I have been posting hints and innuendos about the MNINB challenge that I have been doing for the past three weeks, and I’m sure most of my readers are asking – what in the hell is that? The April Platform Challenge, by Robert Lee Brewer is a call to writers – to put themselves out there, in the world, to be noticed. Each day a new activity, assignment is posted on his blog, My Name Is Not Bob (get it—MNINB, I didn’t at first, but I finally figured it out).
Many of the tasks were easily accomplished or were thing I had already done: create a Twitter account (@meljonesma), Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn. I already had all of them, so I tried thinking outside the box a little and created a Pinterest account (I like it, a lot actually). Other tasks included setting goals (check), writing a bio (check), writing blog posts (check), set up the blog so that Google will search it—using the first fifty words (check)! That’s hard, it means that every post has to have it’s main idea in the first fifty words, I can’t say hello in just fifty words!
One of the recent tasks was to set up an editorial calendar, when are you writing? When are you going to post what? Map your writing life. Pfft! I opened Google Calendar and started plugging things in. I am working on three different writing projects, plus the challenge, plus teaching five class, plus, you know, life. I color coded everything: teaching/work related in purple, writing in green, important personal tasks in red, and topics to post to blog in a pale yellow. Easy-peasy. I was proud of my creation on Sunday night.
And on Monday morning, I cheated on my blog post by not writing a blog. Instead, I posted a list of links to other blogs—maintained by other writers doing the challenge. They are good blogs, and I recommend that you check them out. But Monday’s writing topic was supposed to be a cultural comparison (you know North vs South, crazy fast food, the insanity of public figures… you know my regular blog stuff) not a redirect your readers someplace else…
Yesterday afternoon was the assigned time to write this morning’s post: Write a review on something. And I didn’t. I didn’t even feel guilty about not getting actual words on the page, because ideas were mulling around in my head… lots of ideas.
I took Ian to school and went to the library to wait for him. I looked at my calendar again: Textbook. I am working on a composition textbook for the iBook software—because it is an amazing idea. Ok. I opened the iBook writing software and started playing with formats, and layouts…
No, I said to myself, self, you must write!
And I did. I finished the first draft of the introduction, and have mapped out chapter one.
But, nagging me, in the back of my mind, was this morning’s review. By committing my schedule to my calendar, making it concrete, my need to write that review became real. It is a commitment. The editorial calendar is probably the best idea since… (not sliced bread, because that was a totally lame idea, good bread stays fresher longer if you don’t slice it until you are ready to eat it)… since… word processing! Ok, so I didn’t get it done in the assigned writing time, but here is a review of what I have gotten from the Platform Challenge. I may have to make some adjustments to the calendar, but it is, thus far, working amazingly well.
I think the writing calendar will become a stronger tool as time goes on. I am already beginning to fill in more specific topics for each day. I have told myself what I want to publish on each day (education, reviews, ets) – but I have learned, through MNINB, that I can write on a specific topic on any day, and set the blog software to publish it on a specific day – how cool is that?
So, if you are a writer, and you’re not doing the challenge, do it. Go back to April 1 and just do it! If the idea of an organized writing and publicity plan doesn’t get your attention… I have gained over 100 readers to my blog in the last three weeks. So it works. Do it!
And now on to the next challenge, finding a blog to do a guest post on. Eek!