May. 6th, 2012

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I have set out on a new course.  Or, I should say, not new, but resuming what I dropped the ball on.  From July 26, 2008 until March 15, 2010, I wrote every single day.  Yep.  596 days straight of at least 100 words a day.  In that time, I wrote about 240,000 words. 

But during the last month, I was getting really burned out and going through the motions by only writing 100 words per day.  So one thing led to another and I slowed and eventually came to a complete halt.  I had a spreadsheet tracking my progress, but I quit keeping track as my initiative slowed to a stop. 

So last week, when I decided it was high time I got back on that writing horse, I opened up my spreadsheet and started in again.  I'm not going to try to re-create my writing every single day.  I don't have a firm goal yet, as a matter of fact, but I'm toying with the idea of a monthly/weekly goal instead of daily.  Although, writing daily works for me, because it keeps me in the habit.

Nevertheless, I've spent this morning brushing the cobwebs off my spreadsheet.  And I realized all those blank lines from Jan. 2011 to present day weren't *really* blank, because I have continued to do the flash challenges at Liberty Hall.  So I went back today and entered all those stories in my spreadsheet.  Then I opened each story to get the word count.  And guess what I found?  There are lots of gems in those stories that I didn't think were worth finishing.  I haven't started a "new" story in probably a year -- or so I thought, until I reminded myself of those flash challenges.  See, we write using a prompt and a timer, for 90 minutes, and then turn in the "finished" flash story.  Except I'm famous for not finishing, because I have a hard time wriitng a flash story.  Every once in a while, I'll get on that can end in 1000 words, but often, it's the beginning of a longer story.  But I've never finished them because I never think they're worth finishing.  But maybe what I'm judging them on is how they compared to the other stories of the week, which is usually now great.  But today I realized that I need to judge them by what's started happening in the story, and I bet I can finish quite a few of them. 

Now I'm all jazzed that while I thought I had a dearth of stories to work from/with, I actually have a lot.  They can't all be rescued, of course, but there's a few gems in there.  I love discovering things like that.  So now I can go from not thinking I had a story to work on every day to realizing I have quite a few.

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