I spent the good part of a week on this post. Fear of commitment…fear of failure really. If I don’t make promises, I can’t not deliver. Life has too often shown me the folly of making promises. Why? Because Life Happens, and I’m full of Life(tm).
And that is why I have decided to take on yet another writing challenge. I am full of life, I have a life to live, and I want to make it work for me. So, as part of the challenge, I have goals to achieve in 80 days–goals that revolve around writing.
On paper, I wrote over four pages of things I want to change in my life. Four pages! So many that I would NEVER do them with any success if I tried to enact them all at once for this round. And since ROW80 is really about writing, well, it means I should really be dealing with writing issues, not whether or not I need to go to the gym more often or add more water to my diet as opposed to tea. Yet saying that there should be dancing of some kind in my life every day just seems RIGHT (or is that “right”? Never sure anymore).
This makes the ‘goal of writing my goals’ the creation of something I can break down into little pieces that will give me a sense of success at every check-in (ROW80 does bi-weekly check-ins on Wednesday and Sunday for people who may wish to try the challenge themselves). So saying I need to get my shit together and finish the pieces I’ve been trying to write doesn’t really mean much. What do I want to achieve by doing that? Do I want to make the stories play out and come to some conclusion? Do I want to abandon them into a big hole in my dresser and try from scratch?
Well, really the latter is just too silly to consider. I would go mad if I tried to actually abandon those stories. Sometimes it seems like I’m going mad either way, but at least I’m happy and mad when I have added something in those scrappy works of speculation, chaos and erotica. If those stories didn’t exist, the world would seem so much smaller and closed in.
But what if I didn’t try to write anything new, just edited the piss out what I have and stop? That’s actually getting easier and easier to grasp. I mean, the idea of writing is fulfilling in so many ways, yet it always seems to be fighting against my life of distraction. And yes, I allow myself to be distracted, but that isn’t the point. I allow myself to be distracted because I’m…
…scared. Yes, I’m scared of another rejection letter. Even more I’m scared of the people who’ve said they wanted to read the book and then all that follows is silence. I’m talking to the air. That isn’t the problem, of course. I can talk to the air with the best of them–hell, did it for years. Talking to the air is bad only when one believes that others are listening and care what they say and when that person expects an answer. (I won’t get into a discussion about prayer here. Prayer is hard enough when one has a belief that there always IS an answer. To imagine prayer without even knowing if there is a god out there or not? It is pretty damned terrifying.)
And so, denial. “I don’t care about writing”; “I don’t have time to write”; “I am only writing “fun stuff” for my personal pleasure”… Oh, I have a lot of them piled up. And I pull out these excuses on a daily basis it seems lately.
But I never actually stop doing SOME writing. Whether it’s 750 words a day or trying to imagine stories in my head, I’m always trying to do something related to writing.
Throughout Round 5 of ROW80
- Goal #1 – I will review what I have and haven’t accomplished at the end of each week and adjust my focus accordingly
- Goal #2 – I will devote some time to learning how to better use the creativity tools at my disposal (examples being: keyboard shortcuts in Scrivener, mind-mapping software, even Photoshop and Picassa)
- Goal #3 – I will make a concerted effort to involve myself in the ROW80 community at least twice a week, including visiting other ROWers blogs and posting comments as appropriate.
- Goal #4 – Minimum of three visits to the gym a week, even if it DOES mean extra driving. I’m better for it.
- Goal #5 – Resume reading fiction for pleasure.
- Goal #6 – Dance… every day, even if only for the length of a song
WAIT! None of these involve actually writing, Eden. What do you think you are doing? Haven’t you said already that ROW80 is a writing challenge?
Well, yeah…. yes it is. I was saving the writing goals for this section on what I want to achieve this first week of Round 5:
- Week 1 Goal 1 — Create a timeline of my stories, the characters lives and the worlds they inhabit; figure out what stories work in context of each other
- Week1 Goal 2 — Type in a minimum of 15 pages of first draft work in for editing
- Week 1 Goal 3 — 500 words a day on WsIP, in some format, scene creation, character sketches, plot works….
- Week 1 Goal 4 — Editing… There is a lot of it; do at least a page a day.
Well, there it is…. Long post, but I’m glad I wrote it.