The Pros and Cons of Daily Challenges

A week ago I read about the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge: Just Do It! Krista challenged participants to write every day for a week. Since Christmas isn’t already hectic enough (not), I decided to take part.

Today is day 7, which brings that particular challenge to an end. If nothing else, participating in the challenge got me thinking about the pros and cons of daily challenges.

In my opinion, one of the big downsides is mediocrity…you dash something off just to meet the technical requirement for a writing challenge or you take a picture of something random at the end of the day when you remember you need a photo for Project 365, etc. Another big downside of daily challenges is the feeling of failure that comes when you inevitably get sick, tied up at work or have some other real-life catastrophe that causes you to drop-out of the challenge. This is definitely more of a risk with extended, daily challenges.

The main benefits of taking part in daily challenges is that they can prompt you to get on with it! Maybe you keep saying to yourself that you’re going to write more, or do more art, work out every day or take more photos. Joining a challenge is a way to make yourself publicly accountable. And if the challenge is at least 30 days long, it might be just what’s needed to develop a new habit.

In addition to the WordPress “write every day for a week” challenge, my participation in Project 365 is coming to an end for the fifth year in a row. With one day to go, it looks like I’ll get a photo for every day of the year for the first time since 2009. I think I’m going to try a different photography challenge in 2013 – weekly, rather than daily – and I hope the change will spark a little more creativity.

I’d love to hear about your positive (and negative) experiences with (daily) challenges. Please leave a comment (or link to your blog or website) to share your story.

One thought on “The Pros and Cons of Daily Challenges

  1. I completed the 365 in 2010 and failed last year. I’m not sure I’ll ever try again. Well, maybe if I move to a bigger area where there’s so much more to shoot. But in the end, I realize in 2010 there were times I just didn’t want to do it, and my photo reflected it. I’m glad I did it, but I think sticking to the weekly challenges are better for me! Writing challenges can really be fun, though. If one doesn’t do them too often, the blog writing challenges have made me go outside my normal blogging box and I like it. I’m joining up with one in February and hoping it helps me with some writing blocks!

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