“People first, then money, then things,” says one of my favorite financial gurus, Suze Orman. Writers and non-writers alike face challenges in all of these areas. Aside from these three pillars, when it comes to writing:

Do you challenge yourself?

writing goalsI made the basketball team in junior high. It was a fluke. (If you’ve met me in person you know I’m 5’2″—on a good day.) During tryouts the coach saw me shoot 10 foul shots in a row on a drill. Why was I so good at foul shots? At home I practiced my shots with a tennis ball. When it came to tryouts and the real game, dribbling and shooting a basketball was much easier. I challenged myself first, and then everything fell into place.

There are so many writer challenges: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), April’s Poem-a-Day Challenge, some writers impose quotas for the number of journals they submit to each month, the number of words they will write each day, how many queries they need to send each week, other writers choose a form that challenges them. I know novelists who can’t stand short fiction, but they write it because it challenges them.

Last year I made it a personal challenge to write and perform stand-up comedy, and the year before I memorized the famous 6-minute piece “Wear Sunscreen.” This year? Well, I’m working on a few things and will report scoop soon. 🙂

Writing is a challenge itself. Have you noticed your writing goals carry over into your personal life? Or do your personal life challenges affect your writing life?

Or is it a challenge to separate them?