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The 10 Things I Stopped Doing to Compete in the InfoBarrel Monthly Contest

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 2 19

The InfoBarrel Monthly Contest

In an effort to compete with all the top notch InfoBarrel authors and try to win the May 2011 contest, I had to stop doing a few things and concentrate solely on writing articles. I was inspired to take-on the challenge by a forum thread I came across about writing 100 articles in a month. I decided I would challenge myself further by attempting to write 100 – 1,000+ word articles; thus my goal was born.

To say my objective was difficult is an understatement. Between work, the requirements of keeping-up a home and taking care of my family, I was pretty much exhausted every single night. To keep from getting overwhelmed, I gave myself 'mini goals' each day and I was always elated whenever I achieved them. I was also motivated when other members submitted several articles, that spurred me on.

I am both satisfied and proud because not only did I achieve my goal but I actually surpassed it by writing 115 – 1,000+ word articles, enough for me to win InfoBarrel's May 2011 contest! I am happy but I don’t know if I will ever attempt to do something like this again.

InfoBarrel May 2011 Contest

The 10 Things I Stopped Doing to Compete in the Info Barrel Monthly Contest

Cooking Dinner: While my husband wasn’t too thrilled with this one, my teens liked having take-out from various places. Some of the family favorites were Chipotle Mexican Grill; In-N-Out; McDonalds; and Pei Wei Asian Diner.

Going to the Gym: My husband talked me into going to the gym on a couple of weekends and I'm glad he did because I felt so much better after getting some exercise. I should have made more time for myself and worked-out more often, but unfortunately, as far as the gym personnel were concerned, I was 'MIA.'

Sleeping-in on the Weekends: I didn't even need an alarm clock; I always work-up automatically at around 5:30am every morning. Before embarking on my quest to win the InfoBarrel contest, my weekends usually started out leisurely at around 7:30 or 8am and I would make a big breakfast of pancakes with eggs and potatoes for my family (they missed that!). I would also read the Sunday paper and check-out the local coupons. None of that happened in the month of May and I was more than happy to get back to my normal routine. 

Laundry: This went from every other day to once a week and was a big issue with my family. Although they had plenty of clothes to wear, they didn't have their favorites all the time. At times I felt a bit overwhelmed when I would walk into the laundry room and see the clothes piling-up. On the days I did do some laundry, I would do as many loads as I possibly could and I’m so happy that my washing machine held-up!

Having Fun and Social Lunches with Friends: I had to turn-down a few lunch invitations. But I'm lucky, in addition to having a wonderful family, I also have some pretty great friends. They all understood I was working on accomplishing a goal and they were all supportive. Besides, I told them "We can go out to lunch next month and the month after that and after that..."

Watching Favorite TV Shows: There were a couple of shows that I did not want to miss and I did take the time to watch those programs. However, for the most part, the month of May for me was like living in the past before TV was invented, with one exception, I was able to record all my favorite shows on the DVR.

Watching DVDs with my Family: Friday and Saturday nights are family DVD nights at our home and I had to miss a few of them. I didn't miss watching the movies as much as I missed just spending time on the couch eating popcorn with my family. I couldn't wait for our first DVD night after the contest was over.

Reading: Most of the time that I would have spent reading was devoted to researching. I had a large book sitting on my night stand and I felt as though it were calling my name night after night! I'm looking forward to writing an article about the book after I'm finished reading it.

Golfing: I think my golf game has gotten a bit 'rusty' because I haven't been out on the course for at least a month. I must admit, however, that I didn’t miss it quite as much I thought I would. Maybe I'll find a new hobby and reserve golf for playing with my husband on vacations.

Resting:  I didn't spend much time resting because it seemed as though I had something to do every minute of the day. In-between writing there was always so much to do! From the time my eyes opened in the morning to the time they closed, I had something to do. Some days my mind was so exhausted at the end of the day that I didn't want to think about anything else. I also had the normal aches and pains in my neck, back, wrists, and hands from typing for long periods of time without resting.

Things I Refused to Stop Doing

While the preceding were some of the things I temporarily stopped doing in order to compete in InfoBarrel's May 2011 contest, there were other things I refused to stop. Things like eating dinner with my family (although it was take-out, we still sat together); reading passages from my Bible and going to church; talking to my husband about his work day, and celebrating Mother's day with my family.

All in all, my experience was a positive one because I didn’t realize I could push myself that much. I had a taste of the workaholic's life and I'm more than happy to give it back. I also learned, just like everyone, I need balance in my life! I will now curtail my writing and begin doing those things I stopped doing in May in order to compete in the Info Barrel monthly contest.

To all those who may be thinking about competing in future InfoBarrel competitions, I wish you all the best! For now, I'll be watching from the sidelines.


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Sep 24, 2011 12:12am
As a new writer I appreciate knowing what it might take to win a contest. I'm glad to heat that you won after all of that effort.
Sep 24, 2011 10:13am
Hello Aurora, thank you so much for the comment. I wish you all the best here on InfoBarrel!
Sep 24, 2011 10:25am
wow... it is quite challenging to win a contest and I see you did a lot of things I am not prepared to give up. Well done and probably you might decide to win it again in the future. Thumbs up!
Sep 24, 2011 10:33am
Hi danmont; my challenge was more about achieving my goal of 100 - 1000+ word articles. As far as the contest, most months you can win with a lot less articles. I wish you all the best if you ever decide to compete.
Sep 24, 2011 11:58pm
I enjoyed reading your list. It sure seems like you did deserved to win. In-N-Out is yummmyy!!
Sep 28, 2011 12:11pm
Hi freedomw, thanks so much!
Oct 3, 2011 9:35am
You have your priorities right, I loved the things that you refused to stop doing. Great choice... says a lot about you :) Cheers!! and God Bless!!
Oct 3, 2011 3:56pm
Thank you sofs; I truly appreciate your comment. Cheers and God Bless to you too!
May 1, 2012 10:53am
The contest does take it's toll, and our families feel it! I am sure that in retrospect, it was worth it. I won the contest in February 2011 and have never tried it again since!
May 1, 2012 11:44am
Yup, I know exactly how you feel. When I made the decision to write 100 articles in one month I didn't realize the toll it would take on me or my family. I'm happy that I was able to reach my goal but like you, I haven't tried it since (and I don't know if I'll ever try it again). Thanks for your comment MMM and congratulations on your February win!
May 1, 2012 12:48pm
Ah this was May 2011? Your article has had a bit of a revival then. Wow,I don't know how you didn't flake, I would cherish doing 50% of that.
My laundry pile is atrocious, every thing is washed and dried but I have actually taken up a whole room now with bags of ironing to press.
I feel slightly ashamed that I did not meet my goal this month when you managed 3 times what I needed to do.
I hope there was good financial gain from all that work also.
May 1, 2012 3:31pm
There's a current forum thread about challenging yourself to write 100 articles in 30 days, and this was a challenge I took last May (2011). Don't be hard on yourself, when you have small children and all the duties of taking care of them, your husband and a home, not to mention taking on writing projects - it is a lot! I also know what you mean about the laundry, it seems to grow like weeds! I went in my laundry room this morning and thought to myself "Is someone I don't know dropping off their dirty clothes for me to wash?!" they pile up so quickly! Also, I haven't been writing as many articles lately as I would like, I haven't even met the minimum since January. Oh well, I do whatever I can and that's all anyone can do. Thank you so much for the comment Ddraig.
May 1, 2012 5:45pm
Thank you for the morale boost. I noticed the comment on the challenge thread AFTER I had commented here.
My 5 year old is the worst out of everyone, she thinks she is Lady Gaga I am sure. She has had a full clean school uniform on every day this week, that will be 3 in the morning. She then comes home and puts a disgusting combination of clothes on( self expression and all that, don't stop her), then in less than 4 hours she is in pjs. Times that by 4 and you can imagine the piles,lol.
Article writing is "me" time, it keeps a bit of Emma here. Money to pay some of the bills would be nice also, that will come eventually though, I hope.
Hope you get a chance to do what you want this month, I am hoping to write plenty as we have been told it is going to be wet and windy here in the North of England.
May 2, 2012 4:57pm
Love it, your little one sound precious! It's great that you let her express herself through her clothing - just wait until she's a teen!! Thanks again, Emma, and I hope you get more "me" time.
May 2, 2012 11:07pm
I had to giggle at some of the things you had to give up! It sounds like you wrote about me! I have to say that in addition to being superwriter, you're also supermom and superwife :-)
May 3, 2012 11:56am
That's very kind, but I have to admit, my family would have a good chuckle at the thought of someone referring to me as a "supermom" or "superwife," but thanks for the complement! :o)
May 23, 2012 1:07am
Thank you for sharing your awesome experience. It is a motivator!
May 23, 2012 9:20am
Thanks Emma, and welcome to InfoBarrel!
Sep 22, 2012 6:25pm
What you proove is that persistence is still master when it comes to reaching goals. 2 BIG THUMBS from me.
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