Personal/creative challenges

Now and again you hear about various challenges which last for a calendar month, and can be a good way to push yourself to do something creative or to raise money for charity. I was wondering if anyone had anything in mind for autumn?

On the creative front, a few years ago I did Inktober, and committed to doing a bunch of ink drawings throughout the month. It's not something I normally do but it proved really enjoyable and I was surprised to find that several of them came out better than I'd expected. There are quite a few art and photography challenges for the month too, if you're that way inclined.

Someone elsewhere mentioned Blogtober, where you commit to writing a blog post every day. As someone who's kept a daily journal since the beginning of the Covid outbreak I'd find that quite easy, so am mulling this over.

There are also personal challenges like Stoptober where you commit to giving up smoking or Go Sober October which is what it sounds like.

November's most famous creative challenge is probably Nanowrimo - National Novel Writing Month, where you do your best to churn out a minimum number of words per day for 30 days and have a (somewhat raw and unpolished) novel at the end of it. Some of you may remember we had a Ship's Nanowrimo group one year. (The Poetry equivalent is in the spring.)

Then there's Movember for those who decide to grow a moustache to raise awareness and hopefully some funds for men's health.

And lots of other variations on the themes. Anyone up for anything this autumn? Some of this sort of thing might be the creative/charity push you're looking for, and if there are enough of us we might get a group together and encourage each other on. Suggestions, triumphs, failures, past experiences etc also welcome.

Also do post if you're currently doing anything and let us know how it's been going!
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Comments

  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    I might dig out the Bead Game*

    *Take half a dozen or so large beads and assign a value to each: either an activity which you know benefits you, or not doing something which is not of value. Draw one randomly each morning.

    Also, after a hiatus, adult education classes are restarting the last week in September, so October will see some novel activity. I'm hoping the Drawing will get me back into art, and painting watercolours.

  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    edited September 2023
    My coworker taking chemo needs more hats soon as her hair has started thinning quickly now. The sweater I want, but have been slacking on, needs to be knit, along with quite a few others -- that Starmore sweater! Someday! And those necklaces I have the beads for. And the cedar chest full of yarns waiting to matched to the stacks of pattern books I own.........
    What am I doing dinking around on the Ship?!
    But you are all such good company!
  • TelfordTelford Deckhand, Styx
    In 2008 I set myself a task of walking all the canals in the West Midlands and some in Birmingham. I used local trans;port an d did about 6/7 miles a day. I didn't consider being sponsored. I now struggle to walk 50 yards.
  • Thank you @Ariel, I like the idea of setting myself a task for the month. As it will be colder and the gardening should have lessened, I’ll make it November - and the task will be to write down the stories of my life that I want to leave for my children, grandchildren etc.

    There, I’ve committed it to words, so I must get on and do it!
  • For a few years I used to do 'write and record a short piece of music' challenges, depending on the group it was a case of samples being provided or a basic musical idea (mandatory chords/sequences/tones/timing, ape particular style/musician etc). Stopped doing it because most of those groups became inactive over time as forums/newsgroups died - though recently found a couple of discords that set similar challenges.

    OTOH setting reading challenges never/rarely work for me, and I've found they generally make me read less (a case of the law increasing trespasses perhaps).
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    For some years a group of us on a writing forum would be given a writing prompt each week. We were asked to produce flash fiction of not more than 500 words and sometimes the most popular piece was given an award but often it was just about the fun of writing short pieces week after week and reading one another.
  • Akin to Firenze's Bead Game, I have a small pot with strips of paper, each with an idea for something I'd enjoy doing, for when I get stuck for ideas. I don't look at it half often enough: it's so easy just to surf the internet instead of doing something creative.

    Earlier this year I embarked on a sponsored walk for Dementia UK. It was quite a simple one where you commit to walking a mile a day for a month. I didn't bother sticking to that as I knew I could do more, and wanted to see how much I could clock up and in the end I found I'd done 123 miles. It was a month that covered days out in several cities as well as attractions, events and local things, even if only just taking the long way round to the shops and back.

    I wore out one pair of shoes, but felt good for having completed the month. I'd never done a sponsored event before. There were times when I didn't want to go out, but the Admiral Nurse had been invaluable when my mother had been ill and I wanted to give something back. I raised £260 in the end - I was very touched by how generous people had been.
  • BoogieBoogie Heaven Host
    I’m making all my own Christmas cards. Simple designs with a very definite deadline!
  • I sometimes set challenges for myself, things to do daily, partly to add structure to my life. For instance: I read 23 Shakespeare plays aloud to myself, at a rate of roughly a scene per day; I read the "Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius (in translation) as bedtime reading; I did the same with Ovid's "Metamorphoses" and with the Bible; I am singing my way (by myself) through the 1935 Methodist Episcopal hymnal (the tunes are on Youtube); I water my roses regularly.

    I don't know if any of this is creative or just compulsive, but all of this enriches my life. I do have explicitly creative outlets.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    As we are moving into spring here I want to get more active. I have been lazy, catching the bus to the local shops, when they are within easy walking distance, and if I walk by the river it's much more pleasant as I get to see the blackscaups (papango) the little diving ducks. I love the way that they pop up unexpectedly.

    If I'm carrying carrying groceries home I will probably catch the bus.

    Creatively, I need to get started on cross stitching a colourful elephant picture I found in a magazine for my brother who has Parkinsons. As he loves both elephants and colours I think it will appeal to him. It will take longer than a month, but making it a priority will give me a good start.
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host
    Like @Boogie, my projects all have a Christmas deadline. I am knitting a colourwork Christmas jumper, which thus far has involved much swearing, and I am going to make husband en rouge a chef jacket (progress to date consists of buying the pattern).
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I just Googled Colourwork La Vie and I am in awe, having never got the hang of knitting.

    When I was a teacher we had a poem about knitting that had a line in it about knitting a hole [completely surrounded by air which summed up my attempts. I totally understand possible swearing.
  • Like @Boogie, my projects all have a Christmas deadline. I am knitting a colourwork Christmas jumper, which thus far has involved much swearing, and I am going to make husband en rouge a chef jacket (progress to date consists of buying the pattern).

    I always thought the Prayer Shawl knitting craze could inadvertantly lead to sacrilege. If the shawl was interesting enough to knit, I was assured there would likely be some cursing rather than prayer.

    I have knitted some shawls for friends who needed hugs. I cursed quite emphatically after I cut ends on the lace one and later realized I had failed to weave in that one end first. I learned a lot about lace construction and repair techniques on that shawl.
  • Kendel wrote: »
    Like @Boogie, my projects all have a Christmas deadline. I am knitting a colourwork Christmas jumper, which thus far has involved much swearing, and I am going to make husband en rouge a chef jacket (progress to date consists of buying the pattern).

    I always thought the Prayer Shawl knitting craze could inadvertantly lead to sacrilege. If the shawl was interesting enough to knit, I was assured there would likely be some cursing rather than prayer.
    The line between cussing and praying can be a thin one indeed. :wink:

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    My mother heard the words I used once when I was stitching a depiction of The Praying Hands for her. She gently suggested I might walk away for a while and make a cup of tea.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Right, I'm doing a 30 day photo challenge. Should be fun.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    I’m making all my own Christmas cards. Simple designs with a very definite deadline!

    Me as well Boogie, I am trying not to think that there are 12 days of Christmas, just in case.
  • Cricket season is finally over, so I have time. Well, I will have time once the garden is tidied, the greenhouse cleared, the allotment dug... in the mean time I'll be doing the annual cricket club Photobook (which I guess counts as a creative challenge), flogging crap on ebay for my technophobe mother, trying to tidy the spare room, interviewing an Oldest Inhabitant before they shuffle off this mortal coil, possibly working round a bathroom replacement... how on earth do you find the time to do these things?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Is writing a tabletop RPG based on a series of novels by a friend of mine considered creative?
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Yep.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Is writing a tabletop RPG based on a series of novels by a friend of mine considered creative?

    Absolutely! Yes!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Kendel wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Is writing a tabletop RPG based on a series of novels by a friend of mine considered creative?

    Absolutely! Yes!

    Oh excellent! Yes, I'm doing that. Something to keep me occupied while my work situation gets - complicated.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I do hope your work situation untangles itself, Karl.
  • CaissaCaissa Shipmate
    I set myself a goal of reading 100-150 books per year. I have read 108 to date this year.
  • I am increasing my walking a by a thousand steps per day every week. Last week, my goal was to reach 4,500 steps. This week it is 5,500 steps, etc. My ultimate goal will be 10,000 steps. However, with winter coming, I may switch to another form of movement for the season. My insurance will pay for a gym membership. I might as well use it.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    Caissa wrote: »
    I set myself a goal of reading 100-150 books per year. I have read 108 to date this year.

    I might be able to keep up, if they are board books.
  • How are you all getting on?
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Slow. Deciding how possible autodeath should be in cases of massive damage.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    edited October 2023
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Slow. Deciding how possible autodeath should be in cases of massive damage.

    Cost/benefit analysis?
    Crap : fun metrics?
    How does one decide?
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    How are you all getting on?

    Nicely, thanks. I have a couple of days to catch up on with the autumn photo challenge but am quite pleased with how it's gone so far and intend to see it through.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    I've been thoroughly enjoying your photo challenge - Facebook does have its uses! :)
  • A couple of weeks left in the month so you can still achieve that goal. Sometimes it’s easier when the rain is pouring down, sometimes not so easy…
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited October 2023
    Kendel wrote: »
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Slow. Deciding how possible autodeath should be in cases of massive damage.

    Cost/benefit analysis?
    Crap : fun metrics?
    How does one decide?

    Quite. However, owing to a change I made to the minor/major injury mechanics, the original reason for not having autodeath has gone away. It certainly makes the rules simpler to have it, which improves the Crap:Fun ratio in the Fun direction. So I think I'm having autodeath. In cases where it occurs, previously you'd have had to be ridiculously lucky on the dice anyway, and rolling in the vain hope of getting a really, really good result isn't fun because, by definition, usually you don't.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    This is fascinating, learning about game design. I've never played a proper one, but have heard people talk about them.

    Is this rather like the concept or world-building in fiction, but rather than telling what happened, you build the mechanism that players use to drive what happens? If so, then you have to have the finished whole in mind first and then decide how to disassemble and decsribe the parts and their functions, so they can continue to work as a whole without missing pieces. Yes?

    How did you develop the idea for your game, if You can say without giving away too much?
  • la vie en rougela vie en rouge Purgatory Host, Circus Host
    Christmas jumper now has one sleeve and most of the back finished. Swearing continues apace.
  • ArielAriel Shipmate
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    A couple of weeks left in the month so you can still achieve that goal. Sometimes it’s easier when the rain is pouring down, sometimes not so easy…

    Rain is one of the best opportunities for photos. It's when puddles come to life, leaves and flowers are enhanced by tiny drops of silver, rain blurs on glass windows can give you instant Impressionism, and night in a town or city takes on an added enchantment with colourful reflections on the pavements from lights in shop windows or even traffic lights, and gold, silver and red from passing cars spill across the road.

    However, I'm working to a different daily theme each day so have had to use some archive shots to fit the topic of the day, as, for example, we haven't had any fog locally yet this month.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    Christmas jumper now has one sleeve and most of the back finished. Swearing continues apace.

    Fantastic! Carry on! Wish you could share photos.
    Ariel wrote: »
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    A couple of weeks left in the month so you can still achieve that goal. Sometimes it’s easier when the rain is pouring down, sometimes not so easy…

    Rain is one of the best opportunities for photos. It's when puddles come to life, leaves and flowers are enhanced by tiny drops of silver, rain blurs on glass windows can give you instant Impressionism, and night in a town or city takes on an added enchantment with colourful reflections on the pavements from lights in shop windows or even traffic lights, and gold, silver and red from passing cars spill across the road.

    However, I'm working to a different daily theme each day so have had to use some archive shots to fit the topic of the day, as, for example, we haven't had any fog locally yet this month.

    Wish you could share photos, too!
    Well, and everybody.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    edited October 2023
    Kendel wrote: »
    This is fascinating, learning about game design. I've never played a proper one, but have heard people talk about them.

    Is this rather like the concept or world-building in fiction, but rather than telling what happened, you build the mechanism that players use to drive what happens? If so, then you have to have the finished whole in mind first and then decide how to disassemble and decsribe the parts and their functions, so they can continue to work as a whole without missing pieces. Yes?

    Not quite, no.

    There is no finished whole; you are creating a setting where the players and gamemaster (GM) decide on what will happen. The game rules define how to resolve actions that take place within the setting - for example, if someone tries to break down a locked door whether they succeed. If they try to persuade a non-player character to do something how does that character respond? If a character is shot, how does it affect them? Do they die? How do they recover? What can other characters do to help them?

    The more complicated the rules are, the more accurately they can simulate reality, and the more accurately they can guide the events in game to proceed according to the regular tropes and conventions of the genre. These two things are in tension - in a real mediaeval world being hit once by a sword is incredibly bad news and if you don't croak now you might well later when infection sets in. This isn't fun and if the game is about bashing things with swords and therefore risking being bashed with swords you have to make rules that make being bashed with swords bad in fun and survivable ways - like being able to be hit several times before you fall over, and healing with dubious pultices of herbs and potions from some bloke in the ton actually working, because otherwise people won't bash things with swords and the game won't function as intended. If you're running a police procedural game, it's often more fun if a character with sufficient computing skill can break encryption and read the bad guys' data than the realistic situation that without his password you're probably fecked and will need to find him persuade him one way or another to hand it over.

    At another extreme, should someone set a game in the Discworld you'd have to allow for the fact that million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. Because that's one of the rules of that world.

    The other tension is between complexity of rules and playability. More rules means more looking things up on tables and checking of minutiae which is less fun. No rules at all is also no fun because there is no game. A very loose set of rules might not be fun if they're so simple they produce ridiculous results - as an extreme, imagine a game where every action is resolved by tossing a coin: "I climb up the sheer sides of the compound walls, 500' feet high and made of polished marble - Heads! Yay I got heads!"

    Different games attempt to resolve these tensions by pegging their rules at a given level of complexity and a given place in the spectrum of reality simulation
    How did you develop the idea for your game, if You can say without giving away too much?

    A set of young adult novels written by a friend who is an author. I started reading them and realised the setting had role-playing potential. So the world building is partially done, although of course unless the writer is Tolkien the only bits of the world you see are those the novels reveal and those the author's willing to tell you (i.e. make up on the spot). And sometimes you find gaps that you need to fill. Or paint over.
  • KendelKendel Shipmate
    Thanks, @KarlLB ! That was fascinating.
  • Raptor EyeRaptor Eye Shipmate
    edited October 2023
    Kendel wrote: »
    Thanks, @KarlLB ! That was fascinating.

    Seconded.

    Thank you @Ariel too for the lovely images of rain-enhancement!

    And @la vie en rouge for the smile - knit one, swear one!

  • If you are interested in game design, I recommend "A Theory of Fun for Game Design" by Ralph Koster.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    At another extreme, should someone set a game in the Discworld you'd have to allow for the fact that million to one chances happen nine times out of ten. Because that's one of the rules of that world.

    Of course, if you miscalculated slightly, and that was only a 999,999 to 1 chance, then you're out of luck.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    I have the GURPS Discworld supplement but I’ve never had the opportunity to run it properly.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I have the GURPS Discworld supplement but I’ve never had the opportunity to run it properly.

    That sort of thing needs a really creative GM in my experience.

    Ever played Toon? That's good for a giggle. Had a small party once flying on a vacuum cleaner on the grounds that's it's basically a more modern broomstick. Worked as long as they kept failing Smarts checks. As soon as one of them realised that vacuum cleaners don't fly it suddenly didn't.


    Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
    eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Boom!

    Four little holes in the ground exactly the shapes of the characters. They had time to hold up a little wooden sign saying "Bye!" before plummeting.
  • DoublethinkDoublethink Admin, 8th Day Host
    I’m currently just beginning a D&D campaign for my friends kids. I’ve previously run a short one for them. It’s great fun because they are full of wacky ideas when tackling problems. I like to take a “yes, and” approach to dming, I’ll let them try any random thing.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I wouldn't know where to start with that, but it sounds a good way to encourage creative thinking.

    Today I was going to tidy my house - honestly I was, then a friend told me about their cat, which is a tabby, like mine and, like mine has a mind of its own. I spent most of the day designing a bookmark which I will stitch, then photocopy and laminate. It says Tabbies Rule The World, and will have two tabbies (a grey and a ginger). Now I just need to decide the colour of the lettering, which can't be my favourite deep purple because it doesn't always photocopy well.

    As with the other bookmarks I've made recently I will take some to the Community Library and sell them as a library fundraiser.

    The house will get tidied sometime. probably when visitors are expected.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Huia wrote: »
    ... The house will get tidied sometime. probably when visitors are expected.
    You mean there's another time when the house might get tidied? :confused:
  • Piglet wrote: »
    Huia wrote: »
    ... The house will get tidied sometime. probably when visitors are expected.
    You mean there's another time when the house might get tidied? :confused:

    If one has staff.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    In one's dreams ... :mrgreen:
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    If I ever won lotto I would hire a housekeeper. Of course rarely buying tickets makes this less likely. :grin:

    O.K I',m stuck with the bookmark. The cats are dark and light ginger and grey and black. The tiny hearts are bright red. I can't decide what colour to stitch the words. I have heaps of colours, so that's not the problem, it's just that I get stuck using the same colours.

    So this is an invitation to suggest a colour for the words and help me get out of the rut I feel stuck in.
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