Halfway 365k365day Update

It’s one of those mornings when my eyes continue to burn with sleep even though my mind wants to be awake. Those are almost more difficult than the other way around. When your mind is asleep but your body is awake, there are numerous things you can do until it catches up. This tends to just make me feel restless.

My 365k365day challenge has not been going well. I’ve barely written anything for the past few months, and even my updates about it have been neglected. Although it’s pretty pointless to update if I haven’t written anything. More than anything else I’ve done journaling, ranting, brain-dumping sort of writing, which is sometimes necessary to clear a bunch of crap out of your mind. At this point I am VERY behind in my word count, and I’ll only be able to catch up if I am very diligent about writing every single day from now until 2016. This may not be possible. There’s a good chance I might not reach 365k, but if I can manage 200 that’s still quite a bit for me. Maybe next year I can do better.

I’ve had a thousand million thoughts, tons of writing ideas–most of them I’m sure have been not as good as they seem in the moment so it’s probably a good thing I can’t remember them–but they never seem to get on the page. I tend to get ideas when I’m in the middle of doing something else, and I have never been one to stop everything to write down my ideas. When I was younger, I remembered most of them anyway. Maybe I’m getting too old to keep track of ideas? Well, I have though a few times about started to do that–interrupting whatever I’m doing to record my writing idea–but I already have trouble paying attention to things lately, and I don’t think this would help. It would probably tempt me to go work on the writing instead of whatever obligatory thing I was already doing.

When I DO remember, I have a hard time placing the piece. I can’t figure out where it belongs. Should I publish it on this blog, my other blog, or submit it to some other website for publication? And then somehow the whole thing gets lost in the dark maze of my brain…

I’m slowly trying to train myself to have better habits, so that I can stop wasting so much time. It’s a process though, and it’s one that backtracks a lot. There’s no smooth path to becoming truly productive…

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Another Reason Not to Procrastinate

I have a habit of procrastinating. I’m not embarrassed to admit this because almost everyone does it. If I have a clear deadline or specific duties that need to be done at certain times I do them, but outside of that it can take me a really long time to get going. In other words, I fulfill my obligations and commitments but it can be very hard to get things done if there is not any set commitment…

Bookmarking sites are a great invention. You can make a note of websites or articles that interested you and come back to them later. Much later. Like, months after you intended to. One of the bookmarking apps I use has a number of sites marked that I had intended to blog about. Some of them have been up there for a long time. At this point I can go back and read/look at them, of course, but good luck remember what it was I initially wanted to say about it. Good luck recalling that spark of an idea that made it feel significant enough to bookmark. It may come back upon reading the site; it may not. It’s a mystery and a gamble.

If I had read them right away, or, say, within a week, I might have written something poignant and thoughtful. Chances are if I try now what comes out could very well be half-formed and short of that original point that came to me way back when. Of course, since I can’t really remember the ideas, I can’t prove they weren’t terrible ideas to begin with. But now I’ll never know, because I procrastinated for too long.

Bookmarking is an excellent way to procrastinate because it makes it very easy to forget about things.

Writing Update: Quarter 1

I think I’ve decided that having a quarterly check-in about my writing goals would be a good idea. Perhaps I’ll change my mind before too long, but for now that is what I’ll do.

March is very quickly ending, thus the first quarter is as well. I don’t have good news, unfortunately. If you have read my previous posts this year, you may know that I did okay in January, although not meeting the daily goal for the whole month, but hardly wrote anything in February. This trend continued in March. I could detail the reasons that I didn’t have the time, talk all about the circumstances I’ve been dealing with lately, but it is really just excuses. If I’m being completely honest, I think I haven’t been writing because it takes a lot of discipline, a conscious effort to MAKE time for it. Apparently, I haven’t been doing that.

The minimal word count I did complete (only a few days of writing out the entire month) consisted of blog posts and work on the same Sleeping Beauty retelling I have already talked about. For a while I was quite stalled on that story, but I decided to go back to it and move on to the more interesting parts, and figure out that whole post-exposition, pre-action section in the next draft. Or perhaps all of that is exposition.

I’m a little worried that I’ll finish it and determine that while it has points of interest, as a novel it will not be of great interest to readers. I mean that the people who read it will enjoy it a lot, not that a lot of people will read it… I think that I have a bit of a tendency to stick to my original story ideas as far as plot goes, where I should be learning to make better adjustments so that it’s just a better story. This can sometimes result in a story saying something very different than what you originally intended. Sometimes that’s a problem, and sometimes it’s okay.

I have a few days left in March and I do plan to get some writing in, but the most urgent thing right now is some spring cleaning. I’ve got much to organize, throw away, and clear out. I’m very, very behind in the 365k challenge, in terms of what my total word count should be. In February I didn’t mind this, but now it’s been going on much too long.

Would it be  so terrible if I don’t make the 365,000 word goal at the end of the year? No, not really. Not finishing would not affect my life much, really. But it would most certainly be fantastic to meet that goal, or even exceed it. Finishing would affect my life, even if only in the sense of developing better writing habits. I think that’s worth the effort.

Me, of Late

Well… picture me heaving a huge sigh. I would say “throwing my hands up in resignation,” but that’s such a cliched phrase, and also I don’t actually do that. But I do sigh a lot.

Instead of being productive and getting all that stuff done that I would love to do if I felt motivated, I’ve mostly been:

drinking too much coffee;

sleeping in an extra hour or two;

watching too much Netflix, youtube, etc.;

spending too much on food;

crying;

making messes.

I’ve been reading, but not writing, and, more than anything else, wondering when I’ll have enough time and/or energy to start doing the things I really want to do in life. Like learning guitar and studying languages. Applying for writers’ residencies (they have them for unpublished writers, right?). Figuring out how all the features of my camera work. It’s not even a fancy camera, it’s just a basic digital one, but for some reason it’s not functioning as it claimed it would.

I know I should start with the “spring cleaning” purge of all the stuff that’s collected over the past year or so that I have been intending to throw away or give away or sell. I want to sell some things because I need money, but I think that might be more trouble than it’s worth, since I don’t really own anything valuable.

I wrote a poem last night, but it’s rather private and I don’t want to share it. But at least I did write something. Better than nothing at all. Or… that’s what they say, although really it’s almost as if I wrote nothing at all.

Do you ever wonder why you love the thing you love but then you never feel like doing it?

Recent writing update

End update.

Not much to say on that front. What was true before is still true now. Not a lot of extra time, lack of deadlines… I did manage to complete my futon, so I do have a better writing station at home. I was hoping that would help, but so far it hasn’t done much for my productivity. My room looks much better, though.

If you could do me a favor, show up, bop me on the head, shout,

“write!”

And then leave, it would probably help a lot. Think about it.

Thanks, Mayans…

Life is a strange, quickly-moving thing. Insert Ferris Bueller’s Day Off quote here…

As a result, writing is not getting done. And I’m not too happy about it.

I’m excellent at making plans for writing, and these plans tend to be reasonable and would result in productivity and timely creation of projects. If I could ever get myself to stick to these plans.

My problem is the lack of a deadline. I need real deadlines set by someone other than myself in order to really get to work. I could impose a deadline on myself, it’s true, but I’ve tried, and it doesn’t work. I know why – it’s because the only consequence of not getting my writing done by the date I set is not getting published … which, somehow, is just not enough of an incentive. Perhaps because there’s no guarantee that I will ever get my work published – outside of self-publishing, that is.

This mostly just adds to my original point. I wanted to self-publish a novel this year, and I have yet to do the necessary research on self-publishing to know what the steps are after the straightforward part – the writing. (That’s a joke, by the way.) I have barely done any work on the project I plan to publish, and at this rate it doesn’t even seem likely that I’ll be done with the first draft by the end of this year.

 

And since the world is ending this year, I guess that means I just won’t ever be published… thanks, Mayans. You have just crushed my dreams.

(That was also a joke.)

End Times!

The new year’s almost here. Time for a writing update.

Anyone remember this post? Here’s the follow-up on that… the answer is no, I did not make a Twitter account and enter this contest. I did intend to, but when I was reading the prompt, I couldn’t come up with any ideas that worked with their theme – at least, nothing that would have been interesting or original. Nothing I’ve already written would have worked. So I left that one aside, and procrastinated on my other writing instead.

Also, in reference to that post, I want to apologize to Twitter users… it may have come across that I think using Twitter is in some way reprehensible (and I guess that would depend entirely on how you use it), and that’s not what I meant. If you like Twitter, good for you. I just don’t feel like it’s for me, at least not for now.

As for my other writing, you’ve already seen most of what I’ve worked on lately. I posted it here. I fully intend to start working on some of my bigger projects again soon, and some of the short stories I’ve been looking at more recently. Biggest frustration at the moment, other than the m key that sticks, is the missing flash drive. I’m pretty sure it’s not going to turn up at this point, and in any case I can’t wait until it does. I’m kind of pissed, actually, because I was sure I had printed out the revised versions of the Krishna stories, but I can only find the first draft versions. Now I have to do the second drafts over again. And I had at least two of the stories just the way I wanted them. Goddamnit.

But not all is bad. I had a pretty great Christmas. I have a few cool new books to inspire me, a nice stash of chocolate, some new music to write to, and a smartphone – so now I can check my blog when I’m not at home. If I’m inspired when I’m out, I can post right away, and then obsessively keep track of how many views I’m getting. Sounds awesome, right?