18 January 2010

January Challenge #18:
Status Report

This was supposed to be Part 3 of the Restless Dead series, but I didn't sleep well last night and wouldn't do the topic any kind of justice. Instead, I'll celebrate passing the halfway point of the January Challenge with some thoughts on the experience.

After seventeen entries out of a promised thirty-one, I'm more comfortable sitting down to write on a daily basis, although I catch myself engaging in avoidance behavior from time to time. Overall, this has been a very rewarding endeavor, but I still face a bit of anxiety as my daily task approaches.

I still sweat over every word. It may be that I never find writing easy. After posting, I'm not left with much creative energy for other projects. This should get better with even more practice, but I have a couple important items that can't wait any longer than the beginning of February. I'll likely cut back to weekly posts after the Challenge is over.

I've run up against Writer's Block twice, utilizing two of the three plans I'd made against the possibility. I suppose I could do another Wall of Text if necessary, though I'm more likely to reuse the Get Drunk Then Write method. The third contingency plan will remain a surprise until I employ it, but don't get excited; it will seem obvious once you see it.

I'm structuring the effort better than when I started. I have extensive notes for three more posts and ideas for four more, not counting my last silver bullet for Writer's Block. I've started employing Technical Writing technique, but I don't like the impact on my style. It will take some more effort to use those tricks and still hit the voice I'm aiming for.

Nurturing ideas is among the big ticket payoffs of this exercise, and that's working out nicely. In a parallel effort, I have a pair of notebooks, one pocket-sized and always with me for immediate scribbling, the other fatter and nicer for working out ideas in greater detail. I find ideas popping up and sticking with greater frequency now that I take the time to give each a little TLC.

So still going strong and picking up steam. This has been hard work, but been fun and rewarding at the same time. After I get some other projects kicked off, I may find that weekly posts are insufficient and kick up the pace.

Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you enjoy the rest of the month.

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