Marilyn's 2021 Bucket List Challenge - Challenging Myself as a Writer!

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Writing is always on my yearly bucket list. I try not to get too specific about it as have struggled with the isolation the last few years.  Being face to face with people hearing them share is where I find my inspiration and drive.  Without that energy, sitting down to write has proven more of a challenge.

There were two directions I took on my writing  in 2021 that were successful.  The first was simply to focus on writing shorter pieces for my blog and for At Foryfive Magazine (I committed to writing six articles for them).  My blog is very reflective of who I am, both personally and as a writer.  I get bored easily, so focusing on one topic only wasn't an option. Olio by Marilyn has almost a magazine style that features topics including fashion, interviews, book reviews, travel, recipes, and articles sharing my thoughts on a wide variety of topics (serious and funny).

The most successful blogs are usually single subject - fashion, travel, food, health, etc., so mine has always had very average numbers. Then in 2021 that suddenly started to shift. I had a month here and there where  my numbers hit new highs. Often the numbers dropped after for a few months, then I would hit another new high. As a response I committed to post regularly, at least three articles a week, and that has been great for my writing.

The second focus was to try to stretch myself as a writer. After 12 years, I was getting in a rut.  I started to write a few flash fiction pieces here and there. They aren't for publication at this point, simply meant to explore new directions.  I also embraced the ten day writing challenge in the book Every Day is a Poem by Jacqueline Suskin. I can't say enough how this experience affected the way I view how I share my thoughts. I am hoping to work my way through the challenges in the book again this year and continue to work on some of the skills the exercises showcased. 

Showing up is also a theme I embraced part way through the year in response to two books I reading - The Power of Habits and Atomic Habits.  Showing up encompasses  things like sitting down every day to write something, anything. I also joined Author Nation's writing sessions in November for NaNoWritMo month.  While I could make all three sessions run over the four weeks, I attended as many as I could and wrote.  I showed up.

For 2022 I am seriously raising the bar on challenging myself as a writer, but that story is for another day!  If you want to see a final recap of my Marilyn's 2021 Bucket List Challenge click HERE. Want to see my new list for 2022? Well you'll just have to check back. That does live on Jan. 11th!