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2018 challenge observations

Another year is over. Wait... give it back. I haven't finished my WIP, holiday projects, crafts, baking apple pie, decorating Christmas cookies, and a million other things I still need to do. Oh well, someone flipped the calendar so I'm stuck with it. Here's a few reflections on the MFRW author 2018 challenge. Some topics were easy. Either they didn't require much thought or they were a repeat (or near repeat) of a topic from last year.

Worst Writing Advice - two main themes arose. A number of posts explained why the advice, "Don't edit while writing," didn't work for them. A close second as far as advice that the poster did not agree with was "Write what you know."


Week 11 topic was to reveal a task we would never want to do again. Vastly personal experiences were revealed varied from watching the Twin Towers fall, to telling someone a dear friend or loved one had passed to another plane of existence, or insight into a toxic job. You could tell who had lived in snow country at some point in time as shoveling large amounts of the white stuff made quite a few lists.

However, two tasks competed head to head with no clear winner. Cleaning, whether of the house or dishes, was one of the disliked tasks. The other was cooking which got even more votes when you add in the corollary carrying in groceries. Which has to be done so that there is something to cook. No comment as to whether or not the most disliked had something to do with the fact most of those participating were women.

Week 12 was another topic where a common response was achieved. Regardless of their experience levels, most of the authors stated either they don't enter contests or tried a few and don't any longer.

Mid-year, at week 24 two items topped the majority of the lists of things we couldn't live without. Books held sway as one item. Not surprising since those writing the list make their living creating them and the majority started out as book lovers before they became book writers. Communicating with loved ones helped phones vie for the next spot. Another electronic device that was once only found in climate-controlled rooms with raised floors for miles and miles of cables, but that is now ubiquitous, was also in second slot.

Favorite indulgence was week 26 topic. Time alone, either to read or just to be alone, was a popular item. Pampering by facial, pedicure, or long soaks in a tub received the most votes.

Not all the topics were enjoyable. Irrational and greatest fears evoked some strong responses. Fear of failure, of losing our eyesight, or being trapped in a body we can't control were among the fears revealed. A piece of advice I've decided to take to heart came in one of the comments. "Not all fears need to be faced." 

Week 39 provided unexpected insight. Although the number of participants was fairly small, a common theme was that they don't have intricate writing rituals. In fact there was a lack of writing rituals such as favorite pen, favorite clothes, or special sequence of things to do to prepare to write.

The prompt, "Grateful for," generated two distinct sets of answers: Friends, family, and health formed one group. In tribute to the writing profession, their readers formed another popular answer.

An unusual question was "my wedding disaster." I took the opportunity to mention the handfasting ceremony from one of my novels. It was a difficult choice between the glittering sword arch for Lady Ellspeth and Lord Dal, or the high-mountain event that celebrated the official joining of Glynnes and Talann. 

The year ended with dream journeys. The Scottish highlands and the British Isles remained popular. 

If these topics and their accompanying reveals intrigues you, (or if you need an interview question or an idea for your own blog,) here's a link listing the posts in the 2018 challenge.

~till next time, Helen


  1. Wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing. I do the Wednesday hops with MFRW (book hooks) and love doing it. A hop/challenge like this keeps you writing and thinking. Always a good thing for a writer!

    1. Since some people are hesitant about such challenges I hoped to give them a little encouragement by sharing insight into one.


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