January Challenge: Finish, Begin, Improve, Plan


write start badgeNew year, fresh start. After yesterday’s reflection (2013 Day One: Reflections, Goals and a Challenge), it’s time to get to work.

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the JanPlan challenge being hosted by writer Christa Desir. Another writing friend, the lovely Khara House, is hosting a challenge for improving your blog or website. (Keep reading – links to both are below.)

As I planned to tackle each of these as well as the to-do list so many of us start the year with, I found that while Christa challenges that we finish one thing and Khara proposes that we improve one thing, I also need to start a major project this month (eek – a literary magazine due by April).  I want to do both Christa and Khara’s challenges but my month was forming into its own January challenge: focusing on one approach for each week of the month.

If you would like to join in, my January Write Start Challenge looks like this:

Each week — starting tomorrow — I’ll post a kick-off challenge, sharing what I will be tackling that week as well as any articles, challenges or steps that will help motivate your own project.

*     *     *     *     *

Here is an overview:

  1. Isn’t it true that Week One of a new year includes finishing old business?  If you have time off for the holidays, maybe you can finish an incomplete story. Maybe there’s an unfinished goal from 2012. TOMORROW will feature the kick-off post for this challenge, but you can get a head-start by checking out Christa Desir’s JanPlan 2013 challenge here.
  2. In Week Two, I will begin a new semester — and production of the literary magazine for my students. New starts involve identifying key steps, scheduling meetings with key players, and setting deadlines. Sad but true, new starts involve a little fear, so we can jointly take a deep breath and plunge in.  While I dedicate the week to this new start, no project happens in a vacuum, and I’ll address how to balance a new start with the “finishing” and “improving” of ongoing projects. (Launch for Week 2 here)
  3. In Week Three, I will focus on improving one aspect of my writing business. Depending on where I am at that point, it will either be submissions or my blog.  **See the note below about Khara House’s challenge , if you think you might want to improve your blog this month.  
  4. Week Four will be the wild-card, to evaluate where you stand and plan goals for the coming months. This might include aspects of all three of the prior weeks, as new beginnings are planned, progress is evaluated for more improvement, and more projects are targeted for finishing. It will be a time to reflect on what is going well and organize for success.

*     *     *     *     *

How to Get Started:

To join in at any time during the month:

  • Jump in with a comment below this post or any later posts in the month.
  • Post your own goals on your website.  Include a link to this post (and links to Christa or Khara’s posts if your goal relates to their challenge). Grab the badge above, if you want to be festive!
  • Come back and share a link to your post here so other readers can see how your January Challenge is going! 

Most of my readers are writers of some sort, but everyone’s goals are welcome – whether finishing painting that living room (a-hem) or starting an acting class or… What will you be up to this month?

*     *     *     *     *

Our Lost Jungle "I <3 My Blog" challenge

Our Lost Jungle Challenge

Khara House’s “I ♥ My Blog” challenge

If the one thing you want to improve this month will be your blog, I do recommend that you join Khara House’s “I ♥ My Blog” challenge and participate throughout the month. Khara is a fellow member of Wordsmith Studios, a great group of writers, and I can assure that she will host a lively, informative and supportive challenge throughout the month.  She begins the challenge today by tackling editorial calendars — find it at Our Lost Jungle here or join the Facebook “I ♥ My Blog” event here.

*     *     *     *     *

If you like this blog, be sure to subscribe using WordPress’s +follow option, or via email or RSS feed.  I love to connect with like-minded readers and writers!

Recent Posts:

Coming Next:

About these ads

6 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, January Challenge, Time Management for Writers, Writing Life, Writing Mother, Writing Prompt

6 responses to “January Challenge: Finish, Begin, Improve, Plan

  1. May Kuroiwa

    Love this idea!

    • elissa field

      Thanks, May! It’s great to see you here. I hope your writing is going well. Aren’t you in an MFA program now? I’d love to hear how it’s going.

  2. Thank you very much for the mention and links, Elissa. Hopefully folks who participate in the “I ♥ My Blog” month will find resources they need to both keep their blogs alive in 2013 and “rekindle the flame” that often gets blown out (or at least diminished) over time! I so appreciate that you shared the challenge here, and wish you luck in all the challenges you are undertaking this month!

    • elissa field

      Absolutely! I really hope all bloggers read your post today, about editorial calendars. Your approach is so energizing! Thanks, as always, for all you share with readers.

  3. I love this idea! I’ll see what I can do, and I’ll go check out Miss Khara’s challenge, too. The fourth week–starting the 19th–I’ll be at WIP at Eckerd–a challenge all its own, working with Ann Hood! But we’ll see what I can get done before then (including all those manuscripts I need to read and critique for the workshop)!

    • elissa field

      Yay, Gerry! I’m so excited you’re doing the workshop with Ann Hood at Eckerd. I absolutely cannot wait, for you!

      Do participate here, though, if you have time and if it fits your goals for the month. Maybe your “finish something” is reading those ms’s. I’d love to have your insights here. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s