#20kin5Days & THE WORDMAKERS WRITING COMMUNITY
Updated: Sep 2
Once upon a time, in a not so distant past, I was fighting postpartum depression/anxiety, had switched from working a stressful & demanding job to being a stay at home mom with a three-month-old, and struggling to convince myself that I still felt like myself.
The standard isolation and transformation that comes with new motherhood was amplified by the pandemic, leaving me with even fewer options for a sense of normalcy.
Let me back up a bit: 2020 started off on a massive high. In February of 2020, I attended the Futurescapes Writing Workshop and had the privilege to workshop my novel with the absolutely amazing Mary Robinette Kowal.
It was a life changing experience. (I had my ass handed to me in the best way possible.)
I'd never been to such an honest and constructive workshop before, and left feeling like I'd suddenly been given some secret writer toolbox that would help me effortlessly bust out a new novel. (Eh hem... because the one I took to the workshop was a few years ahead of me...)
I thought 2020 was going to be my year. (Ha!)
Instead, by the end of March, my friends were singing "happy birthday" to me while standing outside at a distance.
My Sundays went from being filled with family and food to empty silence.
My motivation and optimism were quickly replaced with depression and a legitimately crippling pregnancy.
By the time I'd been through a masked, hugless (torture for me) baby shower, lonely holidays, a traumatic labor and delivery, and 3 months of staying home alone with a baby while trying to heal from a C-section (husband only had 3 days he could take off to help), I was feeling incredibly defeated.
And THEN.... I saw this while scrolling on Instagram:
(*this is no longer a valid offer)
It's no secret that I've always been a bit crazy, but sitting on the couch covered in spit-up and unsure when I had showered last, somehow I had the audacity to think, "Oh, yeah, I think I can totally write twenty THOUSAND words in just 5 days".
So, I signed up!
To be honest, I had no idea what I was signing up for besides the challenge.
I had no clue that an all-powerful community lurked beyond that link because I hadn't ever considered joining a community that wasn't free. Which is hysterical, because I also constantly complained that I felt stuck in writing communities where writers did more talking about writing than actually writing (you know, a majority of the free ones - no offense).
I craved a community of writers that pushed themselves and each other to shoot for their wildest writer dreams.
Once I logged into the Wordmakers Writing Community I realized almost immediately what was really missing from those other groups:
Writers taking themselves and each other seriously.
Writers that talk about writing and actually write almost every single day.
Writers that hold each other accountable.
Writers that help each other without withholding information as if it's a competition.
Writers that show up for dedicated writing time.
Writers that leave their ego at the door and offer genuine support.
Writers with an abundance of knowledge for all writing stages.
Writers that hold space and offer encouragement to help you find your groove.
At first, I was intimidated by the incredible power I felt in the group and questioned whether I had a place there. (Let's be honest, I SAID I wanted a group that pushed me toward my goals until I was in it and then, like, oh shit, I have to actually do this now...)
I spent a few days bouncing back and forth between leaving and staying, thinking maybe since I hadn't been in long enough nobody would even notice. It forced me to sit with the lies I had been telling myself, especially since having a baby, and confront the fact that I was trying to convince myself I was comfortable believing my inadequacies and limitations rather than proving to myself what I'm made of and give it a genuine effort.
AND... several members kindly helped me destroy those insecurities.
I did as much prep work as possible leading up to the actual challenge (thanks to the wonderful workbooks created by Tasha L. Harrison included with the challenge) and set aside as much time as possible to try and write 4k words a day.
Forging a new creative identity is about harnessing your energy so that you can surrender to the flow of life and go with the tide, instead of pushing against it. -Greta Solomon, Heart, Sass & Soul
Even though I didn't make it quite to 20k (barely made it over 16k), the inspiration I felt being in the community made it obvious that I should continue my membership after the 20kin5Days challenge. (AND you get to buy a hella cute "I survived 20kin5Days Tshirt when it's over)
I've done so much writing since I joined Wordmakers! It's hard to believe I've only been a member for 4 months. I've developed a solid writing habit, I've finished more in 4 months than I have in 4 years, I'm finding my voice, and I feel more confident than ever than I can find an audience for my stories.
Writing is no longer a fear-based thing I do because I'm afraid of losing myself if I don't.
Now it's the thing I look forward to every single day.
Another 20kin5Days challenge is being offered Sept 7-11!
I'm sooooooo grateful I found Wordmakers.
If you're ready to take yourself seriously as a writer and commit to showing up, check it out! (Eh hem... there's technically a free tier being offered right now but I know from experience that money thrown at Tasha is money well spent. The daily write ins outside of the challenge are where it's at.)