Mandy Eve-Barnett's Blog for Readers & Writers

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A Challenge…

August 20, 2010


My confidence has slowly grown with each circle meeting that I have attended and piece of writing, I have compiled. The generous encouragement and support of my fellow circle members is helping me on my journey to learn the ‘skill’ of writing.

Attendance at my first ‘workshop’ evening was a real eye opener. A theme was chosen by the hostess and writing ‘exercises’ were timed. The challenge of writing within a designated amount of time was thrilling. I found a deadline really focused my thought processes. Another delight was to hear the variety of answers that came from the same assignment. Each writer interpreted the prompt differently and in their own unique way. As I enjoyed these exercises so much, I began searching the internet for word and picture prompts, which has lead me to several great sites. With the creation of my own blog on the circle’s web site, I started posting small pieces of prose and the occasional poem. The responding comments have helped me improve and sometimes restructure a piece – my own virtual class room.

Daringly I decided to post on a couple of sites to see if I was good enough to be ‘published’. To my surprise and delight I succeeded – a happy dance ensued for each piece accepted. Now I am braver and post on several sites on a regular basis. Some are voted upon and others are reviewed – both types of response give me valuable feed back.

Then I was given a real challenge by a writing circle friend. “Why don’t you enter the NaNoWriMo?” At that time I had never heard of this contest so listened with growing trepidation as she outlined the premise – fifty thousand words or more written within the month of November. Well, up until that moment the most I had written was a couple of hundred words! Was she serious? As it turned out she was – and would join me in this quest. At the time I was just stunned – how on earth could anyone do such a thing? I had to work, parent children, keep a household – I didn’t have the time. However, I logged into the NaNo site and read several participants stories. One, in particular ‘hit home’ – a young army recruit in Afghanistan, who wrote after her day’s maneuvers. If she could complete a NaNo, I had no excuse! So I signed up for NaNo 2009. It was certainly a challenge, an adventure into my imagination and ending in a surprising result.

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