(This post was moved to this site 19 November 2018.)
The first 7+ days of actual writing have gone very well. Better, actually, than I expected. I seriously thought I’d let myself get distracted 3 or 4 days into October and move on to something else (if I was lucky), or simply give up. Instead, of the past 9 days, I’ve added words on 5 and actually brainstormed for another story on another day, so that makes a total of 6 days with some sort of writing task done. Much better than I expected out of the first 9 days of my Fool’s Errand.
In these first 9 days, I’ve added one scene of 1,647 words to Unwritten Letters. I’ve averaged about 330 words per day of writing, with October 2nd having the lowest count (247) and October 1st having the highest count (399). Writing time took about 10-15 minutes, but I round down my start times (if I start at :12 after the hour, I record it as :10 after the hour) and round up my end times (if I end at :12 after after the hour I record it as :15 after the hour).
My goal was to write, or do some writing-related task, 5 days a week, and I managed that the first week. Monday of this week (the 8th), I didn’t actually work at all on UL, but I did do some writing-related task. This was brainstorming on another project I’ve not made much progress on the past couple of years, Discordant Harmonies 4-6, whose titles are now up in the air. I got stuck on this project after DH03 because I had no idea where the next three books would go, and I’ve been waiting for some major epiphanies on them for at least a couple of years. Glad to finally have gotten those epiphanies, so I’m not going to complain about them coming “out of order” so to speak.
One of my other goals in this Fool’s Errand was to be flexible with my writing goals, but not too flexible. What I mean is, I wanted to allow myself some leeway in changing my mind on what projects to focus on, so if something popped up I’d allow myself to switch to it if it wasn’t too out of line. Since I haven’t actually decided on projects #2 and #3, I’ve got a bit more leeway than originally intended, but I’m comfortable with this. UL is going well enough that I should be able to finish it before I move on, so I’ve got plenty of time to figure out what I’m doing next. Being too flexible would mean I was allowing whim to direct my writing habit to the point of either dropping out of my 5-day-a-week writing habit, adjusting my minimum goal above 250 (because I’m consistently doing more, when the low goal is actually enabling me to look forward to writing, as opposed to dreading it), or hopping from one project to another according to whatever strikes my fancy.
Part of my goal with this has been to reestablish some discipline in my writing habit. That means I’m doing my best to hold myself to my 5-days-a-week goal, and that I’m going to make myself tell projects that start jumping up and down to wait their turn. For a while after 2003, I was able to firmly tell new ideas to wait their turn in line. One of the things that has broken down in the past decade and more is that ability to control my own creative urges well enough to focus on one project at a time. It used to work pretty well, and then, well, I sort of lost my ability to do that as time wore on. Well, I gave up on it, I guess is more to the point. DH01 held my attention firmly enough I was able to complete it within a few months of starting with very little distraction, but after that, I again gave up on that discipline. I think to make any progress on anything in the future, I need to reestablish that important little personal limit.
I’ve actually got more stuff in my head for DH04-06 right now. Need to sort through all my notes on the project and start organizing things, which I’ll probably do in Scapple. Right now, I’d really like to make the first of these books my next goal in my Fool’s Errand, because I’ve missed the characters who star in the series. I want to see how they’ll grow and develop over the next three books, and I’ve never, ever forgotten how important their stories are to me. DH01 got me back into writing speculative fiction after a year of hell with the gay romances I’d learned to hate, and I’ve always wanted to complete the series. DH04-09 have never been very far from my mind, no matter how little I actually did with them. It feels good to get back to them, and I’m sure I’ll love working on the next set of books in this series as much as I enjoyed writing books 1-3.
So that’s where things stand on my Fool’s Errand. I’m pleased with my progress so far, and I’m looking forward to making more.