When the Writing Cooperative announced their 52 Week Writing Challenge in January 2017, I thought long and hard about entering. I wasn’t fond of writing challenges and had problems sticking with some which were only ten to fourteen days.
But a year? Me?
I threw caution to the wind and signed up and figured any amount of time in the challenge would be good practice and help me work out a writing regimen I could stick with.
I sailed through the first three months.
I mentally reprimanded myself for fearing something which was too easy for words.
And then April happened. Hello Reality check!
Between my husband’s hospitalization for a serious infection related to his ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and me, getting hit with the mother of all Fibromyalgia flare-ups, I was done.
I had two submissions saved in Scrivener and decided after posting them, I was out of the challenge. I’d missed editing and publishing deadlines for my debut novel’s book two, no way could I also be stressed over a writing challenge.
That’s what I thought, anyway.
Writers can be a quirky bunch, and whether we’re burning the midnight oil editing or rising before dawn to flesh out characters and plots, we make our families (and close friends) aware of our projects and schedules.
So, they’ll understand missed appointments, preoccupations with fictional characters, or if dinner is late… or pizza… again.
But we also keep family and friends in the loop because they’re our first level of support… and our biggest cheerleaders.
Time passed, and I submitted the two completed pieces to the challenge with no plans to continue.
My family had other ideas.
Our three adult children took turns passing through and staying for a night or two with me until their dad was discharged.
(Told you guys I needed a supervisor!)
When the mister was finally discharged, I was ready to sleep for a week.
But it wasn’t meant to be.
The oldest blindsided me with, “Is your weekly writing challenge done?”
I was floored. This is the guy who thinks I write Victorian romances starring Fabio! God’s honest truth… I kid you not! Other than a couple of early story outlines, he’s never read a word I’ve written and probably never will. So, when he called me out, what else could I do but write?
That was the week I wrote Dumped, based on a true encounter I had with a homeless man when I was six months pregnant with HRH, the firstborn!
I won’t say it was easy, but I never considered quitting again after that.
And it paid off… even if the timing wasn’t the best.
Just hours after we lost my mother-in-law on January 12th, I received a congratulatory email naming me the winner of the 2017 52-Week Writing Challenge.
I was shocked, excited, and grateful… still am. But Life and family had to come first.
We’ve fallen back into our routines again, and it’s time to go to work.
My prize is a publishing package from the great folks at Standout Books, so I need to give them something to publish.
Wish me luck.