29/1/12 Check In

Monday the 23rd

83 words

Tuesday the 24th

230 words

Wednesday the 25th

661 words

Thursday the 26th

No words but I plotted Chapters One-Three and did some plot work on Stars as well.

Friday the 27th

More plot work

Saturday the 28th

0 words, no plot work. Had a lazy day.

Sunday the 29th

107 words

I have about two scenes to complete before I’m done with Chapter One of Dirge. I’m very happy with the progress I’m making. I may not be writing every day, but I’m writing most days and that’s had a vast improvement on my mood and overall well being.

Hope everyone else is equally pleased with their own!

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Pushing Through

A few months back, the Good Sister and I signed up for boxing classes. We’d both had a few rough months and decided that a semi-violent outlet was needed. I hadn’t had one since my karate days and The Good Sister…well, The Good Sister’s never been particularly violent but she needed a change of pace.

We were taken under the wing of Instructor Hot Pants, he of the flaming red boxers and very little else. The class consisted of The Good Sister, a lady I will refer to as The Lovely Miss V, and myself. The Good Sister, Leo that she is, made it her duty to put everyone at ease with her winning personality and sense of humor. She used to be a Ballerina, and wasn’t shy about admitting it. She made light of it often a frequently, “I’m not used to this sort of thing!”

It showed. Any time she kicked, it was with a pointed toe and her movements had a natural grace to them that no boxer could ever claim to have. Instructor Hot Pants, typical Bahamian male that he was, had a great sense of humor about the whole thing. He’d just laugh and tell her to “stop thinking like a Ballerina.”

I, decidedly not-Leo, hung back and just decided to enjoy the physical aspects of the lesson. 15 minutes into it, Instructor Hot Pants started to focus less on Good Sister and more on me. After one or two corrections, he smirked and shook his head. “Stop thinking like a Karate Student.”

I was floored, appalled, and a little miffed. I hadn’t mentioned it, and tend to resent observant strangers. “How did you figure that out?”

“You pull your punches. That’s how you win Karate matches; land your punch for a quick point and pull back.”

He was right of course. It’s why I’d stopped going to Karate in the first place. I’d begun to understand that it was less about self-defense and more about competitions. (And I hated competitions.) Still, my face must have shown I was even more horrified than I meant to reveal because Instructor Hot Pants was quick to put me at ease. “There’s nothing wrong with it, it works for Karate. It’s just not how you operate as a Thai Boxer. So try to forget it.” Every class he told The Good Sister and I the same thing: “You have to forget everything you know about Ballet/Karate.”

We tried, but the two practices had a lot to do with our early development and the way we move subconsciously even today. No matter how hard I tried, every time I landed a punch, I pulled it back too quickly. I didn’t know how to combat what to me was largely instinctual. It didn’t really hit home for me until the night we were sparring with Instructor Hot Pants. He had large red pads on his hands that we had to hit in a series of moves that he choreographed and called out as we went along. Done with my turn and blown from the exurscion, I went over to the Lovely Miss V. She’d become my sparring partner over a short few weeks and I found her presence both calming and encouraging.

“You can really hit.” She said, and it meant a lot coming from a woman who I’d seen give Instructor Hot Pants a run for his money. The woman had real power. “You just need to put more confidence behind your punches and push through.” And then it clicked. Because that’s what you do in Thai Boxing. you push through your opponents, not pull back like you’re afraid they’ll bite you. (Mike Tyson notwithstanding…)

What does this have to do with writing?

Sometimes, we pull back from the work out of fear. And there’s so much to be afraid of. Fear of marring the unblemished page. Fear that the story is going no where, that your heroine/hero/antagonist is shallow and not worthy of note. Fear that you’ve lost that magic that was so present only just yesterday. Fear that we’re useless, talentless, not enough, inset your own masochistic self judgements here. Sometimes our fears are baseless and yet they still make us balk like a skittish colt refusing the jump.

Like in my Thai Boxing Class, I’ve had to train myself to push through this fear. This fear that has prevented me from writing a single finished first draft ever. It’s not easy. Even now I sometimes find myself sinking back into old habits. 100 words, bam! Quick point, pull back, stop before it gets too scary and you think it sucks. Some days though? I’m brave enough to go the extra mile and I’m even finding I can do it without obsessing over whether I meant to use “crimson” instead of “red” or “defiant” instead of “recalcitrant”. I still encounter the fear, the doubt, the resistance. The Inner Censor/Critic/Negativity. I still allow myself to feel them even…

But then I ignore it and write anyway, if only to prove that I can push through. That I’m not Fear’s slave. (It also helps if you think of him in flaming red boxers, just saying.)

22/1/12 Check-In

Monday the 16th

1313 words

Tuesday the 17th

1740 words

Wednesday the 18th

2056 words

Thursday the 19th

815 words

Friday the 20th

1966 words

Saturday the 21st

1866

Sunday the 22nd

Zero, Zip, Nada.

And not one word for my own stories. But the articles? They are done! I also wrote about four scraps of poems that I’m still trying to work into something moderately intelligible, so there’s that.

1/ 15/ 12 Check In

Thursday the 12th

124 words

Friday the 13th

113 words (I didn’t notice that till just now…eerie)

Saturday the 14th

101 words
Sunday the 15th

721 words.
Now before everyone gets all congratulatory on me, I’d just like to point out those 721 words today were for the new NSEFJ (Not-So-Evil-Freelance-Job) But words are words and I’m counting them. Especially because I have 10 articles I need to write in about 10 days…let’s hope I can squeeze in some words for Dirge during my breaks.

Plot-wise, I’m very close to finishing Laliba’s primary dossier. It will be refined later, but I’m starting to understand what makes her tic and that’s the important part.

I hope everyone else is trudging along, achieving their goals. 😀

1/11/12 Check In

FINALLY….THE INTERNET. HAS COME BACK. TO MY HOUSEHOOOOOOOOOOOLD~!

I’ve been going out of my mind since Friday. A power outage caused our Modem to blow and my lovely third world internet service providers couldn’t send someone to fix it until yesterday. *headdesk*

You’d think that’d mean I’d get more writing done, wouldn’t you? It’s like you don’t even know me….

Thursday Jan 5th

259 words. (wait, that’s no so bad… Patience dear reader)

Friday Jan 6th

0 Words (Oh…well that’s just one day!)

Saturday Jan 7th

0 Words (Oh….Well, third day’s a charm!)

Sunday Jan 8th

0 Words (Oh…)

Yeah. I seemed to have gotten back on track this week though…

Monday Jan 9th

170 words

Tuesday Jan 10th

138 words

Wednesday Jan 11th

220 words.

 

Total January Count:

1289 words

 

It’s progress at least…

 

 

 

Midweek Check In

My sense of accomplishment, she is inflated to the tenth degree. I’ve made steady progress thus far with both my art and my writing. I could stand to do a little better plotting-wise, but I’m not about to let that bring me down. Especially since I managed some progress on that as well today.

Monday

Dirge

105 words.

Stars

Nada

Tuesday

Dirge

254 words

Stars

Zip

Wednesday

Dirge

143 words

Stars

Researched. Made detailed notes.

Begun compiling Laliba’s dossier (protagonist of Book 1)

Had an epiphany about the world-building that I hadn’t previously considered and will make the story much more interesting. Wrote it down.

 

I also uploaded a new sketch for everyday of the week thus far at the Raining Ink Art Blog. I only hope I can maintain this level of productivity through out the year.

How is everyone else doing? I intend to make the rounds and lend a cheer or a shoulder, but for now, you’re all in my thoughts.

Starting off with a Bang

Happy 2012 everyone!

Early this morning, I stayed up not just to watch the fireworks, but also to finish a something for the new “Evil” Freelance Job (henceforth to be referred to as  the EFJ).  The source of income at the moment is a drastic improvement, and something I’m incredibly thankful for. It’s a bright and sunny January 1st on my island, and I can’t help but feel hopeful. I truly believe this is going to be “my” year, in more ways than one.

I’ve cleaned out my annual word count tracker (made by Kait Nolan, available for download here)  for 2012. Good riddance 2011, you won’t be missed. I spent much too much time last year focusing on the wrong things. I have grown weary of missed opportunities for the sake of trying to conform my life to the norm. I have let too many “Balls from Heaven” slip through my grasp. This year is going to be different. I can feel it.

I will be signing up for ROW 80, and working on Stars. I also had an epiphany about Dirge that I may use in an effort to salvage it. Progress, not perfection, has to be my aim for the year. I have to let go of my fears and doubt in order to move on, or else I will never complete anything, and I’m tired of having nothing to show for my efforts.

So without further adieu, these are My Priorities for 2012:

1. Update both my writing and art blogs at least once a week. I’m hoping for more, but starting small.

2. Steady, daily progress on both the prep work for Stars and a first draft for Dirge (if I feel that it can be salvaged).

3. A sketch a day, with the intent of produce one finished piece a week. To accomplish this, I am setting the goal at one hour devoted towards daily artistic pursuits. As I have many preexisting  WIPS, this should not be unreasonable. Anyone who wishes can view my progress over at my Raining Ink Art Blog and Deviantart.

While I have numerous other things I would love to accomplish this year, I want to focus my energy on being as productive as possible without putting  a bunch of unnecessary pressure that will only lead to a burn out. I feel the above list is manageable, so long as I take things a day at a time, one task at a time.

So that’s my plan. What are you aspiring to in the New Year?