This year, I undertook two successful screenshot challenge months - MiqoMarch and FebHyurary. In a few days, I'll be tackling Junelezen, and armed with the experiences of previous months, I've come prepared.
What are Challenge Months?
Challenge months are when someone creates a list of prompts for the community to respond to through art or screenshots. These are often organized by race or major theme. Art and screens are shared across social media using a common tag.
I've seen a number of folks get all fired up and excited about a challenge month, only to fizzle out after the first week or two. So here's some tips on sticking it out through the whole challenge.
Tips to Successfully Finish a Challenge Month
You don't have to have nerves of steel to finish a challenge month. But you do need to have some organization and time management. It's not as hard as it sounds, and here's some things I've learned to help you get started.
1- Explore the prompt list and formulate your ideas ahead of the month.
Usually, the prompt list is posted long before the month starts. Take advantage of that. Familiarize yourself with the list and even write out ideas for each prompt before the challenge begins.
2- Take screens in bulk before prompts are due.
Don't wait until the day of the prompt to take a screenshot - you'll just be scrambling every day to come up with a shot, and the quality will suffer. There's bound to be a day where you just won't have the time or energy to scrape something up, and that's usually where people start falling behind or quitting.
Check the rules of the challenge. Usually they don't say that you have to take each screenshot the day of the prompt - merely that you post the screenshot the day of the prompt. (Hopefully, the challenge creator would rather you stick it out all the way through than enforce a rule that makes the challenge less fun.)
Use your time and inspiration wisely. If you're all fired up at the beginning of the month, take a backlog of screenshots while you have the energy to do it.
I usually try to use my weekends to block out a bit of screenshot time and take as many as I can for that following week. It's much easier to edit and post on prompt days when you already have the screens on hand. Plus, this allows you to review what you've taken and make changes to them - or retake them if you need to - before you post!
3- Go for the low-hanging fruit first.
If you're taking screenshots in bulk, work on the ones that are easiest for you to visualize, even if that means skipping over some. You can come back to the more difficult ones later, and you might come up with an idea while working on the easier ones.
4- Don't let a few missed days set you back.
If you do happen to miss a couple days, don't let that end the challenge for you. Post some catch-up posts to get you back on track. Unless, of course, you're just not having fun anymore. The most important thing is the fun, after all!
If you have other ideas on how to succeed at challenge months, feel free to let me know in the comments! Best of luck to you!