A 15-Day Challenge

Do you woman white water kayakingenjoy a challenge? If so you might be interested in reading more about the one I’m working on.

A few weeks ago I learned about Natalie Sisson’s “15-days to Freedom Blog Challenge” and decided to participate. The challenge in no small way was the genesis of this blog. As part of the challenge, participants are required to create a blog and to make every effort to publish a post for fifteen consecutive days.

As Natalie explains it in her own words, “I designed this challenge to get you into the habit of daily blogging while creating more freedom in your life and business through proven strategies and techniques delivered one daily challenge at a time.” (Source: “15 Days to Freedom Blog ChallengeThe Suitcase Entrepreneur. N.p., n.d. Web.)

I actually learned about Natalie Sisson and her 15-day challenge from reading a post at the blog of a former participant who shared how much he had gotten out of completing the challenge. His words really resonated with me because I immediately could see how what he had learned from the challenge experience could readily be applied to my own aspirations as a novelist.

Frankly, in only the first eight days of the challenge I have already found the experience to be even more eye-opening and instructive than I even imagined. Natalie is an amazing entrepreneurial coach and a great motivator. She simply has heaps of great tips and strategies that I’ve already found to be very useful and valuable to implement.

While I haven’t been entirely successful with respect to publishing a new post every single day during the challenge, I have completed all the other daily assignments each day and that is really the part of it all that I have personally found most beneficial and valuable. Make no mistake. There is a lot more to Natalie’s challenge than just writing some blog posts. In my view the blogging part of it is to help you think about and focus on all the other valuable things you are learning along the way.

The assignment for today (Day 8) was to think of three major goals that I want to achieve over the next 12 months and to annotate them on a calendar. The goals could be personal, business-focused, or a combination of both. Here are the goals I decided to set:

  1. In August of this year I’m taking a 3-week holiday to spend time with my partner in New Zealand.
  2. In October of this year I am going to publish the debut novel in my new detective fiction series.
  3. In April 2016, I am going to finish writing and will publish the second novel in my new detective fiction series.

The first goal makes pretty clear where my priorities lie. My partner lives in New Zealand and I live in the U.S. While we communicate almost constantly via text and phone, it’s been almost five months since we were able to actually spend time together. While we have both learned that being in a relationship with someone literally on the other side of the world is not easy, we’ve made it work. But we both want to remove the distance from the equation as soon as possible and hopefully that will happen before the end of the year.

In the meantime, while she has been so wonderful and patient we are both craving some face to face time together. So, I’m taking time in August to make that happen. My writing is important to me of course, but my partner and our relationship is and will always be my number 1 priority.

The remaining two goals I came up with are focused on my writing but actually it is fair to say that they too are in a real sense related to my relationship goals as well. While my partner is keen to relocate here and to experience life in the U.S. I don’t for a moment expect her to permanently give up her own country, her friends, and seeing her family at home on a regular basis. So the plan is that we will split time living together here and in New Zealand.

While I write simply because I enjoy it and love telling stories that others find interesting and entertaining, I would also in the future very much like to succeed as an author in a financial sense. This would give me the freedom to travel whenever I wish and the financial resources to realize the dream of spending a part of each year in New Zealand with my partner.

After writing and publishing the first two books in the new series I have planned, I think I’ll have a good sense about whether I can grow an audience large enough to make writing a realistic means of earning a living.

No matter what you do for a living, if you haven’t heard of Natalie Sisson before reading this post, I urge you to visit her blog and learn more about her “15-days to Freedom Blog Challenge.” Beyond working through the daily challenges myself I also get to read about the experiences of others who are completing the challenge while I’m doing it. I can honestly say that I’m not the only one who is really benefiting from participating in it by picking up heaps of useful strategies and tips that aren’t just applicable to business success but to a living and enjoying life to the fullest on a personal level as well. Participating in the challenge is completely free. All you have to do is register.