Challenge of the Day: Do Something You Told Yourself You’d Never Do

When I was in Boston, I took a Creative Concepts class through the Ad Club and had this fantastic instructor named Annie Finnegan, a copywriter from Arnold Worldwide. One of the assignments she gave us was to come up with a list of things we’d never do and then do something from the list.

Funny thing was that I learned and did some unexpected things as a result of this assignment. For instance, I learned that I actually like some hip-hop—especially Missy Elliott, Mary J Blige, and Eve—and I ended up taking a hip-hop dance class and enjoyed myself immensely. Yes, it was challenging to keep up with the movements/footwork (I have no rhythm or coordination whatsoever) and I really made a fool of myself. But I had a lot of fun sweating it out. A fly-girl I would never be, but I can bounce with the best of them…in a very dark room, or at least in my head.

So, every now and then I would challenge myself to try something that I told myself that I’d never do just because I convinced myself that I wouldn’t like it. The only rule is that I don’t have to do it if it hurts/endangers someone or myself. It turns out that there are a lot of things out there that I enjoy or can learn from if I keep an open mind.

My latest challenge was to read Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series as a research project (not unlike a guy saying he’s looking at Playboy for the articles/short stories). I checked my feminist, literary brain at the door and found myself thoroughly entertained—ok, hooked. Within two days I read the first two books, and I’m waiting for the library to tell me that the third one is ready to be picked up. Yes, the characters are annoying at times, the story development isn’t perfect, and some of the dialogue and descriptions make me cringe, but I have to say the novels are addictive. I like the fact that she’s pulled in some of the classics like Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Romeo and Juliet. I also admire her stamina to crank out 500+ page novels (if only I could do the same!) and her guts to keep writing even though critics keep pooh-poohing her efforts.

So what’s the appeal? She touches upon our penchant for the forbidden fruit, the struggle between what we desire and what we know is good/right for us. Who can resist a love story, especially one about people, who on the surface seem incompatible, but for reasons which cannot be explained, are cataclysmically drawn to each other? Me, I’ve always been a sucker for vampire books/movies and stories about first-time authors with huge advances. 😉

Although I have the last book checked out, I’ve decided to wait for the third book, which is saying quite a lot. I confess I am one of those people who peek at the end to see if the book is worthwhile to read. From the reviews on Amazon I’ve braced myself for disappointment, but at the same time, I am hopeful that I can learn something from the experience of reading all her books—if anything, what not to do when writing a series.

OK, library—give me a call sometime this week and let me know that Eclipse is ready for pick-up, so I can get on with my life.

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