A Month of Writing for the Health Activists Writers’ Month Challenge (#HAWMC)

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When I first signed up to be a part of this writers’ challenge I didn’t really know what to expect; this being my first one.  I do love a challenge, so I thought it would be a great way to kickstart my journey as a blogger and health advocate (I know that in this forum it is more correct to use activist but I will explain later why I prefer advocate).

When I first saw the list of prompts I had a ‘what have you gone and done now?’ moment!  How on earth was I going to write something that a) people would want to read and b) would inspire and motivate people into action on all of these topics?

*mild panic* *hysterical laughter* *more mild panic*

Funnily enough though once I got started I was unstoppable (as you may have noticed!).  I loved writing everyday.  During the thirty day challenge I rediscovered my passion for writing and reignited my desire to be a voice, an advocate for health and wellbeing.  I choose the word advocate because I think it encompasses all of the activism and lobbying aspects of ‘activist’ but it also allows room for being a ‘voice’ for those that cannot be one.  Speak up!  Stand Up!  Take advocation! (I know that doesn’t mean what I have written it here to mean..but it works and you get my drift!)

Some of the prompts were more challenging then others on first reading.  I found though if I just sat with it for while (mostly that was a short while but a couple of times I nudged the 24 hour sitting timeframe!) a spark of inspiration would be born and I was off on sharing my journey, my perspective or my learnings.

I think that I have learnt as much about myself as I have taught anyone else.  I’m totally okay with that.  A shared learning journey is always a better one anyway.

Along the way I have had some wonderful things happen.  I have reached numerous milestones on my blog, in terms of likes, comments and followers – which is a really nice validation of what I am doing.  I have also been asked to contribute to several other blogs – which is a huge honour.  Out of all of this writing also came an offer of representation from a social media talent management company, who are now promoting me and my work (super exciting – watch this space!).

More importantly for me though was the realisation that I had been ignoring some things I am passionate about, gender equality, women and leadership.  I realised that I had something to say and to offer in that space and by not doing so I was letting not only myself down but also my three daughters.  So, I started a blog and a movement called ‘More Daring Do’ to give voice to the need for women, men, governments and businesses alike to unite as one in addressing gender equality. This project has been so empowering for me (even though it is only in the very fledgling stages) and I have been awed by the numbers of people getting on board.  If you’d like to take a look and get your #MoreDaringDo on check it out here.  I would love your feedback, ideas and suggestions.

I enjoyed so many of the writing prompts for #HAWMC that it is hard to select my favourites but I guess if I had to, the following would be my choices.  I have selected my list based on how much the posts impacted on people reading them and on me.  I hope you  like them too.

I struggled a lot with the Furry Friends and the Fitness Friday prompts but in the end I was happy with both pieces; and the Fitness Friday one made onto my list of favourite prompts above. (Sometimes the hardest challenges bring the greatest rewards!)

Shout out to all of my fellow #HAWMCers who have made the month wonderful and who have enhanced my learning and become part on my online community.  Nice work #HAWMC Team!  Thanks also to WEGO Health for putting the month together.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s challenge and to any more from other sources that come along in the meantime.

Now I just have to think up my own prompts everyday…..all ideas gratefully received! 🙂

#HAWMC