Warning: Horn-Tooting to follow
Yesterday I got my Pegasus Badge on 750 Words. This badge marks 365 days of posting without a miss. Here’s a screenshot of my page as it looked this morning when I logged in:
I was never a Girl Scout so I never had the satisfaction of earning Merit Badges, but this is what I imagine it must feel like to finally finish crocheting that last damned potholder, or squire that last widow safely through the intersection.
The Pegasus Badge.
I must say, it feels sweet. And now, on to the Space Bird! (that will come at Day 500.)
But as happy as I am about 750 Words, I did not win NaNoWriMo. Not even close. I got to about 15K words and bonked.
Spinning plates smashed. Shards everywhere.
I kind of knew it last week when I posted here, that I had about a snowball’s chance. All week I have been dreading having to confront the reality of my failure. I have been trying to figure out what lessons could be learned from the wreckage, and what my response should be.
One good thing that came of NaNoWritMo was that I finally learned how to use the software program, Scrivener after a year of having it lie dormant in my Applications folder. I did not learn every feature of Scrivener lord knows, — that will take years. But I learned a lot.
So what I did yesterday in response to the NaNo failure was open a “New Project” in Scrivener. I created a separate folder for every day in December and I set up a “Word Count Target” for each of those folders, and a “Project Target Word Count” as well.
(See? This is why I love Scrivener. You can do all kinds of stuff like this.)
And I now plan to do in December what I tried, and failed, to do in November: Write 1,667 words a day for 30 days.
I learned a lot about myself as a writer this past year doing 750 words a day, and now I plan to apply this knowledge to this “New Project.”
Here is what I now know:
- If I think what I write has to make sense, I won’t write.
- If I think what I write will be evaluated or graded by someone, I will resist and procrastinate endlessly, until I am forced to write at gunpoint.
- If I think it has to be informative or witty or interesting, I won’t write.
The only way writing gets done for me is if I approach it as an amusing pastime, like doodling. And the only way it can be amusing for me is if I take myself totally off the hook as far as quality goes. If quality happens: Surprise! But in order to even start, I must give myself carte blanche to scribble (or tap out) complete and utter nonsense.
I will, however, happily write to a specified volume of words, as long as I have time and those words don’t have to make sense or be “good” in any sense of that word.
I will also write daily, and not miss a single day (see Pegasus Badge above) as long the writing is permitted to have the smell and texture of cat vomit.
And as for this blog. I still don’t know what I am going to do with it. I changed themes yesterday to give myself the illusion of a “fresh slate” but I’m not going to make any commitments here yet. I’m just going to see what happens.
Till the next time!