Sunday, May 29, 2016

Finishing #TheEnd #My500Words #217

Finally - day 31 of the Jeff Goins 500 word challenge has arrived. I did it! I noticed as I checked back over all the posts I have done that I missed one. Day 23 was about "The End" - instead of doing two posts I am combining "The End" with "Finishing".

Image source: Wikimedia Commons.
Jeff Goins describes the 500 word challenge as a "marathon, not a sprint". I found it difficult at times to figure out what to write in response to the daily prompts that Goins provides. In one sense I don't feel like I have finished - doing this challenge is part of a 366 day challenge to write a post everyday for a year. Over the past month Goins has not just provided me with prompts, but he gave me reasons to write. 500 words is a lot when you have nothing written. As I wrote each post I regularly checked (using Microsoft Word's word count feature) how many words I had written. Every single post is over 500 words - once I got going each day, it was hard to stop. I liked the discipline of the challenge even though I did not always write interesting material.

Looking back on my posts - none of them are fictional. Part of what Goins does is help writers to write - I'm guessing most are fiction writers who need help to get an idea onto paper, or a book to a publisher. This was not my aim - I have absolutely no imagination for writing fiction and have no ambition to write a blockbuster novel. Everything I wrote during the month was fact - I especially enjoyed writing about my past. Some readers have mentioned that they liked it too (thank you!).

The end of this challenge coincides with the end of the academic year. At work at the this week it will be all about getting results signed off for our Exam Boards next week. In two weeks time students will get their results. Not all will achieved what they aimed for, while many others will do better than they had hoped. Some will fail and will have to come back in August to do the  repeat exams. While this will suck right now, I earnestly hope that each and every student who has failed will learn from it and do better the next time. There is no shame in failing an exam - it is not The End.

In 30 days I have written over 15,000 words. It just goes to prove that this can be done. Had someone said to me that I would write this much in just 30 days I would not have believed them. I feel that I have achieved something and have reached a goal set by another person  (Jeff Goins) who I don't even know. I have 216 more posts to go this year and right now I have no idea what I will write about tomorrow. The end of the 500 words challenge is just the beginning of the rest of the year.

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