Setting yourself a challenge

I keep coming across blog posts where the authors have used their account to chronicle the various writing challenges they’ve set for themselves. Call my commitment shy, but I just can’t get my head around writing down what you set to do and then sharing it with everyone. I mean, some days I’m lucky just to function normally and remember to brush my hair let alone get any writing done. And there’s something about a big nasty old deadline (even a self imposed one) hanging over me that gives me the big freeze faster than anything.

But as far as I can see, this stuff really seems to be working for folks out there. I come across their updates and it seems like they are powering forward with their lists of self improvement. Just look at bloody nanowrimo, which sees people who generally have trouble getting motivated spewing out words left right and centre. (I’m saying nothing about quality over quantity here, nothing) What does this tell me? That it’s time to make a damn list? Maybe. Or maybe it’ll just encourage me to be contrary as usual and do my best to avoid setting targets it eh fear I won’t meet them. Hmm, maybe I should make a list of goals that includes deciding over whether making a list of goals is a good idea or not as the first thing on the list…

4 thoughts on “Setting yourself a challenge

  1. I think signing up to something like Nano for me was a personal challenge that was a pretty steep one. I’m a pretty goal orientated person, though – I like to do a set number of minutes when I’m running or do this and this by this time (doesn’t always work though, it depends on your frame of mind how committed you can become).

    But if you just tell yourself “fcking do it” and DECIDE you’re going to do it then, well, if you’re strong enough (willpowerwise) you’ll do it. Also, the public thing obviously means that people are watching and you’ll feel shitty if you fail in front of them. It’s why my pal’s attempting to quit smoking without telling anyone (except me!) because he doesn’t want to deal with other people knowing he’s failed if he does. The pressure of that situation can be a great spurring on if nothing else is. I know it helped me during the Nano thing – but the biggest push for me was how much I didn’t want to disappoint myself. If you invest a lot of commitment behind something and set yourself up for a big fall, you’ll do a lot to maintain your self respect.

    Yes, I would’ve lost ALL SELF RESPECT if I hadn’t made it. Good thing I did!


    • See, I have the total opposite reaction to pressure. External pressure, yep, I find it motivating to an extent – otherwise all those work deadlines would just float by me I guess.

      But the pressure I put on myself has to be private or the task just goes in a big bin marked ‘don’t touch’ in my head. I waited a good wee while before telling people I was giving up smoking, and even then I told lots of people I was just ‘taking a break’. Mainly because I knew labelling it would tempt me towards failure more, Why? ‘Cause I’m pointlessly contrary as hell.

      Stuff like nano works for loads of people and that’s awesome, I just don’t think it would for me. But when everyone seems to be doing something I get urges to jump on the bandwagon – or to blog about why I don’t even want to be on the bandwagon even.

      And yeah, I’m glad you retained your self respect too, it’ll make it more fun when I dedicate myself to trying to eradicate it anyway I can via the nets….


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