Ultimate Blog Challenge – January 2020

The last time I signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge was in October 2018. And it didn’t end well!

I started out with heaps of good intentions, but unfortunately good intentions don’t write Blog Posts. Life became a bit more hectic than normal that month, so all the good intentions in the world were useless.

Despite giving it my best shot – I fell short by miles!

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

My name is Maureen; and I am easily distracted (is there therapy for that?).

And today is the first day of January 2020. Actually, yesterday was the first day of January here in Australia – it’s good to see the rest of the world has caught up.

To celebrate the New Year and New Decade, I’ve signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge – again.

Wait – you don’t know what the Ultimate Blog Challenge is?

For those of us who are committed to, or are obsessed with a blog or two, the objective is to write new content on our blog website – often!

First I do the Coffee-thing, then I do the Writing-thing…

Another important objective is to actually get people to read that new content – lots of people!

Unfortunately, the two don’t always marry up. We might write every day, but it’s of little use if nobody reads the words we’ve slaved over for hours. Or we might have lots of traffic to our webpage, but not write anything new – for ages.

So that’s where the Ultimate Blog Challenge comes in.

A few times a year, Paul B Taubman launches the Ultimate Blog Challenge. He throws down the gauntlet for any writer/blogger to take up the challenge of writing a Blog Post every day for a month.

In exchange for accepting the challenge, Paul projects your blog on your website out there into the Blog Challenge membership (and there are thousands of members).

Part of the challenge is to read what other bloggers write and make a connection with them by commenting on their post. It’s called Networking, and it is a very valuable tool.

By the end of the month, you will have amassed a whole new set of readers of your humble Blog. Some will follow your musings long after the challenge is over, and others are only there for the duration of the challenge. Either way is fine – you’ve had the opportunity to write for a much wider audience than just your immediate family and a few loyal friends (well – in my case anyway).

But the most important thing is that your writing improves over time. You get to stretch yourself by tackling impromptu topics with a very short deadline. Paul throws out a topic or theme most days – and you have to write about it and get it published on your blog-site before the sun rises on the next new day.

Well – that doesn’t sound too hard…

And it shouldn’t be.

But often life gets in the way. We’ve all had those months when our best-laid plans go horribly awry and before we know it, the month is over and we’ve hardly touched our blog.

But with the support of fellow Ultimate-Challenge bloggers, all struggling with their own distractions, we are encouraged to keep going.

Two years ago I took up the January Ultimate Blog Challenge while I was travelling overseas. Heck, I thought, I’ll have heaps to write about because my Blog is mostly (but not exclusively) about my travels.

Well – that was good in theory – but what I hadn’t figured on was breaking my wrist early in the journey. Luckily I’m an optimist so I figured it could have been a lot worse. It could have been the wrist attached to my dominant (right) hand that was shattered.

So with shoulder to fingers on my left arm covered in plaster, conveniently bent at a right-angle at the elbow, I ‘single-handedly’ tapped away on the keyboard each day and completed a fair-whack of the challenge by the end of the month.

Writers are not born with a successful Blog in their hand – it takes a lot of hard work

Writing is no different to an athlete preparing for the Olympic Games. No athlete starts their career at Gold-Medal level! They train hard to develop the skills they need to represent their country and hopefully bring home the Gold.

There are no short-cuts. It’s all about the training.

And writing is the same. We start out as novices and build on our skills by writing often, reading, and learning from others.

The Ultimate Blog Challenge gives us the opportunity to write more, and the coach to guide us through our training sessions. Paul provides insightful tips and advice along the way.

And our fellow bloggers give us feedback by reading our blog and leaving comments.

It’s then up to us to put the advice into action and focus on those aspects of our writing that need attention.

Our writing improves!

And so the Ultimate Blog Challenge for January 2020 has begun – the keyboard is primed and it is full-steam ahead.

This is Day One!

My goal is to write a post-a-day for the entire thirty-one days of January 2020.

Wish me luck!

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Posted by Maureen

Owner and Administrator of website: maureendurney.com

10 comments

mylifediversions

Hi Maureen, Good luck with the Ultimate Blogging Challenge – I’m rooting for you, and I am in it with you as well. It’s my first time, so am looking forward to it!

You will learn so much from the UBC! And I am so glad you have signed up for it. You will make lots of new friends, as I have done through previous ones. I look forward to reading yours.

Good luck this time Maureen. I’m the same. Life can get in the way. Happy New Year.

It’s thanks to your reminder of the Blog Challenge that I am here today – having another crack at it, Di. Yes, life gets in the way – but I am really determined to get it done – this time… (fingers crossed). And Happy New Year to you – I think a coffee catch-up is needed…

Good to see you again, Maureen. Your coffee looks delicious. You don’t need luck. You’re excellent writer. Your post covers all the corners of good writing.

Lily

Lily, through a past Ultimate Blog Challenge I found your blog – and have loved reading it since then. I aspire to write from the heart – as you do – but I will never find the way with words that seems to come effortlessly from you. You are still my inspiration. Thank you

Thank you, Maureen. I have an ADHD brain. I can’t sit down and organize anything. I do most things off the cuff. 🙂

Lily

Lily, it’s funny you should mention ADHD. I have only recently considered the possibility of being at least ADD, if not ADHD. There are unfinished projects all over my house – as I flit from one to the other. And the Drafts folder on my website is getting pretty full – one day I will have to sit down and finish at least some of them.
So if you are writing off the cuff – please keep doing it because I love reading it.

Chef William

I am also one of the many that have joined the challenge before and had life get in the way of reaching our goals. This time I plan to make it to the finish line and hope my writing skills do in fact improve along the way. So I am wishing you luck and now I must start writing, but First the coffee.

Thank you Chef William. I’m always surprised when I look back on old posts, to see how far I have progressed. And there is always room for a lot more improvement – and the UBC is one of the best ways of making me face my writing on a daily basis. And yes – always – First Coffee – then Writing! See you on the Challenge…

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