My 3-day challenge for Oct 2016

The meds are starting to work. I’m feeling better. Not great. Not good. But better. Better enough that I should be making some words. And I’m having a terrible time making words. My writing discipline has collapsed this year, because I’ve been ill.

This happens to every writer–really, any self-employed person who works fully independently. Us indies need to get our discipline back every time something goes wrong.

For me, the trick to getting things back together is to set goals that succeed or fail quickly. These goals give me a quick shot of victory, or confirms that I suck.

For these goals to work, though: someone has to know about them. Someone must know if I succeed or fail. Otherwise, I don’t push myself.

Thursday, I leave for Ohio LinuxFest, to talk about ZFS.

That gives me three days. I could slog into the next tech book, or grind out some words on my current novel, but on Thursday I’d feel like I’d just poked along. No real failure, but no real success either.

I’m giving myself three days to write a short story. There’s a hard word cap of 10,000 words. At 1,000 words an hour, that’s a maximum of ten hours labor in three days.

Some people do challenges where they write a story a day, but they’re up to speed, not coming back. They also write much shorter than I do–I call 10K words “flash fiction” and 80K “a brief novel”

I’ll post my progress on Twitter. Wednesday or Thursday, I’ll follow up with a blog post reporting success or failure.

3 Replies to “My 3-day challenge for Oct 2016”

  1. I own all your books, and very much enjoy your writing. Hope you feel better soon!

  2. Nest of luck! To me, short stories seem like they’d be harder than long ones, in the Mark Twain/Blaise Pascal “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead” way.

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