1. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    ChickenFreak's Progress Journal

    Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by ChickenFreak, Jul 14, 2014.

    I believe in simple goals. So my goal at the moment is: Write fiction.

    Just write the stuff. Good, bad, in between, write fiction. Regularly. Without those frequent multi-week or multi-month gaps.

    Oh, and stop posting it all to my blog. Because there are some bits that I have written that I rather wish I could polish up an submit as flash fiction, but I can’t, because I posted them.

    I’m not actually sorry that I posted them, because getting them out there and exposed to possible readers was a step that I needed, a step on the way to creating a mindset that would allow me to eventually submit stories to proper periodicals. But now that that crutch has gotten me where I wanted to go, it’s time to drop the crutch.

    Write fiction. So I sat myself down to write some. Five hundred words. Anybody can write five hundred words, right?

    And I wrote about an author, and the author told me (well, the author told the nameless other character in the scene) that he sits down to write every single day for the same reason that a jogger keeps on running in place when the jogger reaches a red light.

    He left me to figure out exactly what that means, but he explained that, also, if he forces himself to write at regular intervals, to write whether he's inspired or not inspired or working on something or not working on something, he's motivated to be inspired and working on something.

    Because if you have to sit down and write either way, the writing is a lot more fun if you're working toward something. If you’re the lazy sort and you let yourself get out of writing if you’re not inspired, then you’re motivated to be not-inspired. If you don’t let yourself out of the writing either way, then you’re motivated to be inspired.

    He took about 190 words to say that, and then he went on to sip his coffee, sweetened with sugar cubes, and why does he use sugar cubes? So I wrote about a passive-aggressive guest who refused to tell her hostess what she wanted to drink, because she "didn't want to be any trouble". She took another 190 words or so to drive her hostess quite out of her mind.

    Then two people in the middle of packing to move house talked past each other about where the rest of the rolls of tape were.

    Then a woman tried to do things despite imagining what her disapproving passive-aggressive mother would say.

    That took me to a little over 600 words. Total.

    The author in my head is right that this would be a lot more fun if I could dredge up some inspiration.
     
  2. Catrin Lewis
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    Catrin Lewis Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are all these vignettes in a single piece, united by the theme of the Writer Who Keeps Writing?

    Dunno. Sounds like the writer in your head is pretty good at dredging up inspiration from wherever. Or rather, you are. :agreed:
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    No, they're all separate. Part of my excuse for not writing is the "I don't know where to take this" problem. So I'm forcing myself to just write scenes, and if they stop or die due to lack of inspiration before the word requirement is over, I write another one. Later, I'll force myself to push them to a conclusion, but right now I'm trying to just cement the writing habit.

    I'm glad that you perceive some inspiration there. I did like the pieces a little better when I came back to them--though still not enough to see them as anything but practice.
     
  4. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Today, a man deliberately annoyed and upset a waitress in a rotating restaurant, for 280 words.

    Then a woman who sees herself as pudgier than she wants to be argued with a friend about wearing something other than her usual oversized, draping clothes, for seventy words.

    And another woman, or perhaps it's the same one, started out with diet-compliant cucumbers and ended up with a feast of cheese, oil and garlic, and didn't really feel all that guilty about it.

    Apparently I'm hungry.
     
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  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hmm. It's been a long time since I used this thread.

    So I kinda don't believe in writer's block, but lately I've been feeling this resistance to writing fiction, a thick, sticky resistance like trying to run through honey. Resistance to writing my fiction. When I'm looking at someone else's fiction, on this forum, I can happily write a few paragraphs to demonstrate this or that; that comes out easy. But writing so much as a sentence of my own stuff is a strain. What's with that?

    So I need to get back to the writing quota. My original quota, long ago, before this thread, was three hundred words a day. I'm going to that. Three hundred words a day of fiction. No requirements beyond that. I don't really care about producing lasting work. The goal, the entire goal, is to make it easier to run through the honey.

    Today's 314 words were an argument about writer's block, between a man whose ambling remarks suggest a lack of sobriety, and his friend, who's trying to get him to shut up so she can write. And a side argument about windowsill herb gardens.
     
  6. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Today, a woman makes a pencil drawing of a multicolored parrot, while a man argues with her about the authenticity of someone else's homemade scones. For precisely 301 words.
     
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  7. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Good to hear your writer's block (or honey-wading) has eased up. I never knew scones could be non-authentic. I don't think I'd notice a difference. :D
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks, KaTrian! Well, the pro-authenticity character insisted that a pastry cutter must be used.

    Today, a woman makes irritated remarks about weddings, and cheats Denny's out of a stack of pancakes. In exactly precisely 300 words.
     
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  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I can ever help you Chicken Freak let me know :D

    I can't imagine actual maintaining 300 words a day. 2,100 a week though easy. I just can't only write 300 or I can't write everyday. I have to write 2,000 then take a break for a day or two. My record is 10,000 in one night but boy that was a mistake. Such a head ache.
     
  10. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    OK, my goal just got simpler, because I failed on the first goal.

    New goal: Write one screenful a day in a Scrivener project that I just created and called "Habit." For thirty days, with zero breaks. I can write anything. Anything at all. But I MUST write. Every. Single. Day.

    That's it. That's all. I've realized that the boundary that I don't seem to break through is simply sitting down and writing every day. That is, writing for myself, rather than in forums and such. My brain keeps blithering, "But what can I write? I should write fiction but I'm not ready. I'll do it later, later, later, later, later, later."

    So. Write. I'll put some effort into creating a specific habit--write in the morning before work? Write at 7pm when I should be done with work--and if I'm not, write and then get back at it? But the specificity is optional--the mandatory bit is writing.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak
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    OK, so that's two days of screenful-a-day. It's an itty bitty start.

    I'm noticing that now that the main summer garden is rolling along with limited maintenance, and it's too hot to do any serious digging for the late-summer-to-fall-to-winter garden, more of my time off is, well, off. I could be doing more writing.

    And suddenly I'm having a tremendous craving to go read sewing forums and dust off my serger.

    There is clearly a part of my brain that wants to sabotage my writing. I need to thwack it. I formed a theory, at one point, that my brain is reacting to the fact that my late mother would be FURIOUS if I had any success with writing. I should have a look at that theory. And maybe write more about it. :)
     
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  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Third day complete. No, I won't post every day. I think. Yknow, I might.

    I did give in and go over to read Stitcher's Guild. Bad Chickenfreak!

    This morning, it occurred to me that gardening might be somewhat compatible with writing, because there are elements of gardening that are mindlessly meditative, leaving room to think through plots and characters, while your hands are too busy to give in to the temptation to, say, read something on your phone.

    This morning: Insert the garden fork, push it down, tilt it about forty degrees, lift the fork, move it back about two inches, repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat, roughly 150 times per bed. The bed's very pretty. I might plant those little short carrots.
     
  13. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dangit! I missed Tuesday. Restarted Wednesday. Hmph.
     
  14. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're funny, @ChickenFreak. :)

    Interesting perspective on your mom. My mom wanted to be a writer, but sadly she only had a grade seven education (I don't know how to translate that into British, but if you're American, I guess it's more or less that same). She still did write and fell prey to that whole vanity press thing. I have no idea how she would feel about any success I might have as a writer (although when she heard I'd sold my first screenplay, she called me... but that was to borrow money).
     

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