MY FRIENDS MADE ME DO IT

Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it’s true enough. One friend talking about it last night, another friend posting about it this morning, and then visiting the website…

Yeah. It’s the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

You know you want to sign up, too.

So, the first friend has most of her posts ready. The other friend has hopes to get hers ready.

I have to admit – getting everything ready ahead of time is appealing.

So very appealing…

*homerdrool*

So I signed up, and my theme is “Catching Up”, because of course it is, you fool! I am behind (understatement) in my 1,000,000 word challenge. I got sick in January and then got sick again after that and I fell off the wagon, and it feels impossible to get back up and do it again. But since there was a trickle of interest sparked by friend one’s convo and friend two’s blog post, I feel like it’s important to grab on to that interest and ride it hard until the words catch up and I’m back on track.

That’s the theory, anyway.

I have the remainder of March to write 30 short stories on the theme of Catching Up and somehow incorporating the alphabet and schedule all the posts because while I managed it before (somehow) writing/posting a story a day, I’d like April to be a bit less frantic this time.

The first time I tried the A-Z challenge was 2016, I believe (nope—2012), and you can buy the book that came from that event on Amazon (affiliate link), Barnes & Noble (print only, apparently), and Smashwords. (Apparently I never posted it on Smashwords?! I’ll fix that at some point. I’m sure I have the files for it.)

I was thinking…

I was thinking about trying to write more next year. I had a heck of a lot of fun (as I always do) writing this November (when I finally got around to it — when life settled down enough to let it happen) that I want to keep it up.

Of course, that feeling might wear off.

It seemed like a really good idea, though, after the Last Minute Marathon our region hosts every year for NaNoWriMo, where I wrote at least 23,000 words (maybe 25,000? I didn’t keep track as well as I’ve done in the past), and I wasn’t even writing hard all day. I had moments of writing hard, of course, but part of the day I had to be at home with the kids doing parental things.

The day was not easy – don’t get me wrong. But I’m blessed to be a relatively rapid typist, especially when I’m writing things I enjoy.

And I usually enjoy writing so much. I enjoy the stories I create, and not enough of them see the light of day, off my computer and in places where people beside me can enjoy them.

So I was thinking about writing more next year. It’s 2020 – the start of a new decade. A leap year, even. It’s a nice, “pretty” place to start a goal like this.

1,000,000 words for 2020.

2,740 words per day. And if I bumped that up to 3,000, I could take an entire month off.

I’d write with the intent to publish everything written no matter how silly, or bad, or whatever (after editing to make it the best silly, or bad, or whatever it can be, of course), and also attempt to get things created with those 1,000,000 words published before the end of the year.

I’d only count fiction words, not blog words as I’ve done in the past.

And, the most critical part in this, is that I have a partner willing to do it with me.

Because I’ve tried such things before. In 2017, I wrote nearly 300,000 words, and it was powerful. I published 10 short stories (about 45,000 words) under a pen name that year, and I still earn a steady $2+ every month or so from those stories. Imagine what it could be if I kept writing and just didn’t stop.

A partner gives me someone to cheer who is on the same path I’m on. A partner will be someone to be accountable to who is trying to do the same hard thing I am. A partner will know how hard it is and will have the same stories about squeezing in words when there doesn’t seem to be the time.

So. What’s the point, right?

I really like the stories I write quickly. They end up a little silly, and maybe a little rambling, but they’re so much more me than anything I take more time on. I’m silly, I’m rambling. I like that about myself. When I write quickly, I don’t have time to self-edit, I just get it done. Sometimes I get stuck and I take a wrong turn, but I usually find something fun along the way, and I can always edit the really bad stuff out.

So that’s the plan. Write 1,000,000 words in 2020 with a friend, counting/tracking fiction words only, with the plan to publish every story I end up with whether it’s under my name or a pen name (and it’s not required that I publish 1,000,000 words, because I have a feeling I’ll lose some to editing).

I’m so excited.

It’s not working (Writer’s Group, No Writing!)

My writing group isn’t working for me. It’s not even a writing group like it was when we started. When we started, we got together and were quiet for giant swaths of time as we wrote, stopping to ask a question, get it answered, and move on. Sometimes we talked at length about someone’s story – asking questions, probing, learning – but it seemed to always be about writing.

But the group evolved and changed, as things do, and now it’s a social group. I like everyone who comes. They’re my friends. I like talking to them, learning about them, etc.

But it’s no longer a writing/editing group. It’s a group of writers who may occasionally happen to be able to get some writing in (usually by attending earlier than the rest of the group, thus avoiding the lure of conversation by eliminating other people to talk to).

When I want to write, everyone else wants to chat. When I want to chat, everyone else somehow manages to bury their heads in their projects.

That happened last night. I went and just wanted to write a blog post. My Chromebook battery was low – I hadn’t charged it fully the week before and hadn’t pulled it out of the bag to recharge it this week. My writing goals are meager these days. All that was on my plate was my response and ponderings about the amount of water I’ve been drinking lately.

And I got drawn into a conversation. Maybe I even initiated it after someone made a noise, I don’t remember. I enjoyed the conversation. I learned new things. I’m excited about what I learned.

But I am so fucking frustrated that at a writing group meeting I couldn’t even write a damned blog post. I’m frustrated that the things I want to say are so fucking fleeting that I can’t hold on to them after I get interrupted. I’m frustrated that the time for writing that I need isn’t there anymore because I can’t manage my time.

I’m frustrated. I don’t know how to “fix” this, or if there is a solution that doesn’t involve me ceasing to attend this event filled with friends. That’s a possibility, to be honest. One I’ve considered quite a bit but hesitate to mention out loud because of Reasons.

Well, at any rate, something needs to change. I’m a writer who doesn’t write, which essentially means I’m now just a gamer who doesn’t get paid for Netflixing while playing Skyblock in Minecraft. I write because of the potential to let my words pay for my life, and to free myself from the constraints of being someone else’s employee.

Maybe that reason isn’t good enough anymore.

Thoughts.