Getting Things Started

Getting Things Started

Want to do a little time travel with me today?

When this blog hits, it’ll be the 24th day of 2022. I’m not sure how many days you’ve experienced of 2022 because you could be reading this on the 25th, 29th, or somewhere in July past the halfway point.

But the content goes live on Day 24.

As I write this, however, it’s January 4. Four whole days in this new year, and I’m getting ramped up with several writing goals and challenges. One of those being to stay on top of blog posts now that Web Guy — due to no fault of his own — has sent me off to do my own thing (Kinda on my own. ‘Cause even though has a new home, doesn’t make me tech-savvy about the whole switch-over process. Web Guy is still on speed dial).

My concern with the switch was that I no longer had that “external” blog post deadline that Web Guy served as for so many years. He did, after all, faithfully post 149 blog posts for me over the years on the old site. 149!!!

#150 landed on the new site, and with it came the realization that I well and truly am the master of my own domain. No pun intended. I don’t even understand domains… And Little Miss Muse is of no help, melting into a purple pile of gloomy goo anytime I need to work on calendars, scheduling, or edits. Muses hate all things structure and time-sensitive.

So to protect my future writing time and clear my head, I’ve been churning out blog posts and timing them to go live on the right dates. The words count toward my daily word count goal. Today, I’ll have finished one complete short and be well on my way to finishing the second. Not too bad given the standstill I was in over the last quarter of 2021 with health and family.

And, despite trying to figure out where to start (like trying to get a new roll of toilet paper going after the factory superglued the ends down), it feeeeels sooooo good to be writing for concentrated periods of time!

Writing is my dopamine release mechanism. I guess it’s what joggers/runners feel once they hit the zone, driving them to spend more time on the track. I wouldn’t know about the running thing. If I’m running, you’d better run too ‘cause something has transpired that requires immediate action.

I’m a better human when I write every day. (At least until a real cat gets into the real toilet paper or chews up my outline, or knocks over the space heater…)

So, for the writing goals and challenges, so far, so good.

I imagine those of you reading this right now (24 days in) are also doing pretty well with your resolutions or goals. Even if they’ve slipped a little, I’m sure that back on Day 4 you were crushing them!

(I may have to amend this come Day 24 when this goes live. Perhaps I’ve given it all up and moved to Madagascar to sell water on the side of the road while Little Miss romps through the jungle with the meerkats. Who knows. Anything can happen.)

I’m still untangling the novel work in progress. I’ll write new words on it, go back and fuss with the storyline. I think somewhere in the muddied-up 2020 and 2021, Little Miss and I tried to write two books, one on top of the other. It’s a tangled mess. Here and there, a chapter belongs in book 3, not book 2. I don’t recommend this method of creating.

It’s maddening. Like a contractor building two separate houses on the same foundation, one wall belonging to house A, the ceiling belongs to B, and the floor slopes. Oh, stuff’s happening. It’s taking shape. But you’d have better luck having your cat undo that superglued roll of toilet paper into something, uh, useable than living in that house.

So, in a nutshell and to avoid boring you to tears with more rambling or math, here are my 2022 writing goals:

  • 1500 words per day
  • One short story per week
  • Continue a free short story on the first Monday of each month, and blog posts on all other Mondays.
  • Avoid moving to Madagascar to sell water bottles with meerkats and Miss Muse.

On Day 4 of 2022, I believe that this is a very doable list; I even buffered in “life happens” weeks to lighten the pressure if life does indeed happen.

There may, however, be some side effects to this plan. Some of which those closest to me may notice:

For those local folks, if you see me out walking in a daze or unable to verbally communicate, it’s because it takes me a good half hour to shake off “story brain” and put on “I’m in public brain.” It’s a side effect of opening up that creative gate and letting Little Miss Muse have a lively little romp through the nerve pathways. Please don’t call the men with straight jackets. My daze will pass. Unless I’m wrapped up in a roll’s worth of toilet paper like a Halloween mummy. Then maybe call the Hubs or the Adult-ish Male Child. Something has glitched out…

If you see me smiling for no good reason or appearing to have a conversation with some invisible force, I’m still firmly in “story brain” and if you interrupt me too abruptly, Little Miss Muse (that invisible force) will get grumpy. You may catch a glimmer of her lavender rage haze, and I’ll make no logical sense for a few seconds as she withdraws her magic wand from my mind. Be patient with me. My human-to-human English will come back online, and we can have a chat as Little Miss goes off to pout and polish her wand.

If you see me teary-eyed, hand me a tissue or a wad of toilet paper (unused, preferably), and give me a hot minute to collect myself. Sometimes I’ve dug deep into that “feely” part that rarely shows up in an INTJ persona and poured it out on the page. Or I killed a favorite character. Or I want to kill a favorite character and just can’t pull the trigger. Or, more than likely, I’m rage crying because I’m not tech-savvy and I’m fighting a battle with my website or InDesign or can’t get that stupid cover to size up the right way. Ugggg. InDesign. Tech. Grrrrr.

And that reminds me, no matter if you see tears or hysterical laughter coming from me, and no matter how far we are into 2022, if you see me running...


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