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Viewing Post from: Brenda Ferber's Blog
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Brenda Ferber is the author of the Sydney Taylor Award winning novel, Julia's Kitchen. Her second novel, Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire, will be published in 2009, and her first picture book, The Yuckiest, Drooliest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine's Day Ever, will be out in 2011 (hopefully). Here, she blogs about the writing life.
1. 365 Day Challenge

There's a kid named Alex in my town who is an amazing runner. I see him sometimes when I'm walking my dog or driving around the neighborhood, and I recognize him from far away because his stride looks so effortless and fast and powerful. Last week, my son told me that it was a big day for Alex because he had run for 365 consecutive days. Every single day for a year! We live in the Chicago suburbs. Our summers are hot and humid. Our winters are blustery and frigid. Our springs and falls are wet and windy. Can you imagine a 15-year-old boy running every single day for a year in weather like that? With typical teen distractions available to him all the time? It's no wonder his stride is so beautiful. It's no wonder that as a sophomore he's already one of the best runners on the varsity cross country team. His running may look effortless, but it's an illusion. He is putting in 100% effort, working every day, bit by bit, getting better, stronger, faster.

And isn't that true of all great things? The more you dedicate yourself, the more work you put into the creation of something, the more effortless it appears in the end. I really admire Alex's dedication. And I figure if he could do it, I can too. (I'm not talking about running, mind you. I hate to run!)

So, inspired by Alex, I've created a 365 Day Challenge, and I invite you to join me.

Choose something that you love and that you want to dedicate yourself to for an entire year. Working out? Writing poetry? Learning an instrument? Knitting? Singing? Creating a new business? Painting? Meditating? Shooting freethrows? The possibilities are endless. Now get a calendar. And go. No excuses. Find the time every day. And let me know how much progress you make. I bet we'll all have amazing stories of success to share.

My 365 Day Challenge is to write fiction. I'm one of those authors who tries to write everyday but quite often finds excuses why I can't get to it. (It's the weekend, It's a holiday, I don't have enough time, I have a headache, etc.) Recently, however, I realized I can get a lot of writing done in a small amount of time. If I turn off the internet, set the timer on my phone for 35 minutes and tell myself I have to continually write until the alarm beeps, I'm amazed at how much I accomplish. And usually, I can find several 35-minute chunks of time on even the busiest days. Every day I write for at least one 35-minute chunk, I'll mark it on my calendar. So far I'm on Day 6. Only 359 days to go!

Are you in? Let me know in the comments.

19 Comments on 365 Day Challenge, last added: 12/8/2010
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