Throwing down the gauntlet: I challenge you to write something different!

knight in armor

Be careful! If this guy throws down the gauntlet, it’ll probably hurt.

So yesterday I read this post by the Rubber Ducky Copywriter. In it, she posts about her first rejection letter after going out on a limb and submitting a short story. Despite her success as a copywriter, fiction is a new endeavor for her, and rejection hurt.

First of all, I’d like to cheer her on. Despite the rejection letter (and my readers will know I’m no stranger to them), the Rubber Ducky Copywriter did something a lot of us writers don’t do: try something new.

A lot of us avoid writing new things, especially after we find success (especially financial) in a particular niche. I know that it took me a long time to start writing for adults after I’d succeeded with kids’ lit. Other changes were also scary, because they carry risk. What if you invest time and emotions and no one ever publishes it?

But the pay-off can be big.

For years, I focused on my fiction. When I ventured on occasion to write a personal essay, it would inevitably face a quick rejection. Out of frustration, I gave up writing personal essays for a long time.

But, when I came back to it, I did better. My years of practicing fiction helped me hone my storytelling abilities. The first personal essay I’ve had published shows this and found a much wider audience than my fiction thus far has.

So here’s my creative writing challenge:

Write something new and submit it between now and May 1st. By something new, I mean a different genre, different length, different subject matter, or different POV. Out of your comfort zone.

If you complete this mission and email me, I’ll even let you blog about the experience here.

I’m going to take on the challenge, too.  My goal is to research and query a features article by May 1st.

Who’s going to pick up the gauntlet?

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5 thoughts on “Throwing down the gauntlet: I challenge you to write something different!

  1. I don’t know if I’ll pick up the gauntlet before May 1st. But I have run with this gauntlet several times – and even made it to the finish line! As a tech writer, any creative non-fiction or poetry is well out of my comfort zone. Give me procedures, process maps, and policies and I’m a happy camper! But sometimes there’s a story to tell and I can’t do it in a procedure or in Visio (process map). It’s at those times that I’ve written a piece and stepped way out there and submitted it. Ditto to your words – the pay-off can be big! Looking forward to reading about you reaching your goal!

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  2. Hi Rebecca. First, thank you so much for the kind words! They mean more than you know. Second, I’ll pick up that gauntlet. I accept your challenge. I don’t know what I’m going to write or where I’m going to send it, but I’ll work that out later.

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