So here’s the thing. Full-time work takes time. Add a forty-minute commute- give or take ten minutes with possible train delays- and that takes even more time. When that work consists of writing and researching for articles all day, I don’t want to spend the little free time doing even more typing. And so I read or catch up on television or check Twitter without actually tweeting anything.
Now that I think about it, the fact that I sometimes struggle to come up with 140 interesting characters is a little sad.
The truth of the matter is that I am a rather lazy person when it comes to doing things that don’t have a hard deadline. For some reason, much of my best work tends to come a few days beyond what would be the comfort level for turning in said work- the pressure makes me focus. Nebulous deadlines- or no deadlines at all- are a virtual guarantee that I will never, ever do whatever work is hanging over my head.
If I want to write and get better at writing, whether it’s fiction or this blog, I have to set my own deadlines. Otherwise I’ll continue to work in fits and starts and have long stretches of inactivity. I’ve been falling into the habit of half-heartedly sketching out what I want to do, without actually doing it. It’s a weird way of tricking myself into thinking I’m being productive and it has to end. I’ve seen some authors give brief updates of the state of their works-in-progress, and I’m hoping that doing that in public will give me some incentive to actually finish the things I’m working on.
So here are the deadlines/goals.
A blog post every two weeks. I fully anticipate that this will be the hardest. My goal is to have a draft completed by the end of the first week, post revised and published by the end of the second. I’m anticipating an essay on NBC’s Hannibal first, followed by some long-overdue book reviews.
Finish two incomplete short stories by April 15. One is about a remote town where one resident is turning everyone into soulless shells by means unknown; the other is about a cat. I do not anticipate these going anywhere after I finish them. I simply want to file them away without feeling guilty about them being half-finished. Maybe I can throw them up here if there’s interest. Whatever I decide to do with them, I have to finish them first.
Complete the rough draft of my Godfather-with-vampires story by September 31. I also anticipate this one being difficult, if only because of graduation in June, job-seeking-and-hopefully-obtaining before that, and any inconveniences that may come after. Regardless, I have a bit of a jumpstart on this one (about 40k words), so I’m hoping I can do this and see if the story is something I want to expand on.
Hopefully this will both increase my posting and make me more productive. If not, Plan B will probably involve magical writing quills, Plan C some moonlight sacrifices, and Plan D, rum.