Challenges Ahead!

I have a couple of challenges in the coming months to (hopefully) keep my life more interesting in these colder months.

micro∙blog photoblogging challenge for October 2021

In October 2021 there will be a photoblogging challenge by micro∙blog, in which for every day of the month there will be a prompt to post a photo that day onto the micro∙blog Timeline.

Micro∙blog is a relatively new and restraint (in growth) social network, that aims to get people blogging without the negative influence of a devisive algorithm, used by the mainstream social networks to keep users engaged through feelings of indignation about what’s being shared on the platform. Micro∙blog has strict policies against harassment and trolling, and offending posts are regularly removed, accounts disabled from adding to the timeline. It’s all done by a human, paid for by monthly subscriptions of those who host their blog with micro∙blog. Joining the social network is free, though. You can even post for free on the timeline, using another provider, like WordPress∙com, Tumblr∙com, etc.

Photoblogging, as I understand it, is posting photos in a reverse chronological order, with or without a caption. It’s a logical conclusion from mobile blogging (blogging on a mobile device), now most—if not all—mobile devices have a camera included as one of the sensors. So it seems a valid method of creating messages, separate from text-only messages, or messages with an image as an illustration with the text.

For this photoblogging challenge there are no rules, other than posting an image daily, illustrating the daily prompt provided by micro∙blog’s community manager, Jean.

I’ve created a separate Tumblr blog for it, where I hope to post daily during the month of October.

Inktober Classic 2021

Also in October, I plan to do the Inktober challenge. It has been years since I looked at the website, so I was surprised there are now 2 challenges, one in the month of October (aka Classic), and one for an entire year (Inktober 52). Presumably, the difference is that for the Classic version one draws one new ink drawing per day, per two days, or per week, and for the 52 version, it’s one per week, presumably more refined than the more casual Classic version, as it’s meant to “stay sharp with your drawing skills throughout the year.”

31 Prompts for Inktober Classic 2021

I guess I’ll pick the one per two days version, so I can more easily manage doing it with the photoblogging challenge, and pick one of the two prompts available, or perhaps be more creative than that. My inking utensil will be the Lamy Safari fountain pen, filled with black Platinum Carbon Ink, on 190 g/m2 A4-size paper I bought on Amazon a while ago.

I’ve created yet another Tumblr blog, which technically isn’t on micro∙blog, but I’ll use it as my social network of choice, rather than Twitter or Instagram. Anyway, Tumblr is a well-known social network as well, isn’t it?

Story-blogging challenge

In November, instead of NaNoWriMo (which I failed a few times), I’ll be doing a story-blogging challenge. I’m not quite sure about how to do this, so I’ll have to give it more thought. My current idea is one story idea per day, worked out in a first rough draft. The idea is to stimulate my creative writing skills. Since that seems to work best longhand, I might opt for that, in a notebook.

I believe writing prompts works best as strings of words instead of a single word. Here’s a list of 100 story ideas. A typical short story is between 2000 and 8000 words, so that’s a bit much for a daily challenge. Flash fiction seems more appropriate. It’s less than 1500 words, typically in the 500 to 600 words range. It’s main feature is getting to the point, be impactful in as few words as possible. It’s much like telling a joke, where the last line leaves an unexpected clue and then a chuckle, here, an impactful, meaningful idea, behind in the reader.

So, still a work-in-progress, this challenge, but certainly more achievable than 50,000 words in 30 days.

I already have a Tumblr blog, of course, to post a scan of my written story, in whatever state it will be when I decide to post it. One thing’s sure, it will be messy and probably bad writing, getting better with each next attempt (one can only hope).

Marathon running challenge

On November 28, 2021, I will run my fourth marathon event, in Spijkenisse, the Netherlands. It may not seem much of a challenge, compared to the more lengthy ones above, but it certainly asks for self-control, preparation, and, yes, luck. While I’ve finished all three marathons before, it’s never a given one will. The first time I finished without problems, the next two times I had to struggle (read: walk) with cramps due to bad preparation (taking it too lightly as a challenge). The marathon distance is hard, and demands full attention and dedication of the athlete.

This one-day event will be my main focus for the remainder of the year. Note that there will be a recovery period after the marathon, which can last as long as 5 week. So, in principle, I’ll be dealing with this marathon until the first week of the New Year.

Thanks for reading.