Life is full of unexpected benefits. If you look for them, you can find them. For example; having your child participate in extracurricular activities can lead to scholarships and a lifelong passion for them. You can also meet other parents and develop strong, satisfying friendships. A hobby can turn into a career. Taking a job to learn one thing can lead to discovering hidden talents. Taking biotin to help improve your nails can also strengthen your hair and improve your skin. Smiling instead of frowning uses less muscles and helps prevent wrinkles. The list goes on and on, even if my memory and imagination don’t.
Joining the 28 Day Author Blog Challenge was something I did, frankly, on a whim. I wanted to challenge myself, and I wanted to teach myself to have discipline and keep a promise to myself. My own motives were enough for me.
Instead, I found that I had opened myself up to a world of wonder. New ideas and information coming at me at warp speed. Multiple tasks of imagining, writing, reading input from other writers, keeping track of the incredible volume of invaluable hints, tips and snippets of advice. Juggling normal life tasks and adding all these new elements without my head exploding. And the amazement I felt daily when I was able to do all these things and still breathe.
Finding I had unexpected capabilities was surprising. Learning I could channel my imagination and follow multiple prompts and stay on focus was empowering. Having the results of other, far better writers’ hard work laid at my feet like presents at Christmas was humbling. So many things all wrapped into one, all from a whim – Priceless.
But the best part – the absolutely, positively, overwhelmingly best part of this challenge for me was meeting the other writers. Getting to know them by the words they write. Seeing them in my mind’s eye based on the pictures they painted with their ideas. The happy feeling of connecting while commenting on each other’s work. Kindred spirits, blithe spirits, complex spirits, all come together for a brief month of sharing. Being a part of something so unique, never dreaming I was diving into the deep end when I thought I was just going to swim a few laps, was like the cherry on top of the sundae.
I found what I was looking for, and so much I hadn’t dreamed of. The prize may have been the journey itself, but the trophy is definitely the unexpected benefit of friendships I have made.
Sandi Tuttle is the host of the Blog Talk Radio show “An Average Woman in a Superwoman World” (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sandi-tuttle).