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[personal profile] percygranger

Heh, I am amusing myself with the various ways one could interpret the title. Do my words count? Does this technically meet requirements? 

Yeah, no. I totally failed at posting last week. In my defense, I was at my Grandma's for two days with severely limited internet. I could chat...but tumblr was a total pain. Not any actual excuse, just another way in which I was busy/distracted. 

I also failed at posting a genuinely new fic in January. So! I suppose I will have to post two this month, and get on that after posting this.

Writing in January turned out rather awesomely, if I do say so myself. I have a fragile ego balance when it comes to achievement. I usually don't try for anything without a deadline or plan. And then I usually procrastinate 'til the end and do it all in a week or less (usually less). But one of the few things that do seem to motivate me are tiny, completely doable short-term goals. I definitely have those in GWYO. Another thing that helps is writing it down. Again, GWYO has that covered with a lovely spreadsheet to track progress. I love it so much. Opening that thing immediately makes me want to write just so there's no 0 for a day. 

So I have that. This is a good start. But then I also have a weird tic: freaking out when my short-term goals actually add up into long-term success. Somehow, I block or manage to forget that long-term success is the point of the short-term work. And if I succeed above my original long-term goal, I get even more freaked out. How do I to combat this? Well, I've never actually done that before very successfully. Meet this year, where I have at least three people I know working in tandem on this challenge. I can discuss it with them, be motivated to continue by their efforts, listen to their stories and complain about my own problems. Just hearing someone say "don't give up!" when I mention how scary it all is is comforting. The people around me understand at least part of my challenges, and we all want ourselves and each other to succeed at it. 

But it's not just other people that have helped me keep going. It's a personal...belief, if you will. I had a rocky first ten days of the challenge, writing progressively fewer words, feeling less and less motivated until I hit zero. And that's when I realized I actually do want to do this. (I've realized since that this is another tic of mine, hitting rock bottom, finding the limits of what I am willing to do...) And to do it, I'm going to have to ignore my own success. I can't keep up the college mindset that calculates exactly how much I need to get on a test to pass the class. I have to let myself succeed, and not not work just because I can. So my goal each day is my minimum word count: 411. And if I go above that? Great. But it cannot affect what I do the next day, and the next. The only way I can look at the excess words is to be gratified by them; not include them in any calculations of how much I can slack off. I'm not here to play the "how much can I get away with" game. I'm here to write.

And write I have! My total for January is 21,035 words. My basic goal, with the 411 words a day, was 12,700. Perhaps you can see why I freaked out a bit? I'm 9,000 above what was predicted. That's mind-boggling to me. I had no idea this was possible. None. I've never stretched my limits in writing. Never tracked it, never written every day for such a stretch. Now, it could be this is a fluke. January could be just a motivated, productive month. But...I don't know that yet. I have eleven more months to see what I'm capable of. To get in my 400, 500, 600, etc days. And now that I'm past "that's too much", I can feel hopeful that this fragile balance can continue. That I can achieve and accept my achievements as just...what I did. Something cool, rather than something scary. 

We'll see. And I mean that with positive anticipation. I'm looking forward to it. 400 words a day isn't hard. More is possible, and I hope that I can keep it going.

And maybe I can do the same with posting fic. Looking back on this, it seems I need more of a system in place to encourage it. So, I'll get on that. 

Wish me luck!
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