Sunday, December 2, 2012

Embracing Challenges

I decided to participate in a 30-day Poem-a-Day challenge sponsored by Writer's Digest during the month of November because I was in a strange place and needed the creative structure to re-establish my writing routine which suffered greatly after I injured my knee in August requiring surgery in September. Between recovery time, the pain medication I hated taking, the pain when I didn't take the medication, and then hours of physical therapy each day, I just couldn't get my creativity focused long enough to write much.

So, when my friend, Ariel, posted the first PAD challenge, I decided to take the challenge. If all I accomplished was a single poem for thirty days, at least it would be something written every day for thirty days.

When I say I normally don't participate in these challenges, I mean I hate to be told what to write or what to write about or when to write. For those reasons, I tend to shy away from challenges like this PAD challenge and the famous NaNoWriMo or whatever challenge. I think these challenges are great ideas and do wonderful things for many writers. I just generally find them more restricting than inspiring.

This time, however, I embraced the Poem-a-Day challenge with great results. Not only did I write a poem for each and every challenge on the day of the challenge, but I also wrote several other poems and managed to work a little on some other writing projects that needed my attention. In fact, I wrote or edited 56 poems in November, so I would say the Poem-a-Day challenge inspired my inner poetess a whole bunch!

Most importantly, though, I began to feel productive and creative again!

And, that's what I most needed!

I so wanted to come to the end of the challenge and be able to dismiss it as just something completed, but it stretched my poetic muscles and reminded me I need to rise to the challenges I set for myself and to embrace new challenges in order to continue my growth whether writing or living.

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