Ali: Today’s our first joint accountability post. I’ve been doing well with my calendar chain strategy. One week of X after X on my calendar and no gaps. When I started, I was nervous. I’ve been on a long slacker stint and I was going to have to get back into a groove that I’d been out of for a while. Luckily, the beauty of the chain is that it’s not a question of quantity, but consistency.
Each day, if I write (or revise, or transcribe) I give myself an X. Some days, I think about skipping. One skipped day isn’t the end of the world, after all. Then, I remind myself that I just need to do a little. I tell myself, “Don’t worry about it, just do a paragraph and you’re good.” One paragraph? That’s easy enough. So, I sit down to write one paragraph. It never ends up being a paragraph, though. I write my paragraph, then I figure that wasn’t so bad, I’ll write another one.
Yesterday, I sat down to write one paragraph and ended up with almost three pages instead. Okay, so they’re three pages in a small notebook, but three pages is better than a paragraph, and a whole lot better than nothing. I’m liking this chain approach. It’s deceptively simple. Even better, it’s helped me finish a first draft of Chapter 2 and start Chapter 3. I think that’s pretty cool.
Jenny: I’m with Ali. Totally digging the calendar chain. However, having been at this for only one week – gasp! – there is already a gap in my chain:
|Behold! The Gap of Doom!|
I know, I know. I’m so ashamed. But let’s not focus on the single negative, gigantic circle that resembles a zero.
Let’s look instead at the stuff that was accomplished. For example, I now get to say that I’ve written an opera. You can read it here if you wanna. (A mini-one, but it’s still a libberetto!) The low-down on this particular project is simple: Neil Gaiman, Will Self, and A.L. Kennedy are the judges for the script portion of the English National Opera Mini-Opera competition – they get the links to the blogs that have posted scripts, they read them, judge them, and pick the top ten to move onto the soundtrack portion of the party. (Announcements will be made by June 4 for the book portion.)
When the top ten soundtracks are picked, the finalists then move onto the film portion and winners are picked from there.
I saw this via Neil Gaiman’s twitter feed and thought, “I never thought to write an opera. Wouldn’t it be cool to write an opera?” So I did. And let me tell you…it was tough. I feel like a better person for it, sure, but it was still pretty wracking, even before blogger refused to accept any of my formatting. Grrr. That gap there on the 18th is actually where I was banging my head against the wall for trying this.
Okay, so it wasn’t that bad. I also managed to get through Chapter Four on rewrites for La Llorona.
AND GREAT NEWS! The littlest kidlet just got into preschool! So I just have one more summer to make it through and then there will be MORE WRITING TIME. Fear me!
So all, in all, I guess that circle looks less like a head-banging zero and more like a hug surrounded by kisses:
|Behold! A hug on a bad day.|
Gotta love it.
(P.S. Ali – see? Pictures.)
Jenny writes dark fiction that her mother hates. Her stories and essays have appeared in Across the Margin, Pantheon, Shimmer, Black Denim Lit, Skive, and others. When she’s not writing her own stuff, she’s reading mysteries for Criminal Element. When she’s not writing fiction or reviews, she’s writing/directing/performing/designing plays at Springs Ensemble Theatre.