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Accepting a Blog Challenge Because…

I’ve been very blessed with the responses to my , and frustrated with the responses of a few. For the few, I will clarify:

Accepting one of Lorelle’s blog challenges is free-of-charge. There are no strings attached. You accept the challenge of your own free will. There are no financial or material rewards to be gained by answering the challenge. This is not a competition, contest, or lottery. No prizes will be awarded. The winning comes in accepting the challenge and responding. The winning comes in expanding your horizons, in creating new neural pathways, in seeing things from a different perspective, from accepting new input into your brain and regurgitating new output, helping you blog better and feel better, and in the process, maybe learn a thing or two.

In accepting a recent blog challenge to write a “memoir of a moment” in your life, Eve Garden God’s Rebecca Shannon responded with a masterpiece:

…Already unable to break free, drawn back in time, I find myself cocooned in the narrow tunnel of a fined tuned memory.

Step by step, with the heaviness of feet immersed in cured concrete, I stop, half way up the stairs. Before me is the entrance to the building. I can’t move. Time stands still. Everything inside my being tells me, You are not suppose to be here. Like a butterfly trapped in a jar, the fluttering thoughts, the inner wisdom of a then only eighteen year old tries one last time to reason, There’s been a mistake. This is not your destiny. You are someone else. You are an athlete, you are a teacher, you’re suppose to teach, it is your life, your every breath, leave here now…just stop here, turn, and go.

In a few short moments, the butterfly resigns itself to the uselessness of the moment. The lid to this jar has been twisted tightly. There is no getting out…

In the comments below, one commenter says, “Rebecca, if I were the judge, you’d win the challenge for sure.”

I’m stunned. Rebecca has won.

Not a prize from myself or even her commenters.

She’s won because she accepted a challenge and made it her own. She won because she’s released amazing creative energy and spirit out for the world. She’s won because the world can see how brilliant, wise, and intuitive she is, and want to get to know her. She’s won because something magical was shared with the world.

She’s won because someone, some day, will stumble upon this poetical work and make a connection, deep and profound, and a life will be changed.

You want a stuffed animal instead? What about an iPod? Hmm?

While many bloggers are using attention-getting means to “give back” rewards to their readers, thus attracting even more readers and links, I’d like to reward those who go back to their roots and the real definitions of reward, like self-esteem, self-confidence, because it’s the right thing to do, because it was worth the doing, because I needed it, because it needed doing, because it feels good, because it’s there, because, because, because…because the greatest rewards are not found outside but inside.

To them, a toast!

Le Chaim!

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network, and author of Blogging Tips, What Bloggers Won't Tell You About Blogging.


  1. Posted November 22, 2007 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    If I may be so bold, I believe much of your frustration comes from being on the business end of blogging. You see what the average blogger may never see and the very commerce that has come dominate the internet, has created a sense of entitlement among some. I read personal blogs for the most part and they are all ‘memoirs of moments’. Yes there are badges passed around and yes sometimes the goal is to link, but more often it is done with the sense of sharing and community. I write when I can for various prompts, but that in itself is a full-time endeavor as there are many each and every day. Perhaps your next challenge I will take up. For the self expression of course, I have enough stuffed animals already. 😉

    Have a happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Posted November 23, 2007 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    An iPOD? Umm, let me think about it? LOL! Kidding.

    The day you issued the challenge, I just happened to think to myself, I haven’t been on Lorelle’s blog for awhile, I should really check in and see what’s new with the world of blogging. I saw all these challenges you had issued and I thought, well this one, caught my eye.

    Truth is, if it had been for a prize I probably would have chickened out, afraid to lose perhaps? 😀

    Someone’s reading the post Lorelle, because it keeps coming to the top of my Top Post list. And because of your encouraging comments, I took a bold step and shared it with some other people (away from the blog)who really enjoyed it, thought it beautiful, as well as helpful to them.

    Writing was and is, it’s own reward for me. It’s been my own self-healing tool for my entire life, and you are so correct about creating new neuropathways or maintaining the one’s we’ve got! I know my writing is a “service to myself” and often I hear from others that it has been helpful to them as well. That’s what it’s all about.

    Thanks for this Lorelle. My self-esteem is emerging. 🙂

  3. Posted November 23, 2007 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Great work.!!!!

  4. Posted November 23, 2007 at 9:37 am | Permalink


    And that’s better than an iPod or stuffed animal, right? 😀

  5. Posted November 23, 2007 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I actually meant to try to do all your blogging challenges when your first started it, as I found it a way to trigger my creativity and maybe try to write about topics I usually don’t blog about.

    I’m not sure why people have to have prizes for everything they do, – or think there’s a drawback, a winner or anything else the smells like competition.

  6. Posted November 24, 2007 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Brian…I blog for sharing and community. I spend as much time commenting on other people’s blogs as I do writing my own posts.

  7. Posted February 6, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Where can I find more challenges? I like reading about everyone else’s lives but don’t always have anything interesting to add about my own.

    • Posted February 6, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      I have published many Blog Challenges over the years, and you may enjoy my year-long series of Blog Exercises. I believe that has a writing prompt blog to help motivate and inspire your creativity in web publishing.

      Looks like you have a handle on your site, so the Blog Exercises or my current year-long project, WordPress School might be fun for you.

      I also recommend that you learn to use a feed reader to track the conversations out there that interest you. This is my favorite way of finding new things to blog about. Good luck!

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