Forgive me friends for I have slacked. It’s been six weeks since I left the internet.
And except for a single blog post, a few automated tweets, and a handful of blog comments (mainly responses on my own site), I really did put a stop to the general mingling. I can definitely feel a big difference as far as how much I feel is packed into my brain all the time.
But I don’t want to get too much into that, because this is supposed to be about the end of A Round of Words in 80 Days. Strangely, I can’t find where I listed concrete long-term goals for the challenge. Mostly I’ve talked about my short-term goals which were about working daily on the series for at least an hour, with at least half an hour unplugged from the internet, and to write at least three scenes per week on Heroes ‘Til Curfew until it was done.
I had mixed success on that. On the time spent, I’m still not great with daily habits. And this is on everything, not just writing. Exercise, dish washing, bed making, and there are still a lot of days I forget to eat for the better part of the day. So consistency continues to be an issue I need to work on. I would say that, for the most part, and especially since I’ve taken my internet break, I’ve at least averaged my hour per day, which is something.
Three scenes per week? No. I’ve still got the end of Heroes ‘Til Curfew ahead of me, and there was definitely a point at which I just got stuck. I stubbornly let myself stay stuck for a long time and accomplished next to nothing.
I finally decided to let myself go back and edit the front end. I’m back to working productively. I’ve fixed things that were wrong or just not so good, things that may have been holding me back in some subconscious way. I’ve done a fair amount of new writing, working on a few scenes I’d skipped the first time around, I’m shifting the order of things a bit, and I’ve still got some new material I need to add. I’m hoping that by the time I edit up to the point where I left off, I’ll have gained a stronger sense of what of I’m working toward and will be able to push through that block. I think I will. New ideas have already started coming to me.
So yeah, I didn’t stick to my short-term goals, and I didn’t achieve my Round 1 goal of finishing this book and getting it out. But I am back to doing quality work and I feel a lot better than when we started in January.
My other Round 1 goal was to try to write a short story for the Kiss Me, Kill
Me anthology. I hadn’t actually written anything short since college, and I wasn’t sure I could pull it off. It was hard to wrap my brain around that way of thinking. But as I wasn’t getting anywhere with Heroes ‘Til Curfew at the time, so I felt like it was okay to take a side trip, try to do something productive, and maybe get my writing brain working again.
I really enjoyed writing it. It was fun and a lot less stressful than the novel. Most of my stress, ofcourse, is crap I put on myself, and I didn’t have to do that as much on a short story as the monumental amount of crap I have buried myself in over this sequel. So that goal was also achieved, was released in the anthology, and is being well received. I also decided to release that on its own, so it’s up for free at Smashwords and a few other places around the internet.
I’ll admit that I’m on the fence about Round 2, and that’s about the nature of me rather than about the nature of the challenge. These days, I kind of feel like the last thing I need is social pressure to meet my goals, you know? And the fact that I think of it as social pressure rather than community support shows the kind of place I’m still in right now.
What about you? Did you participate in Round 1? How did it go for you? How do you feel about signing up for Round 2?