- Have never finished writing any piece of fiction longer than maybe 1.5k;
- Have never finished writing any piece of writing, regardless of genre, longer than the neighborhood of 10k (my Master’s thesis);
- Have not finished writing any piece of fiction, regardless of length, since… May 2013 (thanks, AO3!);
- Tend to become paralyzed with self-hatred approximately two seconds after getting interested in a writing idea;
- Tend to get home after work with approximately zero mental energy and no desire to do anything more complicated than “play a familiar video game”.
Nevertheless, I am giving myself a strict antipep talk and giving it a try this year. The main points are as follows:
- My goal is not to write well.
- My goal is not to create believable characters.
- My goal is not to tell a compelling story.
- My goal is not to build an interesting world.
- My goal is not to explore meaningful themes.
- My goal is not to craft beautiful prose.
- My goal is not to depict character development.
- My goal is not to create something that I would be proud of, interested in, or even satisfied with.
- My goal is to write 50,000 words which, by the most generous definition of “story” in the multiverse, a fair-minded observer might reluctantly admit is technically a story, more or less.
To this end, my plan is to allocate two hours a weekday – the time between 8pm and 10pm – to writing at least 1,667 words. At one point this was the time I allocated to bopping around in GW2, although recently I’ve moved away from that simply because it’s a bit alienating to not own the expansion when everyone else does.
On weekends, I intend to allocate those two hours and any extra necessary for catching-up. For the duration of November, it will replace my extremely slow-and-unsteady sewing project (unless I somehow get way ahead of schedule or something) – it’s all hand-sewing without a pattern, and so far it’s proceeding much faster than my half-decade scarf, anyway.
I will probably write in Notepad or Notepad++ or something, and get the wordcounts externally – whatever best minimizes the feeling of “oh god a blank page that I am personally responsible for and utterly incapable of filling”.
If you are planning to participate, or interested in participating, I would be quite pleased to hear from you, a fellow-traveller on this road.