It’s not the new month yet, but as you know I do not believe in “timing” self-improvement. I made a New Year’s resolution years ago never to make another, and I haven’t. I have, since then, tried monthly resolutions with some success. Short goals with small steps (that lead to the bigger ones) tend to be more successful than year long goals that fall to the wayside like dirty snow pushed aside by noisy plows in early February. I could give you a lengthy and boring list of the successes I’ve had with small steps when it comes to my health. It’s impressive, to me anyway, but I won’t torture you.
Drawing on what I learned through SparkPeople.com, I’m starting a new plan to build discipline in my writing. I made an off-handed comment earlier this week about sending a demon story to a Twitter friend. His response was: Why haven’t you?
Yes, why? Good question. I don’t have a good answer. The question made me think and I realized I haven’t finished anything more than Friday Flash stories since the new year. I sent FALLEN out for the first time before the end of 2009. I haven’t finished a single piece since then! (Sure, I’ve sent FALLEN out two or three times more – every time I get a NO, but that doesn’t count. It’s done and, while every publishing house expects a different format for the MS and the query, it’s not that much work to resubmit a rejected piece.)
Morgan’s story (still pissing me off with the whole “untitled” thing) has a first draft. My excuse there is semi-valid. I set it aside, torn over the way the demons came across throughout the story. I needed that break to see what I needed to fix and how – and that worked, I figured it out and the demons are staying – but I didn’t need to leave it alone for this long. Out of sight, out of mind. That works well for when I get stuck on things, but once I have my answer, I’m slow to dive back in and fix it. Why? No fucking clue.
SUMMER LUST is nearly drafted. I know what the last chapter needs to be and only need to write it. There’s a good chance it’ll be hand-written by this weekend. Yay, right? Okay, a little, because with some discipline I could’ve had a final draft done this weekend instead. I’ve started and stopped this one several times and, for the most part, the excuses have been around the short deadline for the anthology call that inspired it. Dumb, right? Usually short deadlines get me working three times as hard, so I can’t really explain why I floundered with this piece.
Wait, I’m not here to whine and I don’t want your pity. I explained the history of this two stories to illustrate why I’m making a change in my writing attack plan. When it came to getting healthier, tracking my progress – micromanaging myself, if you will – helped immensely. I wrote down everything I ate and every minute I worked out. It’s eye opening to see how different the actual numbers can vary from what you think you do! I suspect writing will turn out the same way. Sure, I say I’m writing often, but how many times do I say I’m going to work on Morgan and then find myself catching up on reading the blogs in my Google Reader? I won’t admit a number, but it happens.
Starting yesterday, whenever I write/edit, I will write down how much I FINISHED. Only what was actually done. So, no time because I have no sense of time, just completed pages. I will track how many pages were actually written or edited or transcribed. Through this, I can also track how long (on the calendar) it takes me to finish something, so when, for example, I look back and see Morgan on six months of pages, I hope it will inspire me to buckle down and focus on his edits.
Heck, or at least finding an effin title for him!
Maybe I’ll run a title contest. Yeah, because the last contest went so well. No, really, I get a better response from writing-related requests, so this is a possibility. I have a blurb for the story around here somewhere. I think I’ll type it up and let you, dear Readers, name the story.
Morgan would approve, but only if you slept with him first.
2 handwritten pages – SUMMER LUST
1 edited webfic post – CRANK