Once there was a girl… a challenge?

Last night I had dinner with Rochelle, which is always a sensible thing to do. Not only is she lovely and very funny, she never fails to be inspiring. She’s had about fourteen careers already, and she’s not even quite in her mid-30s, and she just doesn’t let things hold her back. Sure she feels fear, and has the occasional wobble, because she’s human. But she also sees something she wants to do, logically works out how to achieve it, and then just does it. Given I’m still learning how to ask for stuff, you can imagine why seeing her always feels like a shot in the arm.

We got talking about challenges, and I bore everyone to tears about make no secret of the fact that my #100forchildsi challenge really changed me. Since then, I’ve kept drawing, and even experimented with putting one of my designs on a t-shirt. I’ve got vague but gradually coalescing plans to do more with this, and another design developing in my head. I really do want to progress this to the point where there is an actual physical product available, potentially even to sell. Whether or not anyone wants to buy it, well… that’s another issue.

But before I was drawing, I was writing. And I still write. But not nearly as often as I could or should. But a blogging challenge just didn’t appeal somehow. I liked the idea of a theme (getting too nebulous creatively can be as problematic as being too limited), but I also wanted to stretch my fiction-writing muscles which are seriously flabby and creaking, but for the occasional stretch.

So I thought, what if my theme was ‘once there was a girl*’? If that was the first line of every story, and each story was maybe a tiny complete tale or a short fragment, and I tried to do it every day for, say, 30 days? I have the feeling I should do it sooner rather than later, so maybe I’ll start this weekend. And this time, I’m not accountable to people raising money for charity (though if you’d like to support Childsi anyway, my JustGiving page still exists). And I am really going to have to put my money where my mouth is on the asking front, because I’d be asking anyone who’s sweet enough to read this blog on occasion to spend time looking at stuff that would be quick and unpolished, and that I wouldn’t feel very confident about. And that’s terrifying, though here I take inspiration from another marvellous woman, Jenni, who recently launched her fab book vlog.

So… I think I’m going to do it. It might be soon. It might be very soon. And I invite you to gently take my hand and give it a squeeze and be constructive, but kind. Because you’re wonderful and I have faith in you. Yes, you.

*Yes, always a girl, I think. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tom and his paper cats, and he came into my head as a man, and a man he should stay. But while I’m challenging myself, why not add a more female voice among the many, many male stories? I might change my mind and bend my own rules, but we’ll see.

Edit 08.02: Well, it looks like we’re off and running! I’ll add pieces below as they appear…

1. OTWAG: Once
2. OTWAG: The Thunder Tree
3. OTWAG: Am (Not) Writing
4. OTWAG: Library
5. OTWAG: Holding the Leash
6. OTWAG: Resolution
7. OTWAG: Bedtime Story
8. OTWAG: The Pink Paper
9. OTWAG: Watching
[Edit 19/02: A slight interlude of fail. I my defence, I’ve been working full, long days and then had evening plans that have seen me busy until at least 11pm. Yes, if I was really dedicated I’d get up even earlier than 6am or write until 2am, but I’m clearly doomed to eternal lack of ‘really wanting it’ or something when it comes to the decision between writing and seeing my child, or sleeping. I shall return this weekend, however, with a genteel, finger-tapping vengeance.]