Pheeeeeew. Ok. This year was a rough one. I'd like to get through the reflections without getting ridiculously negative. I kind of felt like I was pulling teeth from everyone, including myself, through the whole thing. And I think all of the problems started before the Challenge even began.
I chose my theme, The Revision Project, because at the time I was really excited about revising my novel. I thought that by focusing 26 posts on different topics that all focused on revision, it would help me figure some things out, maybe get some good feedback and new ideas from other people. Well, it didn't exactly turn out as I had hoped, on any of those fronts (for the most part).
Here's where I went horribly wrong. I never fully figured out what the hell I was doing with my posts. I wanted to focus on my book, but the problem is that it's not published and no one has read it yet. So while the topics would all be inspired by it, I still wanted to make the posts more universal so that people could relate. But that made things more muddled. Was I asking for advice or was I offering my own writing tips? Or was I just rambling? For most posts, it ended up being a mixture of the three.
I made it even worse, though, with what I'll call the "bookends" of my posts, both of which left me disappointed. At the end of all the posts, I added on one or two questions to hopefully get people talking in the comments. I think that part worked too well. If I had made these posts completely about offering writing tips, this would have been more successful. People responded with their own ideas and experiences related to the topic, which was great. But on those posts where I was really searching for feedback on my own work, those questions seem to lead people away. It was hard to get actual feedback, and on this point, I think my whole theme was flawed. How can you get real feedback on something that is completely out of context? Which just leads me back to the fact that I never really figured out what I wanted from these posts.
The other bookend turned out to be mostly useless. I started each post with a quote from my novel that related to the topic. I did this because I wanted to include something fun in each post, and I knew that finding pictures would be next to impossible. But the quotes turned out to be pretty much pointless. I don't know if this was because they were out of context (again!), or if people just skipped over them to get to the actual post. The only post where the quote really got a response was for "Opening Scene," probably because I pointed out that the quote was my new first line. So I'm thinking unless I made reference to the quotes, they were most likely skipped over.
I guess the most disappointing thing is that my theme actually had the opposite effect of what I wanted. I got zero revising done during the month of April. I didn't really figure anything out, either, that I didn't already know. There were a couple of comments that got me thinking here and there (I think most of them were from the same person! No I won't tell you who *laughs evilly*), but mostly it was just a lot of rehashing ideas I'd already thought of and not even trying to do any actual revising.
But anyway, I've rambled enough! I wish I had chosen a different theme, but none of my other ideas were developed enough, so I would have been struggling for topics. I'm hoping for next year to come up with a more fun theme, and to do so waaaaaaaaaaaay in advance this time. I still have that guilty pleasures idea (but I still don't think I have 26, so maybe I'll combine it with something like obsessions? I don't know...). Or maybe just songs from Broadway musicals. Something fun. We'll see. I'd like to not think about it for a couple of months...