The beginning of October brought more than the usual autumn chill and spooky vibe with it this year. The first of October marked the start of a challenge, one I have eagerly taken up. This is the 2015 October Platform Challenge from Writer’s Digest Editor Robert Lee Brewer and it involves a new challenge for every day of October.
This challenge was designed to grow my platform, essentially, the people that might care what I have to say or are curious about and enjoy my writing enough to stay updated with my shenanigans; i.e. you lovely people! A link can be found here as well as being included at the end of this post.
The challenges have ranged from tasks I’ve already completed or have been doing on my own previously (such as blog posts), to ones I was dreading and hoped would never really cross my path as any sort of necessary mountain to climb. Many of the challenges have been related to social media creation or interaction for the obvious reason of being one of the quickest and easiest ways to begin making new connections with people. I now have a Facebook Page which can be found here, as well as a Twitter where you can find me @amalgamology or click here.
One challenge in particular that comes to mind involved defining some short and long-term goals, which have always been vague notions knocking around my brain pan, but seeing those goals down in front of me made them more solid and necessary to achieve, perhaps even made them more attainable. Other challenges so far have included, creating a website (Voila!), writing a bio, writing various blog posts and blog related tasks, conducting an interview, and even looking into possible live events in our area. As part of the challenge there have also been live chats on Twitter with #platchal where we discuss questions we may have, meet other writers, and encourage each other, as well as share interesting and important tips and information.
The timing of this challenge was incredibly fortuitous as I’ve been creeping towards growing my platform the last few months. The October Platform Challenge has given me the added push to take the leap and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far and eagerly await growth with each passing day, of myself as well as my platform.
One of the best things about this month and the challenges each day has been the level of accomplishment I’ve felt. I’ve been waking up absurdly early, in part with anticipation of getting the next day started. As I’ve mentioned, most of the challenges have been easy enough to accomplish in that first hour of the morning if not less, so you’re essentially starting the day off with a check in the Win column, and you know the best thing about that feeling? The desire to do even more! At least that’s often how I feel (until I’ve done that the entire day and need the next to rest, but let’s not go there).
I’ve learned so much this month from my experience and have much to utilize as I continue forward with the remainder of the challenge and beyond. I have gotten more done in the past month, just writing wise, than I have the last year, and I take heart from that. Even more so, because I’m excited about the future. I have big plans, both with my novels and stories, as well as in the community and connecting with my fellow authors and lovers of all things creative. I’ve also met some really wonderful people full of new ideas and perspectives.
There are three big things I will take away with me from this challenge: that planning is the best foundation but flexibility is important too, always look for the possible learning opportunity, and finally, give myself some credit and believe in myself because obviously if I try, I can accomplish even the scary things. I’m looking forward to completing this challenge and to finding and creating a writing community that will challenge, support, and inspire me the way my fellow participants have this month. I’m looking forward to what the next couple of months will bring.
If you’d like to connect to any of the other blogs of the October Platform Challenge participants, a list of them can be found here.