The Thrill of the Challenge

There is nothing, and I mean, nothing like a challenge to make you write.

During the month of November I wrote (and wrote, and wrote) for nanowrimo. Had to hit my words and I did. It was a challenge that I wanted to win.

But now, I’m doing a bit of a different one. I’m doing the SNAP challenge that you might have heard about along with Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, where those who have signed up have challenged ourselves to live on what we would have been given as an allowance for Government food assistance (used to be called Food Stamps, now it’s called SNAP.)

For 7 days, I have to live on the food I’ve purchased with $30, which is the median amount of assistance given to an individual in New Hampshire. Note: others around the country are working with different amounts – it all depends upon your state although it appears that New Hampshire has one of the lowest amounts. Us Granite Staters are TOUGH.

I decided to do the challenge by myself and not include Marc and the kids because on a regular weekly shopping trip, I typically spend $25 or less per person and if I took the challenge for our entire family, I’d have to spend $40 dollars more than what I normally would.

But we all know that shopping and cooking for many is much easier than shopping and cooking for one.

Which is why I’m doing this, to show that while it’s not easy, it can still be done and it can be done well.

If you are a writer, (and I’m assuming that if you are reading this, you are a writer of some sort) then you want to write. To do a challenge like this without documenting what you are doing, without trying to teach from your experiences, would amount to nothing more than a waste of breath.

When writers learn and experience new things, we tend to sing about them from the rooftops.

Which is why I think that if you’re looking for some motivation to write you should consider taking a challenge – and then report back on your experiences – on a regular basis.

Many blogs where this was the starting premise have turned into books, some concepts have been: living on a budget, wearing the same black dress every day for one year, giving gifts away every day, and figuring out how to feed your child a gluten-free diet. The reason they have turned into books is that they have created a lot of information behind the idea. You need a certain amount of depth of material to get published.

And why is there typically so much material? Because people are interested in how you are doing, they want to learn from your experience. The more you give them, they more they want on the topic.

It’s a win/win situation, you get to write and people get to read your writing.

Whether it’s the SNAP Challenge or your own personal challenge, if you have trouble committing to your writing, try starting a challenge and then announce it to the world.

Trust me, the world is going to keep you on your writing toes.


Wendy Thomas is an award winning journalist, columnist, and blogger who believes that taking challenges in life will always lead to goodness. She is the mother of 6 funny and creative kids and it is her goal to teach them through stories and lessons.

Wendy’s current project involves writing about her family’s experiences with chickens (yes, chickens). (

If  you want to follow my challenge, check it out on my blog, better yet, create your own challenge and tell me where to find it.

9 thoughts on “The Thrill of the Challenge

  1. That is so cool to take that challenge and it was inspiring to read about the challenge and I am going to take your advice on doing a challenge.I’ve just started out on writing a blog. I need some inspiration.

  2. Loved this blog Wendy 🙂
    I have placed myself on a $1000/ month challenge in Europe . I’m doing well so far as the menu de la Dias help alot . There’s are 3 course meals with a drink that you can buy for 10 euros or under. I decided to go this way for a bit as I feel I need to teach myself on how to feel comfortable with money. I had it all at one stage but now I am at the other end. I’m surviving because I am a survivor !
    I’d love to continue reading about your challenge ! Stay strong ! You are already a winner 🙂

  3. Anytime we change our lives to expand our experience, it’s going to produce fodder for writing and the most fantastic way to do that is to upset our narrow little worlds a little bit. We get stuck in the rut of our singular experience if we don’t venture outside comfortable boundaries. This applies to nearly everything, I think.
    Good luck with your $30 challenge. It’s very do-able. Visit the PoorGirlEatsWell website for some delicious, healthy recipes.
    And…CONGRATS on finishing Nano!
    Were you working on Charlie the Chicken? I remember you had that cute book cover for motivation earlier this year…

  4. Reblogged this on Jurídicos Diversose comentado:
    Concordo plenamente! Por isso que a advocacia é fascinante. Nos traz diariamente novos desafios de escrita e com prazos de elaboração. A gente precisa escrever. Muito. Com precisão e clareza. Com objetivos. E dentro de um determinado período de tempo. Quer desafio maior?

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