I lurk on the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenges, and until now, I have not taken a single one up. This week, though, I’m all over it.
This week’s challenge, Just Do It, is to post every day for a full seven days. The challenge was issued on Christmas Eve. And my first thought was, “I’ve totally got this one. I know how to write even when I have nothing to say.” My second thought was, “But it’s Christmas Eve. How am I going to find time to write on Christmas Eve?”
And then, a string of more “buts.”
“But tomorrow is Christmas. Am I really going to post on Christmas Day?”
“But we’ll be on the road on Wednesday. When we get to my parents’ house, I’m not going to want to waste precious visiting time posting to my blog when I could be sipping wine with Mom, or talking with Dad about the time someone tried to give him an elephant.”
And the buts kept coming. Even now, I’m thinking, if I hit publish on this post, I will be telling the world, (or the microscopic percentage of the world who reads my blog) that I accept this challenge. That I will write on Christmas Day. And I will write the following day, after driving for 8 hours, with no means of posting until we get to our destination. Accepting this challenge here on my blog, publicly, holds me accountable, and I’m not sure I’m okay with that. What if I don’t feel like posting? What if I don’t have anything to say?
But. The challenge doesn’t say that each post has to be a masterpiece. If I have nothing to say, I can write about having nothing to say. The piece I wrote for the Southern Women’s Review is titled “Writer’s Block.” Why? Because the fear of submitting my first piece for publication, the fear of facing the imminent rejection that all writer’s hear about, crippled me, and I could not write.
So I began by writing about my paralysis. About my inability to write in the face of the submission deadline. And I ended up with a pretty tight piece about my Southern childhood. It was accepted and will be published in January.
I take courage from that success, and I encourage other writers to do the same. Like this challenge charges, just do it. What you write might be crap.
But then again, it might not be.