Moving the goal posts

Hey so check this out.

Here’s what tab 3 of my 2016 writing spreadsheet looked like when my monthly word count goal was 10k and my stretch goal was 15k:

2016 writing spreadsheet tab 3 with updated counts

Buuuuuuuuuuut look what happens if I change the monthly goal to 2k and the stretch goal to 5k:

2016 writing spreadsheet tab 3 revised

LOOK HOW GREAT I’M DOING

Stuff

Sometimes I come out of my depression enough to think about all the stuff I’m not accomplishing, and why that might be (gee, maybe depression? But also: I’m a lazy fuck).

This morning a friend was mentioning that they have fallen behind on their word count for the year, but that they’re not too far behind and they’re impressed they made it this far into the year without falling behind until now. I literally had nothing to say to that. Back at the beginning of the year I worked with them on creating spreadsheets that track word counts in a variety of ways, and I was really proud of my version of it, but I haven’t actually used that spreadsheet since February.

2015’s spreadsheet was broken up by month and required me to create blocks for each week and take up a ton of space:

my 2015 writing spreadsheet

2016’s spreadsheet was designed so I could simply enter anything I wrote into rows on the same tab:

my 2016 writing spreadsheet - data tab

and then the other tabs would track whether I was meeting certain goals. The second tab just checks to see if I have written anything at all in a given week.

my 2016 writing spreadsheet, tab 2

Then the third tab tracks monthly goals. My baseline was 10k words per month, and 15k was a stretch goal. (Obviously I never met either of these.)

my 2016 writing spreadsheet, tab 3

And finally, on the last tab, I just wanted to tally what kind of writing I was doing. There were no goals for this tab. I was just thinking it would be neat to see what projects ended up getting the most word count. I separated “ficlets” from “fanfic” because I wanted to differentiate between tiny stories (200-word drabbles, five-sentence ficlets) and short stories, even though my short stories tend to be so short that other people might call them ficlets as well (under 4000 words).

my 2016 writing spreadsheet, tab 4

So yeah, the spreadsheet is pretty cool, and I get a certain amount of pride looking at it now, even though I barely used it for its actual purpose.

But the point is, I haven’t met any word count goals this year. I have written things beyond what I’ve tracked, but not much. Maybe I’ll go through and fill in this spreadsheet with everything I’ve written since February, but I’m not sure I want to see how little I’ve been writing.

I realize this is an extremely rough time for me and I shouldn’t expect myself to be perfect and shit, but I just feel like a failure. Most times when I try to start writing something I am filled with extreme reluctance. Occasionally I’m not, and something comes out. But I feel like I should just push through that reluctance and force myself to write things, and that because I’m not, I’m weak and lazy.

Looking back at the 2015 Daily Writing Challenge

Happy New Year! I decided to take a nap at around 6:30pm last night and ended up sleeping until 2am, so I missed midnight kisses and whatnot. It’s 2016 now and I figured it’s a good time to see how I did with last year’s resolution: write something non-work-related every day.

Let me just say up front that I did not write something every day. And I was feeling pretty down on myself about it, so I hadn’t recorded my word counts since September. I was convinced that I’d barely written anything for the latter half of the year. But this morning I went through and tallied everything, and it’s a lot better than I’d thought. While it’s true my monthly word count fell below 10,000 words from August onward, I wasn’t that far from April, June, and July’s totals (with the exception of November, which I will forgive myself for, as I was very depressed that month).

I wrote a total of 175,809 words in 2015. That is huge. If all these words had been for the same project, I’d have a novel. Of course, they weren’t; I wrote a bunch of smaller things. I don’t know how many projects there were, but they ranged from five-sentence ficlets to (as-yet-unfinished) chaptered works. The majority were one-off stories, which seem to be my strong suit. Regardless, that’s an impressive number of words, especially since before this past year (technically, November 2014), I had not been doing any creative writing whatsoever.

I’d like to keep writing, but I’d also like to not disappoint myself like I did when I started missing writing days. Failing to meet a goal makes me lose confidence, and I end up not wanting to do anything for fear of further failure. So I think this year I will change my goal. Instead of saying I will write something every day, I will commit to writing every week, with the goal of a certain number of words per month. Since I averaged 14,650 words per month in 2015, maybe I’ll make my monthly word goal 15,000.

I can work out the details, including how to track this (I’m not sure the spreadsheets I used in 2015 are ideal), at a later time. For now, though, I’m pretty sleepy, so I’m going back to bed.

Damn.

I just realized I didn’t write anything yesterday except work stuff. So I’ve broken my trend of writing every day. There’s not even something I could fudge and pretend counts, like a Tumblr post or something.

To be fair to myself, it was a long day. I got up and packed, went to work, went home to see Sean at lunch, left work at 5, and drove to Kentucky, arriving just after midnight. Sooooo I’m not sure when in there I could have written something. Maybe on one of my rest stops…

Sigh.

That time I wrote a love story about a face and a floor

Tumblr is a lot of fun, I’ve discovered. Here’s an example.

I was about to go to bed the other night when I noticed a hilarious conversation on my dash. One of the people I follow, Athena, had sent another person I follow, Tasogare, an OTP/BROTP/NOTP ask. OTP stands for “one true pairing” and basically means you ship it—you want those two characters to get together. BROTP signifies a strong friendship, and NOTP means nope, you never want to see those characters romantically involved. The OTP/BROTP/NOTP ask is where you send someone a pairing and see how they feel about it.

The pairing Athena asked Tasogare about? “Face x Floor.” Apparently she was typing a different question, tripped over her cat, and smashed her own face into the floor, and so she decided to ask about that instead.

Tasogare replied seriously that the relationship seemed aggressive, and so it was a NOTP.

This was too freaking funny not to get in on. I reblogged with:

WHAT NO FLACE 4 LYFE

THEIR LOVE IS SO MISUNDERSTOOD

Athena and Tasogare responded with false outrage, discussing how horrible I was for shipping an abusive relationship, and then started discussing how great it would be to have fan fiction of this ship. Another person, Usual, chimed in with a funny, pun-filled story. Athena kept pretending to freak out about how terrible the whole idea was, and I was so amused I asked my followers if the next thing I post should be Flace fan fiction.

(Tasogare “liked” this.)

Late last night, I was crawling into bed after posting a new chapter to a fanfic that’s been dormant for awhile. I wasn’t thrilled with the new chapter, but it was something. As I pulled up the covers I realized I wanted to write about Flace. I was already in bed, though, and my laptop was shut down for the night.

So I wrote the following on my phone.

Brain was opposed.

No. Opposed was not strong enough a word. It needed a modifier.

Brain was violently opposed.

It was unnatural, after all. Face belonged in the heavens. Beautiful Face, soft of skin, should remain here, where her loveliness could be seen and appreciated by all. Here, far above the hellscape that was the domain of Floor. That rough, cold, low demon, that…creature, unworthy of even seeing Face, let alone touching her.

Brain was violently, violently opposed.

Unfortunately, the traitorous Legs were not.

At every opportunity, Legs would attempt to wrest control away from Brain, to stoop, to kneel, to lie flat.

Brain’s struggles against Legs were difficult and tiring and only marginally successful. They sent Legs stumbling and set Arms, the uninvolved bystanders, flailing. At the best of times, Brain would force Legs straight, continue walking. At the worst of times, Face would crash down to Floor, supple cheek smashing into that lowly being.

Brain could only hope that the pain would dissuade Face, would convince her that what she was feeling was little more than a fancy, a crush, a passing notion.

But time and time again it happened, and Face was resolute.

“I love them,” she said fervently, and Brain wailed. No, no, no. This was wrong. This was obscene. Face belonged in the heavens.

“She loves them,” Legs said. “She loves them.”

“I love her,” called Floor from below, their voice horrid and grating and evil and offensive to Brain’s delicate sensibilities. “I love her.”

Face was resolute, and Floor was resolute, and Legs stood by them.

But Brain was also resolute.

I posted it and went to bed, feeling satisfied.

This morning I woke up to such nice comments. This is extremely egotistical, but I want to save them here, to remember how fun this was and how much I enjoyed it and how happy I was to have my contribution appreciated.

Athena wrote:

 I DON’T WANT TO LIKE THIS

I REALLY DON’T WANT TO LIKE THIS BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN FIC

I DON’T

I CAN’T

I AM THE ANTI-FLACE

WHY MUST EVERYONE ON HERE BE SO PERSUASIVE WITH THEIR AMAZING WRITING

NOOOOOOOO

*rocking back and forth w/ covering eyes* I am the anti flace, i am the anti flace, I am the anti flace. No matter how gorgeously written the fic, I MUST stay strong for my cause. I cannot ship  it. I CAN’T. I MUST KEEP MY IDEALS INTACT. I MUST NOT GIVE IN TO FLACE.

#I really am going insane #It’s actually happening #Imagine me checking into a mental hospital and the thing that pushed me over the edgde of the cliff of insanity WAS A SHIP I ACCIDTALLY MADE DURING AN ASK WHEN I TRIPPED OVER MY CAT #*ACCIDENTALLY #WHat evEN. #You really are an amazing writer though #Seriously write a book or something #flace #anti-flace #FacexFloor

(That last bit is the post tags…you can probably see why I want to keep them)

Tasogare liked the post, and Usual chimed in with:

We have the best shippers!!

#Conversations #Flace #Flace 5ever #OTP #I love you so much cosleia that it should be measured in light-years #And I bow down to you #All hail and long live the Queen of Flace #The Writer Supreme #All Hail cosleia!

So yeah, I wrote a love story about a face and a floor, and people enjoyed it, and it was nice. :)

Swept up

The other day on Facebook, I posted,

I just want to read, and write, and read, and write, and read, and write.

That is all I want to do.

Yesterday I published chapter four of my fanfic “Opening a Door.” It was the most difficult chapter so far to write. For a long time it didn’t feel right; I had certain events that I knew should occur, but the story wasn’t cohesive. I’ve been writing in Notepad, but I needed to be able to “see” more of the story, see its structure, so I pasted it into Word, and that helped. I moved the part of the story that had been the climax to the beginning, because I realized it wasn’t really the climax…and suddenly everything started working.

It was so satisfying to finish that chapter, to keep digging at it until it came out the way I wanted it to.

I love this feeling. I want to keep going. I want to know what happens next in this story, and I want to work on all my other stories.

I’m so happy I’ve committed to writing every day.

Writing myself raw

It seems that writing every day puts me even more inside my head than I usually already am, and that has resulted in some pretty dramatic mood shifts. Either that, or my moods have always shifted like this, and I just wasn’t paying attention.

There will be days when I feel absolutely wonderful, days when words flow like water and joy bubbles up at everything. There will be days when I’m fine, not great, not terrible, just fine, and things can make me smile even as dark thoughts creep at the edges of my consciousness. And then there will be days when I think that my writing is terrible, that I am terrible, that everything I do is pointless.

Those are not good days.

Being aware of what type of day I’m having has helped me to start developing appropriate responses. On the good days, I just enjoy it. I indulge in thinking about how great everything is and pat myself on the back and pat other people on the back and engage in many conversations–those are the days I feel the most sociable. On the lukewarm days, I often have trouble focusing, so I set out tasks and plow through them with the help of music. When I think something disparaging about myself, I reject the thought as quickly as possible, and remind myself that I am doing something, that I am learning and growing, and that there is no such thing as perfect, just a path of improvement. As long as I stay on that path, I have no reason to hate myself. And staying on that path doesn’t mean writing thousands of words every day…it just means writing something every day.

On the horrible days, I just take care of myself as best I can. If I don’t feel like going anywhere, I don’t go anywhere. I generally don’t talk to anyone. I read things I enjoy and eat good food and go to sleep. Sleeping helps. But no matter what, I make sure that I write something, even on those days.

I’m not sure what kind of day today is yet. I feel like it has the potential to be good, if not great. Wednesday was awful, but I figured something out on Wednesday, a new way of thinking about things, and Thursday was an absolutely wonderful day. I did a lot of work-related writing, which of course doesn’t go toward my word count, but I also went back to a story I haven’t written on in awhile, and it was good. I was cheerful and chatty and smiling all day. Yesterday I sort of coasted along on Thursday’s momentum; it was a nice day, but quiet, subdued, like I wanted to just plug happily away at things by myself. I wrote a few sentences in the morning, spent the day working and reading, then went to dinner with Sean and our friends Charles and Heidi. Finally, late last night, I wrote and wrote and wrote, and yesterday’s total word count ended up being 1175. Not amazing, but good, and I was happy with what I’d written. It’s not beautiful–I really hope someday I can write something beautiful–but it’s interesting.

I like writing at night before bed. I’m typically a morning person, but if I stay up past my bedtime I get this strange, fresh burst of energy. And late at night it’s quiet; there are few distractions, and there’s nothing else to do. It’s not chore time or work time or socializing time. It’s my time.

Another nice thing about writing before bed is that I wake up thinking about my stories. If I don’t let myself get distracted by social media and news articles, I can jump right back into it.

I have decided that today will be good. It looks like the weather will be nice, clear and cool. Maybe I’ll go somewhere, let nature or art or some other kind of beauty rejuvenate me. And I’ll write, of course. Of course, I’ll write.

Word count

It’s the last day of January. This morning I tallied the words I’ve written so far this month, and it came out to 27,935.

The first thing that leaps out at me is that this is about half the words required to complete National Novel Writing Month. I’m actually pretty happy with this, because I wasn’t trying to meet a certain word count at all. I get the feeling that as I keep writing every day, as I get used to doing it and it becomes part of my daily life, my output will naturally increase. By the time November rolls around, I might actually be to the point that I can do NaNoWriMo.

I’ve tried NaNo a couple of times, but I never made it past about ten days of writing. The shift from not writing at all to suddenly trying to output thousands of words a day was not sustainable. I quickly got bored, frustrated, and blocked. (I also ended up losing everything I wrote in my 2004 attempt in the 2005 apartment fire.)

This more gradual approach seems to be much better; I can write whatever I’m inspired to write, and I don’t feel pressured to be particularly prolific as long as I write something.

It’s been heartening, too, to see that I’m able to keep writing despite the weird highs and lows I go through. Noticing how often they’ve been happening has been strange. I don’t know if my moods have always swung this frequently, or if writing daily is causing me to spend even more time inside my own head than usual. I wonder if I should come up with some way of tracking and quantifying my moods.

In any case, the month isn’t quite over yet. I’ll be writing more today, and I look forward to updating my tally sheet with the final word count for January. Then…on to February!

It’s almost February

In anticipation of Month Two of Daily Writing, I have created a main filler page for 2015 Daily Writing, under which I have placed 2015 Daily Writing: January and another new page, 2015 Daily Writing: February. Right now the filler page is just there to act as a container in the drop-down menu, but I think I might end up using it for summaries of each month (total word count, completed works, types of work, whatever).

Yesterday was pretty great, writing-wise. The night before, I was feeling restless and ended up staying awake way past my bedtime. As I was trying to force myself to go to bed, an idea for a new piece of fanfiction came to me all at once. I immediately went back to the office and turned my laptop back on and wrote 241 words. The next morning I woke up and wrote a couple hundred more, and again at lunch, and then after work I wrote until 1am, ending up with a completed chapter of 4511 words. I edited it and posted it at 1:17am in a happy haze and was finally able to go to sleep.

Fortunately, I have today off, so staying up late two days in a row didn’t hurt anything. I slept in until a little after 8. The day has been spent doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher, and closing a bunch of browser tabs–though thanks to Twitter and Facebook, I’ve opened a few new tabs as well. There is just so much out there to read.

I haven’t done today’s writing yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I’m not sure if I’ll continue the project from yesterday or jump to something else, but whatever I do will certainly be fun. I have the following to choose from:

  • Opening a Door: yesterday’s fanfic
  • Whispers: a fanfic I’ve been working on since January 1, which currently has 8 chapters and 7758 words
  • the untitled childhood memoir I started writing on Wednesday
  • the franchise reboot I’ve been working on since January 13
  • Impostor: an original science fiction story
  • the vignette I promised Heidi
  • something else! who knows!

It sort of seems like now that I’ve started writing every day, I can’t stop…it’s a good problem to have, but I do hope I actually complete these projects!

It’s been a struggle, and it’s still a struggle

Though I’m managing to write something each day, I’m starting to be dissatisfied with what I produce. I am at the point with my ongoing projects where I need to sit down and figure out where the story is going and how all the pieces fit together, and that kind of thinking can’t really be done in the 45 minutes to an hour that I have to write in the morning. Or at least, I haven’t found myself able to do it so far. Maybe I haven’t tried hard enough.

This week’s writing has been mostly posts to my blog. Yesterday wasn’t really a journal entry so much as a…prose poem, maybe? I don’t know. It wasn’t great. I wrote it at the end of the day, having put off writing till the last minute even though I know that’s a bad idea.

I did write a tiny little fan fiction story last Thursday that I liked. Then there are two blog posts that are almost-but-not-quite process posts, allowed into my word count on technicalities, and two actual journal posts.

Today is the last day of Writing Week Four. This process post doesn’t go into my word count. I will have to figure out something to write for today. I’d kind of like to just write a scene, something descriptive. A vignette. Just need to figure out the topic.

Writing Week Five will just be January 29-31, and then I will start on February’s Week One. February is a perfect month this year–look at a calendar, it is beautiful–so I’ll have four seven-day writing weeks that start with Sunday the 1st. I’m looking forward to it; it’ll be a fresh start, and it’ll be interesting to see how writing weeks that start on Sunday compare to writing weeks that start on Thursday.

Once February is over, March will mess everything up again. Alas.

A coworker told me that this past Monday was shown (through science!) to be the most depressing day of the year. It’s the day when, statistically, people falter with their New Years’ resolutions, and the weather is also generally bad (in North America). Monday was the day I posted about going to Little River Falls…I’d like to revisit that post, because I feel like the bits I wrote while I was actually at the falls are strikingly superior to the stuff I wrote the next day to fill the spaces between those bits. So I did end up going to work feeling dissatisfied that day, and the weather was dreary, and I was grouchy. There might be something to that study.

Things can only get better from there, right?

You Need This Thing

You absolutely must have this thing.

It is not a question of whether or not you should have it. It is a question of how soon you will allow yourself to be satisfied, how soon you will finally answer the undeniable yearnings of your heart.

If you do not buy this thing, you will be so unhappy. In fact, you are unhappy right now, and you will remain unhappy until you buy this thing. Buying this thing will make you happy, for that familiar, fleeting, glorious moment that confirms you are fulfilling your life’s purpose.

Won’t everyone be envious once you have it? Won’t everyone acknowledge your superior taste, your purchasing power?

Think of your family, and how enriched their lives will be. Think of your friends, and how much more they’ll respect you. And think, once again, of your happiness. Think of all these things and know that the solution to any problem in your life, the only solution, the solution that keeps the sun rising and setting, is this thing.

You must buy it. You must buy it now.

Some old stuff

This morning I looked through my Writing folder to see if I had any old ideas that seemed interesting. I came across two pieces, basically finished, that for some reason I’d never posted. I edited them a little, backdated them, and put them up.

The first is a reaction I had to reading someone else’s reaction to the movie Brave. It’s been nearly two years, and my reaction is still pretty much the same: Really?

The second is a Twilight Zone-like dream I had last year. I actually really liked that dream, and I’m surprised I didn’t put it on my blog.

Since comments are disabled on posts that are over 30 days old, feel free to respond to both posts here.

The writing continues

I’m feeling pretty good about my writing this week. Focusing on writing first thing really seems to help. As of yesterday I had surpassed week one’s word count with two days to spare. This morning I started work on a third piece, an original idea I came up with some time ago and left notes for on my phone. It’s fun to have multiple projects, so I can bounce back and forth among them when I lose momentum.

I tend to have highs and lows, so I’m not expecting the energy I have right now to last, but I’m going to take advantage of it while it does.

So, how’s it going?

I am managing to write something every day.

Some days are much harder than others, especially when I’m entering one of my personal angst fugues. And then some days are fun and positive and energizing, and the writing comes smoothly.

Thursday was one of the bad ones:

I went on to tweet about how I’m not sure anyone will understand one of my projects. I did not go so far as to tweet that I thought all my projects were pointless, but I admit that this thought has been ghosting at the back of my mind. I have to keep reminding myself that writing every day is the goal, not writing something publishable–that will come later. I especially have to remind myself of this when I’m feeling that low.

I didn’t manage to get anything written until 11pm, but it was more than just a couple hundred words, and I ended on a mild cliffhanger that made me excited to figure out what would happen next. This also resulted in me waking up Friday morning thinking about the story. So I skipped part of my regular morning routine, reading webcomics, in favor of writing the next part of the story. And I went to work feeling amazing, and I felt amazing all day.

It seems that how things go one day can strongly effect the next day. And I also think effects can be cumulative. Here’s a breakdown, starting at the beginning of Week Two:

Thursday, January 8: Coming off a week of working on a new project, Whispers, I started strong with 905 words. I had written two things the previous day, a little bit on Whispers and a blog post. I hadn’t included the blog post in my word count because it was a discussion of the writing process (like this post, which I guess I won’t count either). I’d intended to write in the morning before work, but I ended up spending that time researching the universe of the story. Work that day was pretty draining, and I watched two episodes of Agent Carter to wind down before finally getting to my writing. This meant I was up an hour past my usual bedtime of 10:30.

Friday, January 9: I did not even attempt writing in the morning. I may have slept in, I’m not sure, but I do know that I spent the time I did have on reading webcomics. That night after work, I tried working on a different writing project, the vignette my friend Heidi won in my silly Facebook contest. I did not get very far. Then Sean and I went out to eat, which of course took up a fair amount of time, but loving my husband and doing things with him is a high priority for me. (We had a cute moment in the car listening to the Welcome to Night Vale episode “Antiques”, which I happily shared with Tumblr the next day.) Finally I wrote a blog post about Heidi’s writing prompt and called it a day, because I couldn’t think of a topic and I wasn’t quite in the zone for Whispers.

Saturday, January 10: Continuing to research my Japan trip for Heidi’s vignette, I unwittingly stumbled across some old, old emotions. This completely derailed me; I needed time to process and recover. And as I was clawing my way out of that, I was intensely feeling all the horrible things that have been happening around the world lately. This resulted in:

Watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier made me feel better, but then I watched episodes 12 and 13 of Sailor Moon Crystal. The juxtaposition of Usagi’s infantile emotions with the real horrors of the world left me with a sort of numbness. I spent the rest of the day reading academic-style critical analyses of Welcome to Night Vale. The tiny blog post I’d made in response to remembering something I’d managed to forget ended up being all I wrote that day.

Sunday, January 11: First thing, I pulled together my thoughts on Sailor Moon Crystal in a blog post. I then spent most of the day watching the webseries Whatever this is., which was excellent, and reading news and opinion pieces. I also wrote a happy little blog post about fanart, and included it in my word count to make myself feel productive.

Monday, January 12: Back to work. I didn’t seem to remember that I’d resolved to try doing my writing in the morning; I spent that time reading webcomics and social media as usual. I’m not actually sure what I did after work, as I was kind of quiet on Twitter other than retweets, but I do know I didn’t start trying to write until 9:50, which is ridiculous. The result was a short, silly blog post that I do enjoy, but I could have done much more if I had prioritized writing earlier in the day.

Tuesday, January 13: Again, I spent my morning on webcomics and news. I figured I’d write at lunch.

I sat down to write immediately after work. Recognizing that the Japan vignette wasn’t going to happen anytime soon and that I seemed to be stalled on Whispers, I turned my attention to another project I’ve been thinking about for awhile. It’s a gender-swap (among other things) reboot of a popular franchise, and I don’t want to name that franchise publicly yet, but I’m kind of excited about it. I worked my way completely through the intro scene, stopping here and there to consider how my character changes would affect the story and how a modern telling would affect certain elements. It was the most I’d written all week, and I felt wonderful.

Wednesday, January 14: I’m not sure if I would have tried to write before work, but I ended up spending my time investigating why there was a balance on my Macy’s card, when I had paid it off last month the same day as making the charge. This absorbed my morning, to the point that I didn’t read webcomics either. I ended up coming home at lunch and reading webcomics then. After work it was time for a new Agent Carter (I watch everything the next day at the earliest, on Hulu, as I don’t have cable or a trustworthy antenna), and then I read a long but fascinating article, and then it was 10:23pm and I was only just getting to writing. And even then…

I finally forced out some words on the reboot project and went to bed.

Thursday, January 15: A new episode of Welcome to Night Vale was released at midnight. I spent the morning listening to it and reacting to it. I skipped Tumblr because I knew that would be endless and instead read webcomics, then went to work. Thursday is where the angst mentioned earlier started. I started to feel trapped by how I spent my time and worried that what I was writing was stupid. Finally I shared my feelings with my writing mentor. She had absolutely no sympathy for my angst and told me to schedule my writing time.

I haven’t actually tried it yet. But I did prioritize writing on Friday morning, and it seemed to make the whole day better. So I think my morning schedule will be this:

6:00-6:45: Standard morning prep
6:45-7:30: Write

And I’ll leave all the webcomics and social media for later.

At this point I’m not prepared to try getting up earlier, because my current schedule generally works well–I get enough sleep and I get to see Sean in the evening. But if I find that 45 minutes isn’t enough, I’ll come back to the idea.

Today I prioritized writing this blog post. I haven’t read webcomics yet, though I must confess I have looked at Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, this post doesn’t add to my word count, but it is writing, and it is non-work-related, and it has also been pretty illuminating, so I don’t regret it. Also, in the middle of writing it, I wrote 294 very personal words that I will not publish, but which do count.

And now, I’ll write something else.

You

Seeking something to write, desperate to avoid the personal anecdotes that have recently cracked you open to revivify, or at least set off echoes of, long-dormant emotions, you google.

Specifically, you google “writing prompts”.

The first link sounds very promising. It’s called “Creative Writing Prompts.” You click it.

It is full of suggestions for stories…about you.

  • You turn into a baby (with adult memories).
  • You wake up in a car with a bag full of cash.
  • You must choose between two mystical items.

Who is you, really?

Is it actually you? Are you meant to write about these things happening to yourself?

Is you a first-person character? Would you then have to work out your backstory and personality and family and friends in order to then discover how you would react to these situations? Do you even know what you looks like?

Is you a second-person character? That’s apparently in vogue.

Is you even a thing? Does you even matter? Are you? Do you?

Feeling meta, you reject the idea of writing prompts entirely and instead write about writing about you. (Or, possibly, yourself.)