missroserose: (Life = Creation)
Between my NNWM project, my audition preparations, and my normal day-to-day responsibilities, I feel like I'm working full-time again. Which is sort of nice, on the one hand, but would be nicer if I were getting paid for it. :P Some things are suffering - the house is a bit of a mess, I'm falling behind on my usual reading pace, and there's been a basket of laundry sitting by the couch needing to be folded for...three days now. But I'm keeping up on yoga, on managing finances and social calendar, and on civic duties (I was slightly entertained that nearly all the local offices on the ballot have precisely one, Democratic, candidate. Theatrically corrupt, indeed). And in the meantime, Important Art Things are happening.

My NaNo project is going pretty well; four days in, I'm averaging 1800 words a day. Yesterday was so far the worst for the pulling-teeth feeling; today I tried switching to first person, and it feels like it flows better. It still feels like I'm feeling my way through a cave blindfolded, though...I'm having trouble finding the main character's emotional core. I can picture it, can almost feel it in my own heart, but am having difficulty translating that into a voice. Which makes the fact that I've got more than 7500 words written already a little frustrating. But it's more than I've written in months now, so I'm not going to knock it.

The audition preparation, on the other hand, has hit a bit of a wall. It's actually a fairly major undertaking, with several parts: answering a questionnaire, providing a portfolio of work that demonstrates your voice and style, as well as writing and performing a two-minute-or-less monologue in the format of their show. I've at least got the questionnaire down, and suspect I can pull from my blog for much of the portfolio (especially a few pieces under the "culture" and "reviews" tags), but I'm having real trouble with the monologue. I've got a concept, and a place where it ends, and some ideas that all converge on that endpoint, but I'm having the damnedest time figuring out how to fit them together...and whenever I think I've figured out a solution, it just ends up causing six more problems. Augh. At this point I feel like I'm writing three different monologues. Still, even if the audition's unsuccessful, I feel like the introspection and articulation the prep has required is going to stand me in good stead in the future. So at least I'm not afraid I'm wasting my time.
missroserose: (Inspire)
First things first: I got my first rejection letter for a story. :)

That may seem like an odd thing to smile about, but I promise I'm not just trying to (literally) put a happy face on things. I wasn't kidding when I said earlier this was a story I was proud of, and this submission was miles above any of the hold-your-breath-and-dive-in submissions I made to story contests and whatnot. So getting an actual rejection letter, even just a form letter, feels like a badge of legitimacy - I truly and honestly gave it my best shot, and it didn't fit with what they were looking for. So now I keep looking, and keep writing. That's what authors do, especially ones that are new to the professional game and haven't established a niche yet. Admittedly, I don't know if I'm comfortable calling myself an "author" yet, but it feels like a big step along the way.

I realize I'm in a somewhat privileged position to be so sanguine, since neither my finances nor my sense of identity were riding on an acceptance. The former's mostly a matter of luck, but the latter...I've been working hard on that. I know I've at least mentioned that I was (and, sometimes, still am) struggling with defining myself, especially now that I'm not working a traditional job and don't have any regular source of my own income. (I think it's partly why I've latched on to yoga so heavily; it gives me someplace to go outside the house, and a way to define myself, albeit more as an enthusiast than a professional.) But mostly I've been trying to take my mother's advice, and rather than beating myself up because I haven't reached a particular milestone/earned a particular title, be more accepting of where I am now, and who I am now, and just enjoy where I'm going. It's a process, true. And I don't want to limit my writing to "when the muse strikes", because that seems like it could very easily become code for "I don't feel like doing something hard". But I've been a lot happier about my life and my writing both over the past month and a half.

Meantime, I've written another short story - one that feels good enough for professional submission, although I'm honestly not sure where the market would be. (I wrote it as a gift for a friend, though, so that's a secondary consideration.) I'm proud of it; it's another project I've seen through a difficult/thorough revision process and come out with an infinitely better product. Once I was finished, I even did something I've never done and went back and read the rough draft. There was more of it in the final product than I'd guessed, but even more, it made me realize how far my writing's come in the past couple of years. The rough draft was about on par with a lot of the half-finished stuff I've got lying around in my Google Drive; the final draft was better-developed, tighter, and far more gripping.

One of the things that made this one such a challenge was that it was about fundamentally different characters than the sort I normally write about - darker, and more aggressive. (This caused a bit of whiplash, as it started off as a playful piece, and then midway through took a couple of comparatively dark turns.) Generally, my characters tend to be in pursuit of Truth/Beauty/Freedom/Love, because I'm a Bohemian at heart; this time, the main character's central conflict was that he desperately wanted those things but was also terrified of them, so he kept sort of orbiting the core of the story but couldn't reach it like I initially wanted him to.

Part of the reason the revision process was so difficult ("I want you to do this thing! Why won't you do the thing??") was that this wasn't something I decided in advance; it wasn't until my faithful beta reader commented "He's a tragic figure, isn't he?" that I realized why I'd been having so much trouble with him. At one point, I even spent some time trying to write him into a sex scene (because, yes, I'm still a porn writer at heart, but also because what people do and say during sex is a good measure of who they are at their core), and ended up with five different variations on the scenario, none of which felt particularly arousing. That was when I started to get that his problem wasn't that I couldn't find his truth, it was that he was too terrified of his own truth to express it, even wordlessly. (And, big surprise, sex without emotional truth really doesn't do a whole lot for me.)

Man, the creative process is strange. No wonder artists are known for being a little eccentric.
missroserose: (After the Storm)
Celebration Agenda Item #1: Our Internet is back! We think. Fingers crossed. It's been two weeks of going around and around with RCN's customer service and techs, but the cryptozoological line crew finally showed up. Apparently we may or may not also have a bad wire in our house, but we now have the cell phone number of the line tech and he said to call him directly if we have any further problems. (One slightly gratifying moment: a friend-of-a-friend on Facebook tipped me off to their "executive support" customer service line, and when the crew didn't show up again despite being promised, we called the number figuring we had nothing to lose. Brian said he gave the woman our address, and heard back "Okay, I'm pulling up your account information and--oh my god." I suspect we had quite a string of notations by then.)

Celebration Agenda Item #2: We bought a car! After a harrowing winter that included a month-long daily commute to the suburbs in some of the worst weather Chicago's seen, Brian put his foot down and said we needed to get a car with four-wheel drive and better ground clearance than our little BMW sedan. I said fine, and he got to work with his exhaustive researching, and after a couple of test drives we finally settled on a Range Rover Evoque. (Which surprised the hell out of me - I'd always thought of Range Rovers as overpriced, unreliable suburban assault vehicles. But the Evoque is really well designed, has gotten great marks on reliability, and is super-nimble and crazy-fun to drive.) The question was how long it was going to be before we found one we could afford; the model line began in 2012 and were luxury crossovers to begin with, and even the early ones are still trading hands for forty-plus grand. But we found one in particular that looked too good to be true - 2013 model year, all the options we wanted (and some we didn't - hello, backseat entertainment system!), certified pre-owned with extended warranty, etc., almost in our price range, and it had been on the lot for a month and already marked down once.

We headed over to the dealership, and quickly discovered why it hadn't sold - it had "trust-fund-baby car" written all over it. White with black interior, custom black rims, black vinyl wrap on the roof, black-tinted windows with rain gutters, black-painted lettering and badges. (Given that the Evoque has a bit of a reputation as a pretty-pretty-princess car, Brian theorized that the previous owner had been going out of his way to prove that his Evoque wasn't a girl's car.) Thing is, it's actually not as awful as it sounds - the windows and wrap have obviously been done professionally, and while I think the rims are a little much, they're powder-coated rather than painted. So when the dealership offered us a price we could afford for exactly the car we wanted in great shape and not even a year old, we decided we could live with the slightly silly but good-quality detailing. Now to find a "Self-Rescuing Princess" sticker for the rear window...or maybe a license plate frame.

Celebration Agenda Item #3: I submitted my story! After revising, and copy-editing, and formatting, and all that professional stuff! True, you'd think writing it would be the hardest part, but I have a bad history of getting nearly all the way done with something and then choking on it at the last minute. (I can get why my brain would get frustrated at the prospect of revising something after working so hard to write it, but why it seems to decide "oh, man, I've got to put it in a professional format? No way, that's way too much work!", I will never understand.) Obviously I have no idea if they'll accept it - I think it's right in the arena of stuff they're looking for, but I also am not a member of the editing team and have no idea how it might or might not fit with other stories they've already got planned. Still, I really feel like I did my best on this one, and I'm proud to have submitted it, which I think is a first for me.

Tangentially related, the timing on this entertains me somewhat - if, next time I write/revise/submit a story, Brian offers to take me out to celebrate, I'm probably going to be all "Hey, last time I wrote a story you bought me a car."

So how am I going to celebrate all of these wonderful celebration worthy items? By...going to bed! And going to yoga tomorrow morning, since I missed it tonight. Goodnight, all. <3
missroserose: (Inspire)
*blinks*

*taps screen*

Huh, that's weird. The entry I posted yesterday, about our Internet being intermittent for the past two weeks, has disappeared from my LiveJournal. (It was never on Dreamwidth, since I posted it from the LJ app on my phone, but still). The link still exists on Twitter and Facebook, but directs to a missing page; if it weren't for the fact that I have several comment emails in my inbox I'd be tempted to think I was hallucinating.

How bizarre. I wonder if it'll come back.

Ah well. After a truly ridiculous amount of back-and-forth with RCN's customer support line, we finally got a supervisor tech to call us back, and supposedly they're coming out tomorrow morning to have a look. Which means getting up at 7 on a Sunday so we're not in our PJ's when they show up. The things we do for Interwebs.

(To answer the person who suggested that we build a WAN with a failsafe switch, thanks for the instructions! Brian does that sort of thing pretty regularly at his job, in fact. We're just extremely Not Interested in paying for two separate internet connections, especially at American prices.)

In other news, between the lack of Internet and my shiny new Kindle, I've been doing a lot of reading - especially some m/m romance that's been recommended to me. Given that they're all indie/small-press (and therefore much more likely to benefit from additional reviews), I've been writing short reviews for them on Goodreads/Amazon; maybe I'll do a big roundup of them here for those who're curious.

I've also written (and will shortly be revising) a short story with the intent of submitting it to Fireside, which I'm actually somewhat proud of - I wrote the whole thing in one morning, which required some will to overcome my usual habit of writing a bit of it, doing something else, and never going back to it. (Admittedly, the fact that the deadline for submissions is the 30th might have had something to do with that, but as they say, if it weren't for the last minute...) I was looking back over at the wasteland of half-finished projects that is my Google Drive and realizing precisely how unusual it is for me to finish anything, even a short story. So perhaps my completely unreasonable sense of pride isn't entirely unjustified. Even if it is coupled with the usual writerly sense of "oh god this is crap and horrible and no one will like it." Now if I can just figure out where to cut a fifth of it to get it within the submissions guidelines...

Big thanks to Tess and CJ for their beta-reading efforts. You guys are seriously inspiring and help me keep the not-good-enoughs at bay in a huge way.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
I'm pleased to report that last week's growing depression-and-self-pity miasma has dissipated. Things had lifted noticeably by Friday, though I had a bit of a vulnerability hangover to deal with; and over the weekend I felt much much better. I suspect just getting all that off my chest was a relief in and of itself, even if I still didn't have any particular ideas for a solution. (The fact that the weather went from dark and cloudy and chilly to sunny and breezy and beautiful probably didn't hurt, either.)

Also of help were my friends. I was surprised, in fact, at how many of you responded, far more than I had expected - I guess the whole "I'm afraid of failure but even more afraid of success" conundrum is more common than I realized. Big thanks to Ken, Maggie, Raven, and Robs (and my mum, although her input was via phone). You all invested significant time in helping me think it all over and pointing out things I hadn't considered, and it was extremely useful to have your perspectives. You are awesome and I love each and every one of you. <3

While I still don't have a whole lot of ideas in the way of solutions, I'm coming to realize that perhaps I don't need to find a way to solve this problem right here and now. While it's true that people tend to remain faithful to their fundamental personalities, they do grow and change and (perhaps most importantly) learn to overcome and/or compensate for their neuroses; and that's not even accounting for how their circumstances change too. It's perfectly possible that, rather than this particular failure meaning that I'm never going to achieve anything in this arena, it just means it's not the right route for me now. Maybe that'll change in the future, maybe not, but there's no reason to despair of ever making progress as an independent artist. So for now, I'm going to work on just continuing my daily practice/writing goals, even if I don't always achieve them, and even if they don't seem ambitious enough to actually accomplish anything. The fact is, 15 minutes of practice and 500 words a day is infinitely better than nothing. I'm just going to work hard on letting go of that expectation that I Devote X Hours A Day Or I'm Not A Serious Artist, and just keep the practice up and work more when I'm inspired. And if I manage to convince myself that it's okay to take on that coffeeshop gig, or submit that short story somewhere, well, so much the better.

In the meantime, today's been a good day for accomplishments, especially of all the stuff I'd been putting off last week. I got laundry done, and (after watching a dust bunny or two blow by like the tumbleweeds in Arizona) did a bunch of sweeping and general house cleaning, too. I picked up the dry cleaning and mailed a package. And I penetrated interstate bureaucracy deeply enough to figure out how to get my fingerprints taken and processed so that I can help with the same survey-administration job in the Detroit school district, which was no small feat.

So as a reward, I went purse-shopping. My small black Fossil purse is still in great shape, but I've lately discovered that being a transit-based urbanite makes having a larger handbag useful, since otherwise you end up carrying a second tote bag for your headphones/books/miscellaneous purchases/etc. And, much to my surprise, I managed to find something {a} non-hideous and {b} decently well-made that {c} fit my fairly narrow size/design requirements (bigger but not so big as to be unwieldy to carry, some sort of closure at the top since it rains here regularly) and {d} cost half of my self-imposed $100 budget. So I am pretty throughly pleased about that.
missroserose: (Masquerade)
{I've started writing this blog post about a hundred and eighty-six times already. Every time I quit because it was becoming too rambly and unfocused, or too personal, or (more honestly) too uncomfortable. But I feel it needs to be said - if I'm going to crow about my successes, I need to account for my failures, too. So be warned: the following is the result of some intensely personal soul-searching, and may be rather emotionally raw, and probably a bit disorganized, to boot. Those of you who know me well probably won't mind, and those who don't know me at all probably won't care. But if we're still in that awkward midway getting-to-know-you phase where we've met, maybe even see each other regularly, but aren't yet at the "comfortable silences" stage of the friendship, you might want to skip this post. Or you might not - I won't think less of you either way.}



I honestly don't know if I'm cut out for an artistic career.

It's odd, the feelings that come up just from typing that statement. Frustration, anger, hurt, disappointment, relief. Especially relief; it feels as if I've been perpetrating a fraud for so long, lying to people about who and what I am. Just putting that statement out there is a weight off, akin to the climactic moment in the after-school special when the twelve-year-old boy admits that his father isn't a CIA agent, or a movie star, or a Tarzan-like jungle dweller, and is in fact simply a deadbeat who ran out on his family.

But there's also a sense of betrayal, as well. I've always been artistic, always done creative things. I've always had people, impressed with my talents, tell me they expected great things from me. And, as I've gotten older, I've noticed the truth (and the rarity in artistic circles) of something my mother used to comment on a lot - that I have a good head on my shoulders, that I instinctively understand finances and the economics of running a business. Plus I'm good at reading people, at networking and making connections, at maintaining genuine friendships past the necessity of 'contacts'. And I have a darling husband who doesn't mind working full-time to support me. With that kind of setup, and given what other people have done with much much less, what right have I to fail at this?

The part that people don't see, that I don't want to admit to but have been lately forced to confront, is this: I don't have the drive. It might be a quirk of my personality, or it might be a result of that suspiciously-long list of positive factors (the classic "talented kid never learns to work hard to achieve long-term success" narrative), but whatever the cause, it's become increasingly obvious. In every single one of my artistic pursuits, I've followed the same pattern: pick it up, amaze everyone with how quickly I learned it, do it hyper-intensively for a while, then - when faced with the next step, be it learning more advanced forms of the art, or buckling down and setting goals to turn it into something long-term viable and profitable - freeze up, drop it, and dash off to do something else. My childhood was littered with abandoned projects - cross-stitch, beadwork, sewing, drawing, painting, writing. My Google Docs and Yarny accounts both are equally littered with half-formed ideas and unfinished manuscripts.

I know that this is not an unusual pattern for an artist. Show me a successful writer/sculptor/painter, and I'll show you a trail of rejected manuscripts/broken pieces/ruined canvases. Failure is how we get better. And art especially is a difficult career choice, because it's a literal labyrinth - the process of creation is never a straight line from point A to point B. The only difference between a successful artist and an unsuccessful artist is that the latter gave up and the former didn't. It takes as long as it takes. Et cetera, et cetera. Believe me, I understand all that.

The problem is...well. It ties into what I said earlier, about not having the drive. See, the reason for the aforementioned pattern, about picking things up and learning them just enough to impress everyone before abandoning them, it's partly tied into the talented-kid narrative. There's also social recognition - something that tends to be in short supply at in the early stages of an artistic career. But really, what it comes down to, is drive versus fear.

And I have so very, very much fear about my creativity. I don't want people to expect things from me. I don't want there to be deadlines and disappointments. It's not the concept of hard work that bothers me, exactly. It's the inevitable consistency of it, the idea that I might end up hating this activity that I love so passionately now. So instead I want to perpetually be the prodigy who drops in and amazes everyone with their talent. The one whose quiet confidence and amazing abilities upset the social balance and turn everyone's world upside-down before they die or quietly disappear again, to be remembered forever by the whole community. (You know the story, you've seen it in a hundred movies - Mary Poppins, Phenomenon, ET, arguably even Contact.)

The issues with that model in the real world, of course, being self-evident. (It's probably no surprise, I realize upon writing this, that one of my favorite movies is in part about the problems with this exact narrative.) Eventually you run out of audiences, and have to plant your roots somewhere - and familiarity breedeth, if not always contempt, then certainly expectation, which leads to disappointment, and I'm back to square one.

As an attempt to overcome this fear, for a little more than six months now, I've been practicing claiming that title - telling people that I am a writer/singer/musician/artist. (And to their credit, when they follow it up with "Oh, cool! Anything I might have heard of?", and I admit that I have not, as yet, published anything, none of them have responded condescendingly, as I sort of expected.) And yet, after my usual initial burst of enthusiasm, I've steadfastly refused to take even the smallest steps towards doing anything that might make that a viable long-term pursuit.* I poked a bit at Amazon's self-publishing platform, and then never went back. I took some shots of signs around town advertising for local musicians/open mic nights, and then never contacted anyone, or even tried to draw up a set list. I (finally, weeks after meeting people and long after they'd likely all forgotten me) emailed BoHo Theatre's volunteer coordinator with a resume and an offer of services, and then didn't press any further when I didn't get a response. It feels like any time I overcome my fears enough to get any traction at all, something happens that costs me a bit of momentum, I freeze up, and suddenly I'm farther back than when I started.

In truth? It's gotten so bad that for nearly four weeks now I haven't written a word and have barely picked up my guitar. My internal monologue seems to go something like this: If I don't continue, well, I'm a failure, and that sucks, but I'll live with it - there are plenty of normal jobs out there that would be fulfilling and worthwhile. But if I keep playing at being an artist, keep claiming that as my identity, but refuse to actually Go Out And Do Anything with it? With all the advantages I have? Then I'm a traitor to Truth and Beauty and Art. And that's worse.

I don't know what the answer is here. I don't want to stop creating - I get moody and miserable and depressed and full of self-hatred when I do that. But apparently I have this internal timeline of How Being An Artist Goes. So if I start creating regularly, it's great for a while - until I miss a step on that timeline, and then I'm falling behind, and I get discouraged, and I stop trying, and then I feel like a failure, and it all snowballs until I can't bear to even think about trying again. And then I'm moody and miserable anyway. Is this what people mean about 'having an artistic temperament'? Because let me tell you, it stinks.

So this brings me back to the initial statement. I honestly don't know if I'm cut out for an artistic career. And maybe it's just time to come to terms with that, and find myself a worthwhile Normal Job, so that my whole sense of identity isn't based on creativity. And then maybe I can just enjoy making whatever art I manage for its own sake.



*I had originally written "a viable career path" here, and followed it up with a couple paragraphs here about the lack of monetary recompense involved in an artistic career, and how in our culture that equates to a lack of identity as well - which is a very real problem! But as I wrote I realized that it wasn't the problem I was dealing with - I would have no problem identifying myself as an artist if I managed to make art regularly, whether or not I ever got paid for it. Unfortunately, I seem incapable of hitting even that low bar.
missroserose: (Default)
 Some random thoughts that are in that awkward "too big/too complainy for a Facebook post, too little for a blog post" zone:
  • I'm not prone to squeamishness.  I can look at disgusting stuff (open wounds, rotting corpses, STD sores, centipedes, spiders), and not feel much more than a vague disgust.  (Once during my brief stint working at a vet clinic, I ate lunch while watching three doctors perform surgery on a dog through the observation window.  I thought it was fascinating, but several people who walked by were all "How can you eat while you watch that?"  Smells are a different beast altogether, but I don't think anyone's immune to them.)  My weak point?  Drug effects, especially nasty ones.  Of all the weird, strange things to have a physical reaction to, reading descriptions of drug effects is the one thing that will always raise my stress levels like crazy.  I made the mistake of reading an article on the use of and potential issues with nicotine gum on my phone while standing up, at a point when I hadn't eaten anything all day.  I actually had to sit down and put my head between my knees and breathe deep for a minute.  Weird.
  • I got a letter from a friend of mine who just yesterday had surgery for ovarian cysts.  She is one of my oldest, dearest, and sweetest friends, and it was hard both hearing about the pain she'd been in (she'd written the letter last week) and the cost of the surgery (enough that she won't have any spare cash for the next six months, even with her insurance).  I think I'm going to have to see if I can visit her this year.  It might be a bit tricky to do so while sticking to our budget, but the last time I saw her was our first year in Arizona, and life's short enough. And in the meantime, at least I've got all sorts of fun cards to send her.
  • If you're looking for something to read that's both edifying and elevating, I can't point you at much else better than the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Annual Letter for this year.  It frustrates me to no end to hear people endlessly kvetching about how the world is getting worse and worse, when in fact, by many objective measures, it's in fact getting better.  But of course, complaining is easier than actually doing anything about it, whereas taking the positive view that our efforts are having an effect means that we have to continue to make efforts.  So it's perhaps not surprising, even if it's frustrating.  (Ever-manic author and vlogger John Green also did a great video talking about, in part, how increasing global wealth benefits everyone, not just the countries in question.)  Possibly my favorite pull-quote:  "When pollsters ask Americans what share of the budget goes to aid, the average response is '25 percent.' When asked how much the government should spend, people tend to say '10 percent.' [...] Here are the actual numbers...For the United States, it’s less than 1 percent."  So...maybe we should give the people what they want?
  • This week's writing has so far been...less good.  I'm still doing it!  But so far it's just been the minimum, and it's not feeling as easy nor as inspired as last week.  And I'm having a devil of a time figuring out this rewrite.  Sigh.  I wish inspiration weren't quite so ephemeral as it is.  (Me and every other writer ever.)  I am meditating heavily on today's Terrible Minds entry:  "It Takes the Time That It Takes".
  • I miss my old hairstylist.  Well, that's not quite true.  I do miss her, but mostly I miss her prices.  I love my pixie cut but when we're trying to stick to a budget I just can't justify spending the $60ish every month to maintain it.  My old stylist was $18 to $22, though I usually gave her $30 because she did a fantastic job and was far-better-than-Bisbee quality.)  I'm trying to promise myself that when I start bringing in an income I can use that, but it doesn't seem to be working as a motivator.  Grump.
  • I just realized I'm about to go to bed and I totally had nothing but bourbon and chocolate for dinner.  Huh.  Well, I'm a grown-up, and can have booze and candy for dinner once in a while if I want.  Besides, it was dark chocolate.  So obviously it was good for me.
missroserose: (Life = Creation)
So...all that celebrating I was doing over having Finished a Thing?

Might have been a touch premature.

The Niggling Worry I had in the back of my head has been, sadly, confirmed by a beta reader as being rather more of a Noticeable Issue. Not quite a fatal one, fortunately - as it stands, it's a three-and-a-half, maybe close to four-star story. I could publish it and not be ashamed of it.

But I wouldn't be proud.

So, back to rewrites it goes. Which is frustrating, because I've already rewritten a third of it once, and this time it's probably going to be closer to two-thirds. And I have to decide whether I'm going to try and figure out how to fix the problem now, or put it off for next week.

Because frankly, sitting down with a glass of absinthe in front of Moulin Rouge sounds pretty darn good right about now.
missroserose: (Inspire)
Anyone who's seriously tried to do creative work will tell you that it's difficult. (Most people who haven't, conversely, will think it's got to be pretty easy - you're just sitting around making things up, right? But I suspect that has a lot to do with our culture's devaluation of creativity, and frankly it's a discussion for another day.) It's difficult and demanding in a different way from standard, do-a-job-and-draw-a-paycheque work. The generative process doesn't conform to a schedule, it's not a case of "I can play with clay for five hours and have three sculptures ready for firing at the end of it". Sometimes you spend days (or weeks, or months) gestating a project, working hard to make it grow, only to discover that it's missing something vital and is essentially stillborn. And sometimes (all too rarely, but sometimes) you'll be doing your everyday activities, walking to the post office or whistling in the shower or about to drift off to sleep, and the tumblers will suddenly align in the back of your head and the key will turn and then OH MY GOD INSPIRATION I HAVE TO MUMBLE THIS SEMI-COHERENTLY INTO MY PHONE BEFORE IT'S GONE. (I suspect the bedmates of creative people must be some of the most patient people in the world. Also, I may need to invest in a waterproof phone case.)

In my case, last night that very thing happened and I suddenly had the answer to a question I'd been pondering, on and off, for more than a month. What makes it especially interesting (and gives rise to the "tumblers" metaphor, above) is how many layers such inspiration can have. The question ("What are you going to call your writing blog?") wasn't particularly important on the surface, but now that I have the answer, it's given shape to a number of questions and ideas I had that were previously far more formless. Some of this is almost certainly the power of naming to shape ideas, but some of it is, I think, the bottom-to-top nature of this kind of inspiration - it works itself out in your unconscious, slowly winding itself together through your subconscious until suddenly it pops out of the soil into your conscious brain, and you have an entire network of roots to plumb. (Pardon my mixed metaphors. It's not like I'm a writer or anything. :P)

On a more personal note (if also related to the wonderful way inspiration tends to send its roots into everything), I finally finished the short story that was supposed to be a day-or-two distraction and ended up taking two weeks and turning into a novelette before it was done. I'm actually pretty pleased with it, too. It needs some polishing, but with a bit of work - and copyediting, and a cover, because if I'm doing the self-publishing route, I'll be damned if it's not going to be professional - I think it will be saleable. And given that it's the first thing I've written all the way through with the active intention of putting it up for sale, that's a pretty positive outcome. Fingers crossed it doesn't turn out that I'm completely wrong and my beta readers (note to self: acquire some beta readers) send it back with a giant "HAHAHAHAA" scrawled on the first page. Metaphorically.

Funny moment: after finishing the story, and giving it a once-over, my first thought was - I shit you not - "Okay, time to head over to GoodReads and mark that as 'read'." I'm...honestly not sure if that's a good sign, or a bad sign, or just an indication of precisely how much time I've spent on GoodReads in the past year (reading and rating 109 stories in a year will instill certain habits, I suppose), but it made me laugh.
missroserose: (Balloons and Ocean)
It's been a nice holiday. What with not having many social contacts in the area, along with post-Christmas brokitude and some pretty severe cold/snow, we decided that a quiet observation at home was in order. But it was lovely nonetheless. Last night, I made one of my favorite incredibly rich meals, so Brian got a holiday off from cooking. When midnight rolled around, we had champagne cocktails and lay down on the hardwood floor by the fire (Brian: "I think 2014 might have to be the Year of Rugs") and recounted our many blessings for the past year. Today, we slept in before braving the (continuing) snow and taking the bus down to a nifty little Jewish deli in Lakeview for lunch, and after getting back I cleaned the bathroom and had a nice bath with one of the fancy bath bombs from my Christmas stocking. Now there's lemon pudding cakes in the oven, and when they come out we'll have the rest of the bubbly with them and watch Sherlock. {That part was written a few hours ago. The lemon pudding cakes were amazing, and so was the show. For a story about a protagonist who's completely clueless about human relationships, it's so incredibly smart about interactions and the power dynamics inherent therein.}

I don't have a lot of resolutions per se. I did tweet my wish for 2014: "Wishing us all new and better opportunities, and new and better guts to stand up and say 'I'll do it.'" I admit it's a bit of a selfish wish, given my plans for the upcoming month/year, but it's nonetheless true - I don't want to be the only one making scary plans and doing scary things!

About those plans...one of the biggest changes that's going to be happening is that I'll be making a concerted effort to raise my public profile somewhat. I don't know by how much, since popularity is a difficult thing to predict, but I'm hoping to make inroads in author communities and the like - I've met a lot of cool author-y people online, but even aside from that, name recognition is a good thing, and can often translate into sales. I've already re-Twitterpated myself (and even attracted a few followers, thanks to a few interactions with the ever-hilarious Chuck Wendig), and I'll be starting a writing blog this week, probably on Wordpress.

All of which is to say that I'm trying to decide what to do with my Dreamwidth/LiveJournal accounts. So far I've been fine with keeping them 99.9% public, as I tend to curate my friends carefully, pick low-drama folks to hang out with, and generally be obscure enough that even when I weigh in on a hot-button topic, it doesn't attract a lot of attention. But that may not be the case in the future. And there's a lot of history here - more than a decade, now, including many bits of myself and my growth process that I'm...not ashamed of, precisely, but that could easily be taken out of context. It doesn't help that I'm planning on writing in a controversial genre/about some controversial topics, and while I'll do my best (as always) to be fair and diplomatic on the subjects, that doesn't mean I won't piss some people off.

I've been thinking for a while about exercising LiveJournal's (and, I assume, Dreamwidth's) "change all your past posts to friends-only" feature, but resisted it so far largely because I know at least a few of my friends read this because they see the links through Facebook or an RSS reader, and if I were to only make posts under friends-lock the only people who would see it would be the ones who check LJ/DW regularly. Which - let's face it - is an increasingly small number.

I'm still deciding what the writing blog should focus on. If I make it a personal blog like this one, chances are that I'll stop posting here almost entirely. If I decide to focus on a few specific subjects (feminism, sexuality, the role of porn in Western society, and the cultural experience of sexually proactive women all seem likely topics, given my interests and the subject matter of my writing), I may keep this blog up separately for more personal journal-style posts. But either way, chances are I'll be going exclusively friends-only, here. So if you'd like to keep up here, and aren't already signed on my friends list on either site, let me know.
missroserose: (Default)
Happy holidays, folks! My month's been kind of up-and-down - as per usual, I got presents purchased and wrapped early, and then was in a bit of a slump for a lot of the past week and a half or so. But the impending Christmas deadlines got me up and moving. Finish decorating! Decorate packages for mailing! Send out cards! Clean the house! Learn to make mulled wine! That last has been an especial success; I wrote up the recipe to send to a friend who'd requested it on Facebook, and the list of recipients has been gradually getting longer as more and more people request. I may have to put up a Special Christmas Eve edition post for the Rebel Bartender. Or Christmas-Eve-Eve, if I get to it tonight. (ETA: Oh hay lookit dat.)

Luckily, the slump I mentioned hasn't been of the depressive sort; I've still been keeping up with my daily goals - I just haven't been doing much above and beyond them. Still, I'm especially pleased with how I've been doing on the writing. According to HabitRPG (which I have set to count M-F, and doesn't ding me if I miss a weekend day but counts it if I check it off), I'm up to 23 days in a row writing 500 words or more. It's not a lot, really, but it's easily the most consistent I've ever managed to be in not-November, and soon will pass that last qualifier as well. And some of the output I've actually been pretty pleased with. (It's an oddly cathartic feeling when you find that emotional centre that's been missing from a scene you've been doggedly plowing through - not unlike the mounting frustration playing a puzzle game that suddenly transmutes into satisfaction when the "AHA!" moment appears.) January is going to be my big push to start getting some kind of return on investment, I think - whipping my short stories into shape and putting them up for sale, starting a writing blog, working on having new content available regularly, that kind of thing.

The weather's been entertaining; it went from stormy to cold to warm-ish, with temperatures in the mid-thirties and all the pretty snow melting into slush. Then today it became a hard freeze - I think the high was like 12 degrees, and right now it's 4 with a -10 wind chill. I braved the weather to head to Trader Joe's for more supplies, and while waiting for the bus in the dark with the wind blowing I was starting to have Barrow flashbacks. (Though in Barrow, four degrees this time of year would feel amazingly warm. Heh.) Still, TJ's and both buses were pretty uncrowded, unusual for a weeknight before a holiday - I imagine the weather kept a lot of people indoors. I continue to be extremely pleased with my new coat; as well as stylish, it's remarkably windproof, and even under these conditions worked extremely well with just my usual ensemble of a t-shirt and hoodie beneath.

Related, there's been all kinds of kerfuffle from otherwise-slow news outlets over whether there'll be a white Christmas or not; current forecast is 60% chance of snow tomorrow. I certainly wouldn't mind, but honestly, the cold alone is plenty enough to feel like a proper Christmas again. Especially with the mulled wine and cranberry mincemeat (a new experiment for this year, since we had a bag of cranberries left over from Thanksgiving) cooking on the stove. Mmmm.

We haven't much in the way of plans for the holiday, other than Brian enjoying Not Commuting - he's had to drive out to a thoroughly desolate spot in the midst of the suburbs for the past month or so, and it's been hellish. It regularly tacks an hour on to his commute time each way, plus he has to drive in traffic rather than kicking back on the train and reading. (Though his biggest peeve is with the lack of good food out there - "I had the most mediocre hamburger in the world today. I miss working in the Loop.") Still, he gets paid for mileage, so that's a little bit of extra cash coming in. And in theory the project's supposed to be done the week after Christmas. Keeping our fingers crossed. In the meantime, as the new guy he's on call for the holiday, but other than that he's home for the next few days. He even gets to work from home on Friday. Score.

I hope you all are as warm and cozy as I am, and get to spend the holiday with someone you love (human or non, as you prefer). I hope you have many blessings to be grateful for, and can find it in your hearts to let go of hurts done you by those who meant well. But mostly I hope the turning of the year is a positive thing that leaves you in a better place than you were before; or if not, at least leads you along that path.

A very merry Christmas. I love you all.
missroserose: (Christmas Picard)
(Hey, for once the Picard icon is doubly appropriate. Merry Christmas - here's a plan and a deadline! Heh.)

Writing has been getting slightly easier. Making it into a daily habit (much like yoga and guitar) has been notably beneficial - I haven't been perfect about it (especially this past week, which has been monstrously busy with out-of-town friends visiting and Brian's work Christmas party), but I've done it enough to get over the initial hump of self-loathing, and I'm getting better at just turning my forebrain down and letting the words come. ("You can't go meet your friend until you've done your writing", less than an hour before I have to leave, is surprisingly good motivation.) It's still not great stuff, but I'm finally realizing - to quote one of those oft-repeated writing-advice nuggets that I've read dozens of times but only seem, for some reason, to just now be absorbing - first drafts are always crap. Even people who've done this for years - theirs might be better than mine, but it's still crap. That's the whole point of editing and revising.

I don't know why it's taken me so long to get past this. I suspect part of it is my two main forms of writing up to now being blogging and paper-writing. Blogging is ridiculously easy for me - I jot my thoughts down and click "post". If I'm feeling particularly ambitious I give it a once-over (often after the fact) for misspellings or confusing sentence structure, but mostly I can get a passable (if not particularly organized) post out with minimal effort. (Only occasionally, on contentious topics, will I set out to properly research, cite, and structure a post in order to form an argument, and those posts tend to take several hours.) Paper-writing, similarly, has a set format that requires little imagination, and while it would take me a bit of time to do the research, I could usually churn out a rough draft that only needed a little bit of polishing to make the transition to final-draft status. Which means that consistently, for a decade and a half, I haven't had to deal with crappy first drafts, or even really do much work when it came to writing. So probably it's a classic case of "talented person finds something they aren't good at and decides it can't be done because it doesn't come easy to them".

Back when we moved to Arizona (which was the last time I thought seriously about writing, though I ended up just kind of BSing around for six months), Brian got me a magnet with a great quote on it: "A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline." I had kind of an ambivalent reaction at the time, because while I recognized the truth of it, I've always had a panic reaction to the concept of actually putting together a proper plan for anything I've wanted to do.* (Never quite been certain why. It's not that I can't put together a plan - quite the opposite, really. But for music or writing or acting or anything I really wanted, the thought has always made my heart pound and eyes go wide.) Frankly, I still do have that reaction, but I'm kind of sick of it - or maybe just sick enough of office jobs where I'm finally motivated to get past it. Or at least a little more motivated than I have been in the past. I hope.

To that end, I've not only been writing, I've given myself a deadline - June 30th, a little more than six months away - to start earning some cash via art, be it from busking, story sales, coffeeshop gigs, what have you. It doesn't have to be a livable wage - I'm thinking a $100/month minimum sounds reasonable enough, as it's what I made in my best month busking/gigging in Bisbee - but I need to motivate myself, and that seems a good bar to set. Plus I'll feel like a lot less of a wealthy dilettante when people ask what I do and I say "I'm a musician."***

I've got a few ideas on how to get there; the quickest cash is likely going to come from setting up an Amazon self-publishing account and selling the various porn stories I've written over the years.** There's a huge market for erotica on the Kindle, and it'd be a good way to get familiar with the ins and outs of self-publishing. And I've got a halfway-decent plan already sketched out for it, much of which will transfer over to "serious" writing - starting (and posting regularly in) a writing blog, finding other writing blogs/message boards I like and interacting with people there, editing the stories themselves, learning the ins and outs of formatting and pricing and all that jazz, etc., etc.

People say getting started is the hardest part, but honestly, I think it's consistency. All of this is going to be a pretty big time sink, and there's going to be a good-sized chunk of investment required before I start seeing returns. So that's what I'm crossing my fingers for now - that the fear of the continual minor-level frustration of another office job will help me both get started and stay consistently motivated.

Here's to building foundations under those castles in the air.


*If this were a romantic comedy, I'd make some quip about how "I'm more of a 'seat-of-your-pants' kinda gal," and it would be charming and adorable and also reinforcing negative gender stereotypes - woo!

**You can add "porn" to the list of "types of writing I can churn out a decent rough draft of in not much time". Possibly because the climax - literally - is set from the beginning, so it's just a matter of winding my characters up and watching them get there.

***Right now, I usually follow it up with "...which is a nice way of saying I'm unemployed." Funny how getting people to give you money for something makes you feel much less like you're playing at it, no matter how serious you actually are.
missroserose: (Book Love)
500 words a day, M-F, no excuses. If I'm not going to actively look for work I have to do something. And on a good day, 500 words takes me maybe half an hour.

So far, the days have not been good. I have a couple ideas for characters that I like very much, but whenever I think of a plot to drop them into, it just feels hackneyed and cliche and all I can think is "these characters deserve something better than that". My worldbuilding is flat, my logic wouldn't stand up to a two-year-old's cross examination. Even the characters I'm halfway intrigued by are based on broad tropes, and they won't tell me with any honesty what it is that they want. Everywhere I mentally turn, it feels like I keep coming up against the You're Not Good Enough Chorus (with Special Solo Aria "Look How Much You Suck"). I'm starting to be afraid it's true.

And at the same time, I know if I had more drive, more practice, more motivation, I could easily be doing a couple thousand words a day, or more. I have all the time I need. I'm just...not good enough.

But I'm writing. Just a little, but I'm writing. It sucks, but I'm writing.

For now, that'll have to be enough.
missroserose: (Shake It!)
A friend from Sweden has recently been sharing with me a bunch of her favorite songs - although, as I'm aggressively monolingual like most Americans, she's had to translate them first. Needless to say, they lose a bit of punch along the way; as one of my favorite (if horrendously misogynist) quips goes, "A translation is like a wife - it can be beautiful, or it can be faithful, but not both."

However, this particular song entertained me enough that I decided to sit down with a rhyming dictionary and see if I could smooth her translation out into a decent English rendition. I'm pretty pleased with how it came out - maybe I'll add it to the guitar repertoire. (Slightly off-color lyrics follow, as you might guess from the title.)


The Incest Song

When I first met Marie-Louise, oh wow, I was in love.
I told my dad how she would make a wife I'd be proud of
But then he said "I'm sorry, Son, her mother will attest,
"I fathered her, you can't marry - 'cos that would be incest."

Then I met a new girl and we got a little wild.
It wasn't long until we found Linnéa was with child
But when her mother saw my dad she nearly went berserk
"You let him knock his sister up?" --it wasn't going to work.

Anita and Carina; Britt, Louise and Shawn. Oh a
hundred other girls who turned out were my father's spawn
I loved them all, but every time their mother knew my pop,
And our relation meant that our engagement was a flop.

I'm sure you understand, my friends, that I was getting pissed
I found that I was brother to every girl I'd ever kissed!
I had no more desire, my libido hit new lows
So I went to my mother to unburden all my woes.

"Oh, my beloved son," she said, "if you'll let me be frank,
"We all know that your dad's a jackass of the highest rank,
"So marry any girl you like - you see, you're really blessed,
"'Cos he's not actually your dad - so it won't be incest."
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
I crossed the finish line last night - 50,000 words - at 10:30 PM, after writing roughly 5,000 words on both the 29th and 30th. (Which, I suppose, is an improvement over last year, when I did 10,000 words all on the 30th and finished at 11:48 PM.) Brian did so a little earlier, and we celebrated with a bottle of bubbly.

How do I feel about the project? Well, it's still very much a work in progress; 50K isn't really enough to consider a proper novel, let alone the first in an epic fantasy series (even for a YA audience). But on the whole, I'm pretty pleased with it. Even though I know there are large swaths of interior monologue that'll have to get cut (show-don't-tell!) and I've got a lot more scenes to add, not to mention all the revising and reworking and tightening scenes and plot arcs and the like, I have a sense of the general finished shape I'm aiming for as well as the general trajectory of the plot, which is more than I've had for any of my other writing projects. And even though I'm not entirely certain how the path will wend from here to there, the fact that I can sort of see the finish line means I feel like I'm actually headed somewhere, not just wading through the murk in the hopes of accidentally stumbling on some plot. Which is the biggest reason I didn't even bother trying to revise my MS from last year.

In the meantime, it's time for a bit of a break - Christmas is coming, and I have cards to make and a party to throw and and possibly a visiting brother to entertain. It feels odd to sit down at the computer and not be thinking in the back of my mind "I should really be writing right now..."

I'm sure I'll be back to that soon, though, if not in quite as regimented a fashion. But for now, it feels like time to celebrate. So I think that's what I'm going to be doing.
missroserose: (Show Your Magic)
I crossed the finish line last night - 50,000 words - at 10:30 PM, after writing roughly 5,000 words on both the 29th and 30th. (Which, I suppose, is an improvement over last year, when I did 10,000 words all on the 30th and finished at 11:48 PM.) Brian did so a little earlier, and we celebrated with a bottle of bubbly.

How do I feel about the project? Well, it's still very much a work in progress; 50K isn't really enough to consider a proper novel, let alone the first in an epic fantasy series (even for a YA audience). But on the whole, I'm pretty pleased with it. Even though I know there are large swaths of interior monologue that'll have to get cut (show-don't-tell!) and I've got a lot more scenes to add, not to mention all the revising and reworking and tightening scenes and plot arcs and the like, I have a sense of the general finished shape I'm aiming for as well as the general trajectory of the plot, which is more than I've had for any of my other writing projects. And even though I'm not entirely certain how the path will wend from here to there, the fact that I can sort of see the finish line means I feel like I'm actually headed somewhere, not just wading through the murk in the hopes of accidentally stumbling on some plot. Which is the biggest reason I didn't even bother trying to revise my MS from last year.

In the meantime, it's time for a bit of a break - Christmas is coming, and I have cards to make and a party to throw and and possibly a visiting brother to entertain. It feels odd to sit down at the computer and not be thinking in the back of my mind "I should really be writing right now..."

I'm sure I'll be back to that soon, though, if not in quite as regimented a fashion. But for now, it feels like time to celebrate. So I think that's what I'm going to be doing.
missroserose: (Warrior III)
Just got a spam entitled "DSL Internet - Get access to blazing fast speeds!" Uhm, dude? 1998 called. They want their technology back. (Sadly, though, the American perception of "blazing fast speeds" probably hasn't changed much in the past thirteen years...)

I have the day off work today, in theory because the contractor was supposed to come back and paint the ceiling today. In practice, he didn't show up; when I called him after he was an hour late, I got "Oh yeah, I left a message on your phone, did you not get it? I can't make it today." In the interests of not coming off as a grump/unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt, I note here that I specifically asked him to call me if anything came up; I might also note that no such message or incoming call was noted on my Google Voice or my cell phone, and it should have logged itself on both. He's a nice guy and does decent work, but getting him to actually show up is like pulling teeth, I swear. (Mini-rant: Is there a rule somewhere that contractors everywhere have to perennially be running behind schedule and over budget? Of the many experiences with them that I and my acquaintances have had, I can think of exactly one that arrived on time, did the job, did it well, and was out the door within the timeframe they said they would be. I'm sure there are plenty of reliable, efficient contractors out there, but I'll be damned if I've ever met one. End of rant.) I told him to just not worry about it until after Christmas - the ceiling isn't awful-looking, and I want to get my decorations up already. Grump. Grump.

At least the day off won't go to waste - I have oodles of things to do today. Brian's home sick, but I don't mind that too much; he's pretty self-sufficient when he's ill, plus it means I can use the car to run errands and things. Plus he'll be around for decorating, even if he won't be as participatory as normal.

Also, I'm putting up outside lights this year! For the first time in my life (despite growing up in the suburbs) I'll have outdoor Christmas lights! Nothing super-fancy, just some icicle lights over the deck and a few strings of colored ones to outline the eaves with. Our house is so adorable, and you can see it from the bottom of the hill - it'll look just like a little gingerbread cottage. And for some reason, that prospect is making even several hours spent on a ladder seem like fun.

But first, time for some marathon writing. I've got over 9000 words to go in the next two days, but if I can reach my earlier 2000-words-an-hour rate, that's more than manageable. I think part of the reason that worked so well before was that I was developing a strong emotional arc between two of the characters, which made the beats for each scene fairly easy to map out. That part's mostly done with now, so I'll have to see if I can find another one to follow.

4000 words, then I can put up lights. That's my deal with myself. If I get really ambitious, I'll get another 2000-3000 in before putting up interior decorations, but that'll probably depend on how long the lights take.

So I'd better get going so I'm not putting up lights in the dark...
missroserose: (Warrior III)
Just got a spam entitled "DSL Internet - Get access to blazing fast speeds!" Uhm, dude? 1998 called. They want their technology back. (Sadly, though, the American perception of "blazing fast speeds" probably hasn't changed much in the past thirteen years...)

I have the day off work today, in theory because the contractor was supposed to come back and paint the ceiling today. In practice, he didn't show up; when I called him after he was an hour late, I got "Oh yeah, I left a message on your phone, did you not get it? I can't make it today." In the interests of not coming off as a grump/unwilling to give the benefit of the doubt, I note here that I specifically asked him to call me if anything came up; I might also note that no such message or incoming call was noted on my Google Voice or my cell phone, and it should have logged itself on both. He's a nice guy and does decent work, but getting him to actually show up is like pulling teeth, I swear. (Mini-rant: Is there a rule somewhere that contractors everywhere have to perennially be running behind schedule and over budget? Of the many experiences with them that I and my acquaintances have had, I can think of exactly one that arrived on time, did the job, did it well, and was out the door within the timeframe they said they would be. I'm sure there are plenty of reliable, efficient contractors out there, but I'll be damned if I've ever met one. End of rant.) I told him to just not worry about it until after Christmas - the ceiling isn't awful-looking, and I want to get my decorations up already. Grump. Grump.

At least the day off won't go to waste - I have oodles of things to do today. Brian's home sick, but I don't mind that too much; he's pretty self-sufficient when he's ill, plus it means I can use the car to run errands and things. Plus he'll be around for decorating, even if he won't be as participatory as normal.

Also, I'm putting up outside lights this year! For the first time in my life (despite growing up in the suburbs) I'll have outdoor Christmas lights! Nothing super-fancy, just some icicle lights over the deck and a few strings of colored ones to outline the eaves with. Our house is so adorable, and you can see it from the bottom of the hill - it'll look just like a little gingerbread cottage. And for some reason, that prospect is making even several hours spent on a ladder seem like fun.

But first, time for some marathon writing. I've got over 9000 words to go in the next two days, but if I can reach my earlier 2000-words-an-hour rate, that's more than manageable. I think part of the reason that worked so well before was that I was developing a strong emotional arc between two of the characters, which made the beats for each scene fairly easy to map out. That part's mostly done with now, so I'll have to see if I can find another one to follow.

4000 words, then I can put up lights. That's my deal with myself. If I get really ambitious, I'll get another 2000-3000 in before putting up interior decorations, but that'll probably depend on how long the lights take.

So I'd better get going so I'm not putting up lights in the dark...
missroserose: (Christmas Picard)
Finally broke 40K, only...*counts* three days late. Par for today is 45,000. But considering I had a good week of mood swings and non-productivity, that's not too shabby. And assuming I keep at it, it'll be easier than last year, when I did the entire last 10,000 words in one day.

Also, I managed to do 3,000+ words in just over an hour and a half this morning, which is about twice as fast as my usual "working steadily" rate. I'd say I'm just getting better at not self-censoring, except I'm actually sort of proud of the bits I've written this morning - I might post one of them as an excerpt once I get around to the editing part. (Of course, it's perfectly possible that I *am* getting better at the not-self-censoring, and I'm just a better writer than I think I am. But I'm sure I'll have plenty of crap to sort through in the editing process, too.)

But for now? It's time to decorate! Woo, Christmas!
missroserose: (Christmas Picard)
Finally broke 40K, only...*counts* three days late. Par for today is 45,000. But considering I had a good week of mood swings and non-productivity, that's not too shabby. And assuming I keep at it, it'll be easier than last year, when I did the entire last 10,000 words in one day.

Also, I managed to do 3,000+ words in just over an hour and a half this morning, which is about twice as fast as my usual "working steadily" rate. I'd say I'm just getting better at not self-censoring, except I'm actually sort of proud of the bits I've written this morning - I might post one of them as an excerpt once I get around to the editing part. (Of course, it's perfectly possible that I *am* getting better at the not-self-censoring, and I'm just a better writer than I think I am. But I'm sure I'll have plenty of crap to sort through in the editing process, too.)

But for now? It's time to decorate! Woo, Christmas!

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