This Article is About
time constraints
stream of consciousness
research time
nice feeling
busy schedule
hurdles
anticipation
amount of time
challenges
30 In 30 Challenge | The Thrill Of Victory, The Challenge Is Complete
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A challenge is something you undertake that you know going in will have some degree of difficulty with the anticipation of feeling a sense of victory upon completion. Every day is like a challenge in some way. On days you work, you can meet each task or job as if it were a challenge, and at the end of the day, you can look back and feel that sense of victory over a job well done. Isn’t that a nice feeling? Challenges also have time constraints. Deadlines within which to complete the tasks offered up in the challenge.

The Street Articles 30 Articles in 30 Days Challenge is no exception. I had time constraints and sometimes had to skip a day and write two articles the next day - if you let it go longer than that, they really pile up fast. But beyond the time constraints, there were many other challenges throughout this undertaking. Challenges to write faster, keep the articles shorter, cut down research time, network more, reach out to others more, and reach deep within to the writer hiding inside who is more capable of writing off the cuff. Oh, and I can’t forget one of the biggest hurdles -- fitting all this into an already super busy schedule!

Things I Learned to Do Better

Some articles can be based on my own questions about topics I think others might wonder about as well.

To write from the hip, as one author puts it. (You know who you are). It’s easy if you don’t let your stream of consciousness ramble off topic. To do this you, you have to tap into your brain’s knowledge base deeper than you might have to otherwise - generally speaking.

To do enough research online and off to become well versed in a short amount of time whether I already knew something about my topic or not. Of course, if I don’t this is a longer process. But either way, I always learn more. I learned how to do this more quickly than I was able to in the past.

To stick to a narrower sub-topic when conducting research and only picking out the choicest information then add that to what I already know as I write. Now I know how to break longer articles into multiple shorter articles by narrowing the topic down and pulling out sub-topics: Enough information for 800 words could be two articles, or 1200, three.

This challenge showed me the types of articles that really get people talking and sharing - the types of things they want to read about most. Put this little gem right into my online toolbox.

I’ve learned to live with typos. Learned that they don’t matter as much as my OCD says they do. As a former reporter, current book editor, and ex-schoolteacher, typos are not usually allowed in my universe. This was something I needed to overcome. I did find myself going back and editing a few things -- but only if they messed with the context. It’s not about being anal about the typos -- it’s about letting your voice flow through your writing, and to do that, you just start typing and let it flow. You don’t have to stop the flow you’ve got going by being so fussy.

Much to Kyle’s chagrin, I learned that sometimes it takes more time to find appropriate pictures for my articles than it took to write them. I will need to re-visit some articles to put pictures with them at this point. Finding an image that is just right and that you can use with no strings attached is often difficult and takes time unless you want to pay for it. Which I don’t. And SA makes it very hard to "Ignore" the image box that pops up. I actually feel a little guilty when I hit that Ignore button.

I also learned that it’s fun just to write articles just for their entertainment value or to vent. No links necessary. Just building my own voice and authorship is enough sometimes.

Lots of Small Victories, too!

Having met the challenge and feel that sense of victory is great. But I found that there were many small victories that felt good along the way. They include:

Writing more quickly and not letting the task at hand eat up a major portion of my day. I can still be verbose, but now I can do it in less time. Still working on keeping the word count down, though. Can you tell?

Growing my Tribe and joining lots of others’ Tribes which allowed me to make some online friends - all great people - all very supportive of each other and me. With SA and writing as common denominators between us, there is a one-for-all-and-all-for-one kinda feeling. We are all striving for the same basic things: to make life better for us and those we love, all practically addicted to learning about online endeavors, and all like the comradery and sharing of the self.

It’s like being an American Idol contestant. There’s that underlying sense of competition but many friendships build along the way so that you are happy when others succeed even it you haven’t advanced yourself.

A major small victory for me was that this challenge helped me express myself better overall - even verbally in the offline world. I felt like I was back in college. It really got my brain synapses fired up more than usual and brought my skill sets to the fore.

And the last small victory is that I ended up with 32 articles in the 30 days (including this one). I didn’t even realize I was ahead of the game. In fact, I felt like I was a little behind the eight-ball more than once. This tells me that some of the tasks were working - they helped me keep my time in check, my focus narrower, and my learning curve less wavy.

The Last Word

With all the daily email tasks, this challenge was more challenging than the one I met in 2011. I appreciated all the daily mini-tutorials and assignments this time around though. It was a much richer experience because of them. I vow to go back through them all and pick out the lessons I want to work on more and follow the tasks more thoroughly than time allowed me in the last 30 days.

Without the challenge, I never would have accomplished so much in so little time. It was a very rewarding experience on more than one level. Now to maintain the roll I’m on.

Thanks to all the authors who joined my tribe. Thanks for all the great comments and for all the inspiration and advice. Thanks for taking the time to read my articles. Thanks for the feeling of acceptance and belonging you so generously give. I appreciate you all more than you know.

And thank you, Kyle and Carson, for making it all possible and pushing us to become better and more accomplished as authors. The challenge was well worth the effort because of you.


Street Talk

Good ideas - glad you did your 30 in 30. Hoping you'll be back for more! Thanks again for connecting me with Squidoo:-)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Cynthia!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Lemuel  

Congratulations Ann. The 30 In 30 Challenge is a big help. Now I know that it's not only me having difficulty choosing a picture that completely blends with the article. And yes I agree that an article with good content is still powerful even without the links.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for the comment, Lemuel! It's nice to others go thru the same kinds of things we go thru...we all seem to be more connected when we find these things out about each other.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Golfspice  

You've summed up the whole challenge experience very nicely here. Well done on completion.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Golfspice!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

AnnMarie, I can really relate to what you're saying about being slowed down by editing and fixing things. I am learning not to over think and over edit too. Congratulations on finishing the challenge and great article here!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks Patty! Yeah, when I over think and over edit I now feel like I could be concentrating on something more important...like SEO! Thanks for the comment you were nice enough to leave for me.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
hayley  

congrats on completing your challenge :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thank hayley! It certainly was challenging!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Congrats on complete the challenge...Hopefully I'll try it soon..

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks again, Kevin. Hey, if you do AM, it's a great training experience. Don't wait to "find the time" - life doesn't typically let that happen. You have to make the time. It's well worth it!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
AJ  

I love the article AnnMarie. Congratulations on finishing 30 in 30!!!! Be proud of what you've accomplished, I know I am and I'm sure the rest of your tribe is as well. It's fantastic to watch each of us grow and improve in our writing here. Keep it up!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks AJ, it feels good. I wish I had time to read all the articles coming in to my inbox!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks for the article, and for following me. I have just started and am on day two. I have a ton of questions and any help along the way would be greatly appreciated.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Hi Shawn....If I can be of any help, I'm Renni at WA which I'm assuming you are a part of. If you aren't, friend me on Facebook at AnnMarie Escher and I'll help any way I can. Of course, Kyle and Carson are there for you too. Visit the SA Blog and leave comments/questions there.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Ann, I am joining WA this Thursday. I sent a friend request on Facebook.

  
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks for all the Congratulations and well-dones! You all are so sweet and supportive. I'm just sorry I didn't improve on my networking sooner. I didn't realize how much it means until you guys joined my Tribe. I really, truly appreciate that and the feedback you all gave me and the informative comments that added more insights into my articles. And thanks for reading my long dissertation on the 30 in 30. Good luck to any of you still in the midst of it. And Congrats to the ones who made it through!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Outstanding. Job well done. All of your articles were great and full of information.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
  

Thanks, Daniel. Thanks for reading them! You were very supportive to me through this and I truly appreciate it.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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