The blarg is a month old!
*pops champagne poppers*
*cranks up the stereo*
*trips over a cat*
I’ve been a capital-w Writer for a month now. Actually, a month yesterday, but WHO’S COUNTING? (I am, and EVERY WORD AND EVERY DAY COUNTS)
So, what do I have to show for myself? Let’s take stock!
I have completed over 28,000 words on The Project. This fact alone is both overwhelming and overwhelmingly frustrating. Overwhelming in that I have well and truly jumped into this thing with both feet and given myself a better start than I could hope for. When I set my goal of 900 words per day, the truth is I felt it was a little ambitious, but I’ve found that with only a few exceptions, as long as I give myself the time in which to get it done, 900 words is not enough for me. My id-writer is not satisfied stopping at 900, which led me to the super secret goal I mentioned before – and I even make that goal most days. So the progress is phenomenal. When you add in the (almost) daily word count I squeeze off here at the blarg, it adds up to a heck of a lot of writing, which means a heck of a lot of practice, which (by virtue of the commutative property or some sharknado – I don’t do maths okay) means a heck of a lot of improvement. Okay, probably not a heck of a lot. But if you’ll *never* get better if you *don’t* practice, then if you practice *all* the time then you must get at least a *little* better. So hopefully I’m getting better. Still gotta work on those adverbs, though. But I let the real rules like that slide over here. Put your feet up. Throw your peanut shells on the floor. That’s what we have the army of roombas for.
What’s that? No army of roombas yet? Pick up those fargoing shells.
So the progress is stunning, but the partially-OCD side of my brain is irked beyond measure at coming so close to thirty-thousand words for the month and not making it. And yeah, I *could* go for it tonight, but I’m just not going to. I accomplished some good writing today and I need to let it marinate before I go after the next scene. Like a fine wine or a good bowel movement, you just don’t rush this stuff. That’s not an excuse, that’s just good business. I don’t know what THAT means, but I know that after this blarg, more work is not something that’s going to be happening. Spring Break is officially on, which at one time in my life would have meant a lot of imbibing, but like so many other things in my life, I’m just too old for that now. All it means these days is a bit of relaxation, which is, to be fair, welcome and overdue.
And the blarg! Apparently I’ve made thirty steaming posts of drivel here, which is well above what I had even planned to write. Given that I’m unable to keep from going on at length on virtually any topic — even when I start out not knowing what I want to write about, I still end up with more than I intended to say about it — you can peg those posts at a conservative average of 500 words apiece, and that’s really really conservative – this post, for reference, is already past 500 and showing no signs of slowing. So the commutative property (shut up, I don’t do maths) tells me that 30 posts at 500 words makes an additional 15000 words of non-project writing. Probably closer to 20000, but we’ll call it 15000 and be joyful; fifteen-thousand words of off-topic, pipe-cleansing ramble. Sidenote: WordPress gives me happy little notifications when things happen (somebody new liked your post! somebody left a comment! you left the oven on!), one of which is meeting your posting goal for whatever period you desire. The fastest posting goal you can set is one post per week. So I get a charge out of the cheerful little “you met your posting goal for the week!” on Monday evening when the week is just getting started. Hooray, “achievements”?
And let me not forget that enmeshed in those 30 posts are five (hopefully, by the weekend, six) entirely unrelated short stories running the gamut from weird to dark to depressing (seriously, why can’t I write a happy short story?) which I also can’t complain about. Each one is about 1000 words of brain-stimulating, boundary-stretching weirdness, helping me to write outside the box that The Project locks me into. Not that I feel boxed in with the novel — far from it — but the stories help me to envision other projects beyond the edge of this one. And to me, they work well enough that I feel hope that those other projects can be as good as this one (which hopefully assumes this one’s any good to begin with?!)
Finally, WordPress gives me a handful of more or less meaningless statistics which are nonetheless fun to noodle over. It turns out I’ve racked up thirty subscribers to the blarg here. Given that only a handful of those are folks I know personally, that means that at least twenty people out there have stumbled onto my little pile of drivel and liked it enough to click a button that makes it a part of their daily-ish reading. While a click of a button is not a big deal, the fact that people who know me only through my writing like that writing enough to invite more of my writing gives me the warm fuzzies. And the positive feedback from other writers is a solid kick in the hindparts to boot (see what I did there?).
One month. Twenty-eight thousand words of Pure Project Product. Fifteen to twenty thousand words of Blargle Fargle Wargle. Five not-totally-craptastic short stories. Thirty subscribers. I don’t see any way to parse that information that doesn’t add up to March having been one pretty goldfinger solid start down the path to capital-w Writing.
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