The Create Your Own Adventure Challenge has officially begun! Que fanfair. My co-host Nyatara (Maya from the Silicon Valley Sci-Fi Fantasy Writers Meetup) and I are super excited to have all of you here and to help you along on your adventure.
Many folks are confused about the challenge. So if you're feeling confused, you're not alone. Before I get into clarifying a few things, I just want to thank you all for your patience and understanding. This is the first time were running a challenge like this and we're still figuring things out. So, thank you!
Our main objective is to help you achieve the creative goals that YOU want to achieve and give you support along the way to help make it happen. This is a very open ended challenge putting you in control of your creative goals. There are no prompts. You get to decide what to create, how much of it, and how to go about doing it. All that matters is that you walk away from this challenge having made progress.
This challenge was designed to provide you with motivation, support, and accountability. It's ok to be a little scared. Don't forget your buddy is there to help!
Get in touch with your accounta-billa-buddy
If you registered
Your designated buddy has already been emailed to you. Check your inbox and be sure to get in touch with your buddy as soon as possible to arrange for your first meeting. More details are available in the buddy guide.
Keep in mind your buddy may not be the same type of creator for as you. For example, if you're a writer, your buddy may be an artist.
If you're not registered
You can still participate and join the challenge at any time.
Your first step is to try and find a buddy. Either find a friend to do the challenge with you or join the discord server and ask in the #cyoa-challenge channel if anyone else is looking for a buddy. Then get together with your buddy. More details are available in the buddy guide.
Choose your Goal
For many, the most difficult and/or most confusing part of this challenge can be deciding what to work on at all.
Here are some questions that can help you zero in on a goal. If what you're after is growth...
“Where would I benefit from improving the most? Do I want to get better at drawing? Do I want to get better at world building? At writing dialog?”
If you're unsure in what area you could use more attention, ask someone who is ahead of you in ability for advice or critique.
“Where do I see myself in 2 to 3 years with my art or writing? What is the ONE thing I can do in the next 8 weeks that would help me move toward that vision?”
“What's the most impactful way I can spend the next eight weeks to help me hone my craft?”
Sometimes looking to your past can help you find your future. This might also be a good approach if you're feeling burnt out and need a little fun...
“Of all the projects I've ever done, which one did I enjoy doing the most?”
“Of all the projects of ever done, which one am I most proud of?”
“What's the one thing I want to create before I die?”
This challenge lasts two months but the project you choose doesn't have to necessarily fill that time. If you're anything like me and tend to severely underestimate how long things take, it might be good to use a little self deception and choose a project or task that you think would take no more than a month.
It's ok if you don't have it figured out yet. Ask your buddy for help!
Break down your goal
It's easy for your project to feel daunting which can inhibit progress. Try breaking it down into steps to be completed each week. If that's overwhelming, just start with deciding the chunks for the first week. Your buddy can help you do this.
If you're still having trouble starting on your project, try breaking things down smaller into chunks that would take only 20 minutes to complete.
You can also try the OKR method.
To provide an additional layer of support to the community as we go through this challenge, we are hosting a couple of extra discord meetups (twice a month rather than the standard once a month).
Here's the full list so mark your calendars:
Saturday, Apr 13, 2019 10am PST / 5pm UTC. See in your timezone
Saturday, May 4, 2019 10am PST / 5pm UTC. See in your timezone
Saturday, May 18, 2019 10am PST / 5pm UTC. See in your timezone
As questions come up, we'll add answers here for your future reference.
Are my buddy and I working on the same project?
No. The intent is for each person to have their own personal creative project to work on. However, if the two of you want to collaborate on a project you are more than welcome to do so.
How do buddies work if my buddy isn't an artist/writer like me?
Even though they may not be creating in the same way you are, they can still help you achieve your creative goals. Your buddy is there to help you break down your goals, provide encouragement, and provide accountability. If you wanted your buddy to help you with critique, they may still be able to critique your work by offering a more diverse perspective. You can also share your work in the discord server in the #critique channel and on PaperDemon.
Are there any writing or drawing prompts? What exactly am I supposed to create during the challenge?
This challenge is very open-ended and customized for you. And as such, there are no prompts, requirements, or guidelines provided for what you create. This challenge is meant to be an opportunity for you to work on ANY creative project that you may have lying around unfinished or project ideas you've thought of but haven't quite started. It can even be something like investing in new skills like taking a class on creative writing, watercolor, or figure drawing.
A few folks have been interested in us providing prompts so will definitely consider this as an option for next time we run the challenge.
Can I use an existing project? Or does it have to be a new project?
You can absolutely use an existing project. Perhaps you have a comic you had started drawing or writing a while back but never finished, or a draft for a novel that's been collecting dust. This is a great opportunity to reconnect with that project and make progress again.
Do I have to finish the project by the end of the challenge?
You can set a goal to just complete a portion of your project within the two month period. It does not have to be completed by the end. An ideal scenario would be to achieve the goal that you set for yourself by the end of the challenge.
Does my project have to be art or writing?
Nope. It can be anything creative or related to your creative endeavers, such as cosplay, coding, drawing, painting, papier-mâché, animation, poetry, fanfiction, youtube videos, photography, etc. It can even be something indirectly related, such as growing your audience (e.g. twitter followers) or taking classes. If it helps you bring you closer to your creative goals, then it counts!
Do I have to share what I create on PaperDemon?
Nope! This challenge is all about helping you achieve what you want. Of course we would all love to see what you create so we can help cheer you on. But it is not required at all to post your work on the PaperDemon website.
Will you host this challenge again? If so, when?
Given the interest we've seen so far, I'm pretty sure we'll run it again on PaperDemon.com but I'm not sure when yet. Join the mailing list to be notified of future challenge dates.
I have another question not answered here!
O RLY? Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org