The Value of Writing and Drawing Challenges

This month I am involved in two challenges.

I have discovered that I like participating in challenges. The first one I ever participated in was the chapter book challenge in March. Not only did I finish the draft of a chapter book (my first ever), but also I wrote two fairy tales for their anthology (coming soon!) The community has been amazing. Even though we are in May, we still post messages about various issues.

So when I heard about a couple of other challenges going on this month, I jumped at the chance.

The first is Doodle Day May, which I joined to have a bit of fun. But I also am participating, because I am a firm believer that in order to enhance your writing skills, it helps if you engage in other forms of art. I blogged about this before; see my blog here. I am not great at skills like drawing, but I do enjoy myself.

Here is my day 1 sketch, a zentangle of my name.

I have my daughter participating in this challenge too. Day two involved monsters, which she loved doing. She drew a lot of them, ones that I would have never even considered.

I also drew a lot of monsters. It just so happened that I was going to write a picture book draft on monsters, so that sketch challenge came at the right time. I drew a lot of the monsters that I had planned to write about, and it really helped to clarify things for me. I not only discovered some of the monsters I had written about probably wouldn’t work, but I also discovered some new ones.

So then I wrote about my monsters for National Picture Book Writing Week (NaPiBoWriWee), which is the second challenge I am involved in. During this week, you are supposed to write a picture book draft every day. I am proud to say that I have written a draft every day so far. But I discovered that my first draft would be better as a chapter book and my third as a humorous article directed at parents. That leaves me with one potential picture book. Still, I would never have known that if I had never tried to write the drafts. And it would have taken me a lot longer to write the drafts, if I hadn’t joined this challenge.

There are many challenges offered throughout the year, and I am keeping my eyes open. Not only are they motivating, but the community support is fantastic.


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