I’m always working on bettering myself, both in my personal and professional life. I’ve been self-publishing books and blogs, and articles and other projects for over a decade now under various pseudonyms. I’ve also sold a lot of art even though I’m not nearly as good as other artists when it comes down to it (and I’ve neglected my artist skills for about a decade now). Lately, I’ve been neglecting a lot of my skills and goals. So, I decided that it was time to do something about that.
My readers are probably thinking “get off your ass and do stuff it’s not that hard”. And for the most part, they are right. I just need to DO the things I’ve been intending to do and not get distracted by everything else I would rather be doing. Since I’m using the start of my kid’s school year as the start of my “work year” I thought I might share some of the goals I’m setting myself and let my readers decide if they would like to join me.
Read on to see if you’ll be interested…
First off, I focus on small short projects at a time. Yeah. Because long things are hard for me. Now it didn’t always work like that. I was very into regular schedules and dedicated to long protracted projects all through my childhood and early twenties. But for some reason, in about my mid-twenties, my entire style of work (and hobbies and learning) shifted and now I prefer shorter projects. For that reason, I have come to love Challenges. Week-long challenges, ten-day challenges, thirty-day challenges, and that’s about as long as I want to dedicate to something I’m not making a permanent part of my life.
All the challenges I’m working on starting today, September 1st of 2020, are going to be 30-day challenges. By the end of the month, I will have completed about ten challenges. I hope!
Challenge 1: Draw One Character Portrait per day for thirty days – I’m a little rusty with my sketching abilities. My realistic art style has now devolved into barely cartoonish. The way to correct this is lots of sketching to bring my skills up to par. However, I haven’t made much time for sketching lately. Also, there are only so many times I can sketch my kid, the dog, the cats, and the view out my apartment’s four windows. The solution? I have a lot of characters in my books. I’m going to sketch one of them every day, for the next thirty days. My plan is to record each sketch and eventually post that video to my YouTube or Facebook. I’ll be posting finished pictures to Twitter. If any authors want to participate with me and share their sketches of their original characters on Twitter then make sure you use the tag @DelilahBluette‘s #30DayCharacterSketchChallenge. Non-Authors can participate by drawing their favorite book characters. Would love to see some artists share videos of their sketches. (Not so subtle hint-hint, nudge-nudge, wink-wink.)
Challenge 2: Thirty Days of Painting – This challenge has two parts. First, work On One Painting for the next thirty days. A problem I’ve always had with my paintings is that I force myself to stop because I never think they are good enough and keep going and going until I ruin them. The goal of this challenge is to keep set a specific stop date for a painting. I have a painting I started years ago for my son, that I never finished, and now I am going to work on it a little bit every day for the next thirty days to make sure it gets done. I’ll post my progress every day to my Facebook page.
The second part of this challenge is to do one painting every day. As a reference, I’m using photos. Some of the photos will have been taken by me, some of the photos will have been taken by others, and some of the images I use as a reference will be the picture Windows displays on my computer’s lock screen. They will be quick and dirty paintings that probably won’t look very good. I’m okay with that. The point is to make myself do them. And I will try to record the process to share on YouTube. I’ll have to limit my painting to about three hours a day in total if I’m going to get the rest of my goals accomplished. I’ll post the image I’m working on to my Instagram every day so that artists who want to participate can draw, or paint along with me. Feel free to share your art with the hashtag #30DaysOfPaintingFromPhotos and tag me @DelilahBluette so I can see your work. I’ll be posting my paintings the day after they are finished.
Challenge 3: Thirty Days of #TwritingPrompts – For just over a year I posted a writing prompt on Twitter every Tuesday morning at 5:00 AM Pacific time. I stopped doing this because it seemed like no one was really interested in them, my goal for the next thirty days is to post a #TwritingPrompt to Twitter every day at 5:00 AM Eastern time. (Except today because I forgot to schedule it, so that will be posted late in the day.)
Challenge 4: Thirty Days of Short Stories – I recently decided to start submitting short stories to literary magazines for publishing. I’ve already received my first rejection letter and encouragement to continue submitting to that magazine in the future. It was a very nice rejection letter. My goal is to submit one short story for publication every day for the thirty days of September 2020 under my real name and not the pseudonym my books are published under. I will not be sharing these original stories on my blog. Sorry.
Challenge 5: Thirty Days of #TwritingPrompt Stories – Sure I made writing prompts available to everyone else for a year, but I wasn’t using these writing prompts myself. I know. Why not? Because I was working on my blog and my upcoming books. So, for the next thirty days, I will be writing a short story every day using the writing prompts I’m posting on Twitter. Check back to my blog every evening around 7:00 PM Pacific time after writing your own short story to read the flash fiction I write in response to my prompts. If you are posting your flash fiction or links to stories you wrote with the writing prompts to social media use the hashtag #30DayTwritingPromptChallenge and tag me. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I’ll read and comment on as many as I can.
Challenge 6: Thirty Days of Social Media Posts – Anyone who is a regular follower of my social media knows that I am notorious for my irregular social media presence. I might post every day for a week to Twitter and completely ignore Facebook and Instagram for a month then be all over LinkedIn and then disappear totally for two weeks. What can I say, I didn’t have social media until I needed it to help promote my books so I view my accounts more as a tool than as a way of connecting with people. My goal is to develop regular social media posting habits. So for the next thirty days, I will post once per day to each of my social media accounts: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
Challenge 7: Thirty Days of Social Media Growth – I have a several thousand followers on Twitter, that is great. But I don’t have a lot of followers on any of my other social media accounts. My goal is to increase my followers on all accounts by 100 in the next thirty days. To facilitate this I’ll be promoting my social media every day through engagement, posts, following new people, liking, retweeting/re-posting/re-pinning, and cross-promoting. It’s okay if I don’t meet the number of followers part of this goal, but it is important for me to increase my engagement and interaction as part of this goal.
Challenge 8: 30 Days of Recording – I have less than ten followers on YouTube. To Increase followers, my goal is to record a video every single day for thirty days. I’m not requiring myself to post a video every day because I’m a noob at digital editing and I’m still learning the programs. But by the end of September 2020 I will have recorded thirty videos to post to YouTube.
Challenge 9: Thirty Days of Reading – I am very far behind on my reading schedule for books I need to review. There’s a lot of books I need to review and post those reviews to…everywhere. Though I read every day, most of it is work-related and not necessarily the reviewing-part-of-my-work related. To remedy this and get caught up, I’m going to be reading at least one chapter per day of books I’m behind in. To hold myself accountable for this I’ll be posting a daily check-in to my book club IndieBookGeeks on Facebook. (Psst…there aren’t a lot of members so feel free to join, click this link.) I’m currently reading “Pushing Through” by Lori Yerxa. The paperback is $12.00 on Amazon and the Kindle version is on Kindle Unlimited.
Challenge 10: Thirty Days of Fitness – I got a little lax with my exercising schedule last month so I’m kicking my butt to get up and get out (which will require some pretty strict following of my schedule if I’m going to accomplish everything I set out to do). As part of this challenge, I am going to be doing the following:
- 10,000 Steps Per Day Challenge – Yes. I am aware that I should, in theory, be taking 10,000 steps per day every day, but as I said, I got a little lax with my exercise last month.
- 30-Day Calf Challenge – 100 Calf Raises per day. Now, this might seem difficult but I think it is actually the easiest of my physical challenges since it doesn’t require leaving the house to do it and I can do it a little bit at a time intermittently.
- 30-Day But & Leg Workout – I’m using this app I found on the Google Play Store. If you want to give it a try with me.
- Six Pack in 30 Days – This is the app I’m using to track my challenge. It also comes from the Google Play Store.
- 30-Day Stretching Exercises – With this app that I love and use
every(ahem *cough cough*), I mean, most days already.
- Drink 1-Gallon of Water Per Day for 30 Days – I chronically forget to drink enough water, this is a personal goal to make sure I stay hydrated. One gallon equals 128 fluid ounces. This means I need to drink six and a half 20-ounce bottles of water per day to meet this goal.
All in all my physical challenges will take about 2 and ½ hours per day. I would also like to note that I am very out of shape and have several injuries and cannot always to the exercises as they are depicted in the apps. Because of this I do easier modified versions of some of the exercises that do not strain me or cause more damage.
If you’d like to join me in any of these challenges, I’d love the company. We can encourage each other and hold each other accountable. As for the physical challenges I’ve set myself, I’m not a doctor or medical professional and I can’t make any recommendations as to whether those are safe for anyone else. Always seek medical advice before starting a new exercise routine. I know that I’ve used these programs before and they were okay for me. I intend to use them this month. I’ve provided the links to the apps for others to look at them and see if they are right for them.
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