The Challenge 2013 Review: Week 2

The-Challenge-2013-week-2It’s week 2 of the Challenge 2013.

Missed my review of week 1? You can read that here.

I’ve jumped right into the Challenge 2013, and so far the exercises have been a little unusual if not interesting!

This week I will hopefully get my head around the format of what it is I am going to be creating for the Challenge 2013.

Day 7 was a rest day and we started day 8 off gently with a session on the fundamentals of starting our products – free writing and mindmapping were the training titles for the day.

I haven’t tried free writing before but the concept is really quite cool!

We just write to a 5 minute stop clock with no pausing and no editing all. If we came up again with a mental block we were told to actually write down “I am in a mental block blah blah blah”. Ed assured me that my brain wouldn’t allow too many blah blah blah’s!

I made the 5 mins and thoroughly enjoyed doing the task and the free writing, I’ll definitely be using that brain dump exercise as I move forward with my writing.

Then we were introduced to a few different types of mind mapping programs. You can either download or use the mind mapping software online. I really did like the software examples I was introduced to, and a couple I didn’t know about at all so a big thumbs up there.

(Sharing is caring so the software we used is listed below)

  • MindNode (Mac and IOS)

  • NovaMind (Mac and PC)

  • MindMeister (Online)

  • iThoughtsHD (IOS)

Just as with the brain dump, we played around with the mindmap software fleshing out our ideas and in essence giving our “product” a little grouping and structure at the same time.

What Will We Create In Challenge 2013

Amazon Kindle eBook

Day 9 and the product was finally introduced to us – just inside week two!

After all the secretive posts and what seems like days and days of waiting to find out what I would be creating, we were finally let into the Challenge 2013 insiders club that knows what the tangible goal is!

I was shocked when Ed Dale did actually reveal to us that we were in fact creating an ebook for the Amazon Kindle!

It was a little confusing because I’m sure he said it wasn’t an ebook we were making and there wasn’t really any writing involved!?!

In fact, it’s the same type of Kindle book that I’ve created before! Sort of very niche specific yet graphical at the same time. Anyway, it’s been an interesting journey up until now so I’m still on board … BUT will this type of eBook work within my niche?

Hmm…I really don’t think so.

If only I would have know it was a 20 page ebook that I was to deliver (from the start), it would have made the niche selection process a whole lot easier … for me anyway. It’s back to the drawing board with niche selection now!

Pen names (or not) were also discussed on day 9 of the Challenge 2013, and I wondered if it’s only me who thinks it was quite a pointless video?

The Challenge 2013 Day 10 took us to discussions about setting up groups and collaborative writing.  I think even though its a great idea, when it comes to the practicalities of getting the ebook online in the Kindle marketplace, and getting paid, only ONE person can submit the eBook, and only ONE person can get paid.

“really” for in the second week would tend to leave a lot of them abandoned. I really can’t imaging folks picking the same niche topic – can you?

Jumping past all that group stuff, Challenge day’s 11, 12 and 13 are all about a tool called Scrivener.

An awesome tool for getting all your project ideas into one place, and it kind of reminds me of Windows Office Live, except Windows Office Live is free! Scrivener is only free to use for 30 days, which could last you quite a while if you only use it once a week, but for me, it’s a tool that I would soon end up paying for.

But all things aside, Scrivener is a great tool and I can see a lot of folks forking out the $’s once their 30 days trial is up.

As you can probably imagine, the rest of the week was really spent teaching us how to use Scrivener whilst we expand on the subject matter from our ebooks.

Challenge 2013 week 2 – Summary

This week was a total anti climax for me. The groups and forum ideas don’t seem to be of any use at all to the majority who take the Challenge 2013. I’ve been posting and giving the thumbs up all over the place in the forum, but it’s a total non starter from a social point of view.

Scrivener is the highlight of the week  –  but it is a paid tool.

I promised to NOT let this kind of thing become an issue until the end of the Challenge, but I really do wonder if that is one of their main goals for the Challenge 2013 team – to promote products that become a crucial part of the training (earning them commissions in the process)?

Scrivener is the first example that I’ve seen, but I do wonder if there is more to come.

Graphical ebooks are not really getting me excited, and I do wonder how others feel about this. Still, we are only 2 weeks in and I am expecting things to get a lot more exciting and productive over the next 2 weeks!

Pro’s for week 2:

  • Free writing is a great concept if you find it difficult to create written content.
  • The mindmapping software revealed is very cool.
  • Scrivener is a tool that I will definitely use again.

Con’s for week 2:

  • Not discovering exactly what you will create in The Challenge 2013 until day 9 is (in my opinion), a mistake. I had to change my niche at this point because it didn’t really fit, and I’m sure others will experience the same.
  • The groups component doesn’t seem to be working as expected.
  • Scrivener is a tool that many will feel they can’t do without, and this will lead to them paying for the full product.
  • The community “feel” within The Challenge 2013 is definitely lacking.

That’s it for week 2 of The Challenge. I’ll be back soon with my review of week 3!

If you are taking The Challenge 2013 then it would be great to hear about your progress. Please leave your comments below.

Tony – WFHW

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