The Wooden Duck Challenge
Objective: develop magical ability through completion of a reasonably strenuous task for which you are currently unprepared.
Do you carve wooden ducks? I don't. I have a vague idea of how. I might have some tools to do it, probably not. I don't know anyone who would want such a thing.
And yet, wooden ducks have been a commodity item for ages untold. It's not too dramatic, then, to use this as a chance to become a better magician.
Anyone can participate. Give it one year. The winner is the one who had the most fun. Here are the rules:
1. Make a duck from a piece of wood. Add other stuff if you want. If you don't have the skill, get someone else to do it. Do a darn good job.
2. Sell the duck, any way you can. You can sell more than one if you like. If the duck is not sold, you fail and will starve to death.
3. Don't just pay people and sit back. Get as close as possible to the project and give it some magical ambition. Aim for the duck to be more than just a commodity, but rather a bridge to new people and things, let it be a special wooden duck and see how special it can become by force of will and any kind of magic you can throw at it.
The idea is to look back on that process of going from empty hands to cash money and saying you got the better end of it and had a good time along the way.
To win, you need to genuinely feel your time and effort was adequately rewarded. I know people selling all kinds of stuff who never have said that, and so you'll need to use magic. Use it to get the duck together, meet the people who are necessary, do all the million things it takes just to make and sell a stupid duck! This is not at all an easy task.
You can sit in your mother in law suite for 6-18 months calling out for your Angel who might arrive, but I guarantee this duck game will improve your magic. You will learn what does and doesn't work, and it's nothing hurtful or overly vain.