I wrote 38 posts in the first edition of The Write challenge. The challenge was instrumental in helping me develop the identity of a writer. When I saw the second edition of The Write Challenge, I knew that I had to participate in this. At the end of the first Write Challenge, my final post chronicled my experience participating in the challenge. 

One of the articles in the challenge is about Parkinson’s law – the idea that work expands to fit the time of completion. In other words, given a deadline, one is forced to deliver the works in the stipulated time. Without a deadline, I prefer to let my ideas and articles marinate to try and achieve the perfect piece. Translated into plain English: I procrastinated on my articles. The Write Challenge gave me something invaluable: A Deadline. The question now is, how do I best leverage the great gift that is the deadline? 

I decided to give myself a challenging deadline: Write 50 articles for the challenge. In other words, push Parkinson’s law to its limit. I had one factor going for me. My procrastination over several months meant that I had some articles finished, several sitting in my draft folder in various shapes and forms, and several articles scribbled in my notebooks. I had enough article ideas in various rudimentary forms and therefore wouldn’t have to think about them from scratch. The Challenge took upon the role of forcing me to dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and get me to finish the articles.

For the first edition of The Write Challenge, I imposed some rules for myself – the article had to be a worthwhile read, it had to stand on its own – I wouldn’t assemble a hodgepodge collection of words, stitch them into the article for the purpose of winning the challenge. The readers of os.me give something precious – their time – and challenge or not, I have to treat their time with respect. One of the articles for the challenge is The 80% Alternative – which says that if I can grade my article with a score of 80/100, then it is good enough to go ahead and post it. This is perfect in that I can apply this standard to my articles before posting. Some articles might receive a less than average 65/100 or a 70/100 grade, given the large number of posts that I have written. But I suspect that most of the articles will pass muster with the 80/100 benchmark I’ve set myself.

Now, what if I fall significantly short of the 50 articles? Jack Canfield was earning $25,000 a year when he set himself a target to earn $100,000 the following year. He fell slightly short, and ended up earning $93,000. Was he disappointed? No! He had just gone from $25,000 to $93,000! From the time between the first write challenge till now, I had written all of 6 articles. Thanks to this edition of The Write Challenge, the number is going to go up significantly, and whatever the final number is, I am delighted! For the record, including this post, the final number is 44 (unless I miraculously write another article in the next 4 minutes).

Now for thoughts about winning the competition. In the first edition of the competition, I had thought about writing 20 to 25 articles, thinking it might be a good number to win. I believe the winning count was 86. This time, I aimed for 50 posts, but I did not keep track of any other participant’s entries – I was focused on my raison d’etre for participating in this contest (shoot for 50 high-quality posts – so that a fair amount of reasonable quality posts will ensue).

This time, I decided not to read comments as well, and schedule time slots where I would bunch replying to comments. (I snuck a few peeks at the comments… heh…heh). My thanks to all the kind people who took out their time and read my articles. My special thanks to Pratik Wadhwa, who read all my articles from the challenge, as well as prior articles of mine (I am going to venture a wild guess that he is going to win the comments contest), and to Sonali Vashishtha, who read most (all?) of my articles. My apologies if I missed anyone.

My thanks to Medha Shri for organizing this edition of the competition. I hope there will be more write contests – I look forward to them (I will look to push Parkinson’s law further to the limit). My thanks to all the technical geniuses who made sure that the servers did not crash with all the traffic from the last-minute article submissions. My eternal thanks to Swamiji.

I offer my congratulations to all the participants for their unbridled enthusiasm in churning out posts. It takes a collective effort to make community endeavors a success, and thank you for making this edition of The Write Challenge a success.

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Prahalad Rajkumar

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