If you’ve been around the club for more than a few minutes, you’ll know we have a monthly challenge. The challenge is something different each month, but it always involves doing something to make yourself or your community better. When you do it, you post what you did on Facebook with a hashtag to prove you did it. Maybe it’s getting your blood pressure checked (one we do every year), maybe it’s planting a tree, maybe it’s having a beer with someone you haven’t had a beer with.
TGBC challenges are meant to be moderately difficult but not impossible. For some Goons it pushes them to do something they don’t usually do or haven’t done in awhile, which is hard. Sometimes it’s just finding the time to do it - we all have lives outside of club, mostly.
The October challenge was set to be a bit different. One to separate the tough guys from the really tough guys. And to change things up, there was no hashtag to prove we did it!
What was this challenge?
Write a short story between 2,000 and 5,000 words. Not only that, but the story also needed to somehow feature a key and some sort of offer. Interpret that however you like. Write your story and prove you did it by emailing it to the club (see, no hashtag…).
As a group of men who like to read, this challenge looked simple to begin with. But just because a guy reads a lot doesn’t mean he can write. News around the club was, although we all liked having a crack at our own writing, it wasn’t that bloody easy.
A lot of Goons managed to bang out a decent 1,000 words, even 1,500 words, then started to struggle. It made us all wonder how an author could write an entire damned novel. How long is a novel supposed to be anyway?
But, like the tough guys we are, we struggled through even though it was hard. Obviously some found it easier than others; we don’t talk about work here, but we’re sure there are a few professional writers in the club. For some Goons it was a bit of a sprint/stumble to finish, flinging words on a page just to get to that magical 2,000 words. Others had to cut things back.
Even some of the guys who write about the club regularly (i.e. the Goon writing this article right now) saw the challenge in this challenge. Banging out articles about TGBC is one thing, but trying to create a longer narrative is another. The process was basically “type, type, type,” check word count, “type, type, type.” But, from personal experience, this Goon found it rewarding, even if it just meant it reinforces what he likes to write about.
But we got there and we got a pretty cool collection of short stories. And in true TGBC fashion, we designed a bitchin’ book to house the short stories. It has a picture of a skeleton at a typewriter on it, because we like skulls and skeletons and stuff like that. If you want it, you can buy it in our store.
But really, shameless plug aside, we’re really proud of the Goons who had a go at writing. For many of them it was their first try at writing, but a few of those guys found they liked writing and continue to do so. For others, it wasn’t for them. But they challenged themselves and created something, and that was kind of the point.