while. I’ve struggled with this as I like to edit my pieces- sometimes even after I’ve already posted them.

5.      Finish some key articles I’ve been dying to write! A life of constant travel is an amazing and lovely experience but it has made it SO difficult to really focus and update as much as I want to. There’s so much I want to share about the last year that I haven’t had the time to. A daily challenge forces me to make time!

Those are the goals and I’m sticking to them! I’ll be posting daily updates on my blog but will promote them over an extended period of time so as not to flood everyone’s social media feeds. If you’re interested in seeing my progress be sure to check back!

As for you, my dear reader,
What challenges have you set for yourself? Let me know in the comments!

Live, Love and Travel On