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Monday, March 31, 2014

Failing Better, Celebrating Best: March Madness End-Of-Month Check-In #WIPmadness



Welcome to the final check-in for the 2014 March Madness Challenge! Before we get started on the celebrations, I've been informed by our fearless leader Denise that we still have a few prizes left.

The final winners for March Madness are...

Elderfox!

Akoss!


Jeanne Ryan!

Kristin Butcher!

Congratulations! Stop by our goal-setting post, and choose your prize from those still listed (first come, first serve). Email Denise at d(at)denisejaden(dot)com with your choice and we'll get it out to you as soon as possible.

If you’ve won a prize this month, I hope you enjoy it! If not, keep checking in throughout the year, as many of our weekly hosts offer up prizes from time to time.

* * *
So, here we are at the end of another month, another year, of absolute madness. Now it's time to weigh in about how the entire month went for you. Dearest Mad Marchers, how did you do?

Did you meet your goals? Congratulations!

Did you *exceed* them? Wow, go you!

Or did you maybe not quite make them? Could you be feeling a bit disheartened about that? Don't be. Because no matter how much you did manage to accomplish, even if it was only a fraction of what you intended, you're farther than you were when March began.

However your mad month turned out, it's all valid.

This is an important thing to remember. Life often throws challenges our way. And yes, the platitudes about how "it's not the destination, it's the journey" can feel a bit wearing when we don't get to where we want to be in the time we originally planned. But it's really true. Take, for example, how my month turned out.

Confession time: *I* didn't meet the goals I set back at the start of March. Me, one of the hosts, who should be leading the charge by setting a good example to everyone involved in March WIPmadness. And yet, if I wanted to be negative about it, I could say that I failed:
  1. I completely ignored my goals this weekend while throwing my energy into an out of town convention.
     
  2. I set aside the urban fantasy I was planning to work on in favour of outlining another YA project I'm not even going to *start* writing this month.
     
  3. And then I failed at finishing *that* because I hit a major plot hole I couldn't seem to climb out of.
Yep, that's a total fail. Right?

Not the way I see it. And here's why:
  1. I took the time this convention to explore some of the writing panels that were offered. (And wow, there were some great ones.) I didn't devote my entire convention time to this, especially because a lot of them conflicted with other events I really wanted to be at, but I did make it to four. And I came away with more notes to share with everyone, which I totally hadn't expected.

  2. My goals change wasn't a cop-out. The project I'm now outlining was something I'd been avoiding because I hadn't felt ready to approach it, and didn't know how I could. Suddenly, that changed. So being able to actually finally sink my teeth into it was a relief, and for me, an even larger challenge. I'd been worried I wouldn't be able to.

  3. Fixing that plot hole now, before I started writing the story, was also rewarding. Maybe it took longer to figure out than I'd intended, but the solution I came up with stays much more true to my character than what I originally came up with. It has ramifications throughout the entire story. Not only is this going to save me major headaches later, but the novel feels stronger for it. And I'm just getting started!
My point is this: maybe my month wasn't what I'd originally planned. Maybe I didn't get quite as much achieved in a quantitative sense. But the quality of my month was absolutely astounding, and I am really happy with how it all turned out. And no matter what you managed to achieve with your goals, you should feel the same.

Most importantly, this is just one month. The goals don't have to end here. Keep going! And you don't have to do it alone, either. Most months, we gather once a week on one of our members' blogs to check in officially. On top of that, the community meets year-round on Twitter, under the #WIPmadness hashtag.  Feel free to check in with the progress you're making on all of your creative goals. We'll all be there to support each other.


Edit: Charlie Holmberg has offered to host the Monday check-ins for April at her blog, http://myselfaswritten.blogspot.ca/. Come join us!

The madness never stops. Onward, Wipsters! Let's embrace this crazy together.


So, ready to weigh in on how your month went, Mad Marchers? Let's hear it!

26 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for hosting and for your wise words, Laura, as we wrap up the month!

    I was thrilled to have ALL OF YOU around for the month, through the fun, through the pain. It's so much better than trying to do it alone. I hope to hear of many of you celebrating today and I will be raising a glass to all of you this evening. Hope to see many of you around on Twitter throughout the year!! #WIPMadness Forever....

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    1. You're welcome, Denise! This was fun, even amidst all of the unexpected insanity (as well as the planned).

      I'm looking forward to the months to come!

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  2. It's really OVER??? Nooooooo!!! The one consolation is that, while the month may be, our writing is never over; there are always words and ideas just waiting to spill out on our pages.

    I revisited my initial goal, too. By mid-month it was obvious the original one was unrealistic for me. Sometimes putting pressure on myself can produce great results, but in this case all it was doing was discouraging me. Somewhere along the way I said in one of my own posts, "There is no shame in adjusting our goals, only in abandoning them." So I adjusted mine and moved ahead with a new goal of getting a good chunk of words down every day -- something I was able to achieve. I've arrived at month end content, and without feeling burned out, too, and that's a good thing.

    Congratulations to our four final prize winners, and a huge *thank you* to Denise and all of my fellow daily hosts for getting us through the month. You're all awesome! See you on Twitter!

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    1. I'm glad to hear you were able to figure out a new goal as well, Carol. Keep at it!

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  3. A BIG thank you goes out to all the #WipMadness hosts!!! Thank you so much for all your encouragement and support throughout the month!

    As for goals, I'm still plugging away. I've given myself until midnight tonight to complete mine. I've got 17 pages to go and the day planned out. I think, I repeat, I think I can do it!

    YAY to those who met their goals! YAY to those who accomplished part of their goals!

    See y'all on Twitter, Wipsters~

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    1. Ooh, best of luck, Candilynn! Be sure to let us know how you fare.

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    2. You can do it, Candilynn!!! We're rooting for you!

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  4. This was an incredible month. Thank you to all of you who hosted! The daily words of encouragement, the prizes, the comments that let me know I wasn't alone, all led to a great month.
    Technically, I didn't reach my goal: 70,000 word wip. But I did finish the first draft (it's just shorter.) I'm not calling it a fail, I'm calling it lot's of room for improvement. So I'm celebrating. How? I bought a ukulele and am dedicating this month to learning it (while I take a break from my wip).
    As a whole, it's been an incredible month, with lots to look forward to up ahead.
    Thanks again everyone! Let's do again soon.

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    1. Yay on a finished draft! I'm so glad to hear you had a wonderful month, Stacy. Enjoy learning the uke!

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  5. Thanks to you - and all the hosts - of March Madness!

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    1. You're welcome, Jennifer! I hope you had a great month. :)

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  6. Many thanks to Denise and all of you for the weekly check ins. They were a great reminder for me to stay on track.
    I set a modest goal of a chapter a week revision and I'm glad I did because, it was at times really challenging to sit and write because I was so tired.

    ~Akoss

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    1. Even modest goals count, Akoss! I'm glad you found it useful. Congrats on the win today!

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  7. My aunt, Norma McGuire, asked me to post her achievement for her. Her goal was two blog posts a week, a total of eight posts. She thought she would have trouble coming up with enough ideas, but she had friends who helped, and she has ended the month with *fourteen* posts. At 90 years young, I think she's done very well!

    Her blog: http://nonigrace.worldpress.com

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    1. That's incredible, Carol! Congrats to Norma.

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    2. I had a look at her blog and will go back and read some more of it. the link is nonigrace.wordpress.com (you had "world") her toques she did for babies are amazing and all her craft work and memories. At ninety she's exceptional!!!!

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    3. Thanks for the correction, Linda! I've typed 'wordpress' a million times (my own blog is a wordpress one), so that was a really goofy slip-up! Yes, I think she's exceptional, too.

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  8. I am so almost there that if I choose to, I can finish tonight. But I just might wait until tomorrow morning because I can. ^+^ Congratulations everyone! Thanks for hosting, L.S.

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    1. You're welcome, Angelina! And do what you need to do. Congrats on reaching your goals, whether that takes place today or tomorrow! :)

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  9. Thanks to the great hosts for this event. It was terrific. I didn't meet my goal but I'm a lot further along than I would have been. I appreciate the support.

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    1. You're welcome, Linda! Keep at it. And remember, the madness doesn't end, so we'll be around. :)

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  10. Awesome for everyone who joined this March Madness. I didn't quite make my goals, well, I made one, but I am happy with what I did and hopefully I can carry on. Had some other issues that kept me from getting what I wanted to finished, but I'm sure I'll get the current work finished, and the next, and the next, and just maybe a few people will want to read them. Till then, While You Were Away, my dystopian sci-fi romance novella that I finished edits on this month, will be available hopefully around August and I hope folks will check it out. Thanks, Laura for giving me some good beta feedback. :)
    http://www.eredsage.com/store/WhileYouWereAway.html

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    1. Sounds like you still made great progress, Daniel! And you're welcome. :) I can't wait to read it WYWA when it's in print!

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  11. Thanks so much for hosting! I didn't make my goal either though I'm almost there! If anything it forced me to go back and work hard at this round of revisions. I did go to a RWA writing conference on Saturday that helped too!

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  12. Eep! I missed the last check-in! I blame it on nightshift...sigh... But I'm all turned-around back to daytime schedule now, which works SO much better for getting my writing time.

    Thanks for hosting, Laura. I love your "it's all valid" perspective -- so true!

    Congratulations to all the WIPsters for their dedication to working toward their goals, and for their wonderfully encouraging support of one another. You guys all rock! Such a joy to be part of the WIPmadness community!

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  13. I neglected to say thanks, Laura, for your part of the hosting duties. It was a great group to work with through the month. And thanks for the update -- will head over to Charlie's blog on Monday.

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