I am pleased to report that I made my writing goal for today.
I am less than pleased to report that it’s the 4th day in a row in which I have just barely made my writing goal for today.
Disappointment over not exceeding goals is sort of a first-world problem to the stars; this I fully realize. Truth be told, though, 900 words daily for five days every week is not the “real” goal. Okay, it’s the goal I talk about and it’s the goal I won’t allow myself not to meet. I understand it’s maybe even still a little bit of a lofty goal for a guy like myself with a full time job and a full time baby and a full time wife and a full time distractable streak hold on while I get a cookie.
Where was I before I ate that ENTIRE BAG OF COOKIES?? Ah, secret goal. Yes, the 900 words is the public goal, but the secret goal for my id-writer half is more like in the range of 1200-1500 words daily. “Why two goals,” I hear myself asking myself. “Because,” my self tells myself, “the first goal is for your baseline don’t-feel-like-sharknado-goal so that you can have the sense of accomplishing something for the day. It’s the congrats, you got up and put on pants today – you have officially reached the bare minimum for living in society, you may now relax goal. It’s not the goal you strive for, it’s the baseline standard you set for yourself.” “What kind of sadist (masochist?) sets a crazy-ANTZ goal like that for himself,” lazy me further asks, “it’s bad enough I’ve undertaken this writing project in the first place, now I have to deal with a bare-minimum goal that’s higher than it really needs to be AND a super-secret psycho goal?” “Only if you want to feel a soul-saturating sense of true accomplishment.”
Lazy me then kidney-kicks Overzealous me and curb-stomps his neck. And overzealous me has gotten curb-stomped a fair bit this week. While the soul-saturating sense of true, deep, secret second goal accomplishment is nice, it just hasn’t happened this week. Maybe I’m coming down off the high of committing to this project, maybe it’s because I’m about to start the murky middle of the book, maybe it’s because the freaking bottom dropped out of the temperature outside and my lizard blood is cooling in my veins. One way or another, I just haven’t been able to push through and go the extra mile this week.
This is the same problem that led to my running injury, of course. The desire to be greater than the challenge rather than just meeting it. Had I been satisfied with simply starting back to running a little bit at a time following a minor injury, odds are I could have avoided overdoing it and borking things even worse than before. (By the way, I borking love the Swedish Chef.) Similarly, if I could just be pleased with myself for meeting the public goal, I wouldn’t have to deal with the sense of shortcoming that I’m suffering on the inside from not meeting the real goal.
Having two goals suddenly strikes me as kind of dumb. But then, id-writer says NUT UP, SOLDIER, AND WRITE SOME FARGOING PAGES. This little internal feud is not likely to get resolved or to go anywhere, so I just need to make sure it keeps pushing me forward.
This kind of circular thinking was almost certainly driving my words today; I slipped into a much more verbose, Douglas Adams-esque prose, which never fails to make me smile. Problem is, I fear it may be a little bit too verbose to be viable if I want to move toward actually getting this thing published.
HOWEVER STILL FURTHER, the first draft is not a time for second-guessing or over-editing. The important thing is getting the words down. I accomplished that, and while I don’t know if the way I’m telling the story is right, the story I’m telling definitely feels right.
Here’s a bit of the text in question.
“Still,” the reader might protest, “a live chicken? Surely the ability to produce such a thing at will is nothing short of magical and should, therefore, be outside of the realm of her ability.” Too right. And were the muse in question any other than the muse of comedy, the reader would indeed be correct. However, being, as she was, the muse of comedy, Thalia always kept chickens around in various iterations (live, on the verge of laying eggs, shedding feathers crazily, cooked, rubber) because the comedic possibilities really are inexhaustible, as Gonzo of the Muppets would readily avouch.
Comedy, however, was the least of her concerns at the moment; what Thalia wanted was a distraction, and as far as distractions which can be found in crummy apartments in metropolitan areas go, a live chicken will certainly do in a pinch.
So, I dunno. Probably too wordy. But it still kept me on track for today, and that’s 14 writing days in a row on track, and THAT AIN’T BAD.