Accountability Post

Accountability Post 2021 Week 09

Introduction to the Accountability Post 2021 Week 09

Have you ever played a first person shooter video game like Halo or (my personal favorite S.T.A.L.K.E.R.)? You know how when you’re expecting an attack from a certain direction, and you focus all of your attention and energy there? And then an enemy destroys you from behind? As I focused all my attention on writing this week, real life popped me from behind. Just like in the video game, it was my fault for not being prepared.

This season, I have a higher than usual writing schedule for my anime site, CrowsWorldofAnime. I try to write my half of a collaboration review on Wednesday, my half of two collaboration reviews on Thursday, research for one of my site’s community support articles on Friday, then reviews for four more series on Saturday and Sunday. That means on Saturday and Sunday mornings and Tuesday evenings, I dedicate some time to writing the novels.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 09: Working out the plot helps in many ways.

One takeaway from this week? Having a plan where you can easily see where you left off is essential. This is a portion of my story braiding worksheet.

What lurked behind me? In my life, there are family emergencies that pop up from time to time. Each event can take 12 to 36 hours to resolve. One of those hit this past weekend. It’s Monday, and my Wednesday and Thursday anime posts are still unwritten. Plus, maintaining schedule left me with lower than usual mental reserves. Not only does that mean my writing sucks more than usual, it means the family emergency probably lasted longer than it needed to.

The lesson I learned? Maintaining flex time in my schedule and making absolutely sure to get enough sleep are not optional. If I try to skimp on those, it looks like it works for a while.

Until it doesn’t.

Accountability Post 2021 Week 09 By the Numbers

Last week, my word count had gotten to 58,370 words. That was through Sunday, February 21, 2021. Here’s the spreadsheet for this week:

Accountability Post 2021 Week 09: The words continue to flow.

Saturday felt very productive. At least the work I did on the “beats” before didn’t go to waste!

Propelled by a strong Saturday, I wrote 8,793 words this week. That’s within 100 words from previous week. I berate my work all time time, but even I can’t complain about my output consistency over the last 10 weeks.

I have to say, writing at my current age is a whole lot different than writing back when I was in high school and college. Since that time, I’ve written over 150 professional technical articles about Lotus Notes Domino, dBASE, and Microsoft’s database technologies. Most of those saw publication BI (Before Internet), so can’t link to a lot of them. OpenNTF doe have one of my posts (and my God, was my hair actually dark?). I’ve also written over 1,200 anime posts on my anime site. What that experience has taught me is that if I sit down and write, I write. That sounds obvious, right?

What I mean by that is no longer do I blame a lack of my muse’s inspiration for not writing. What’s the saying, “If you build it, they will come?” Putting aside the question of why Kevin Costner’s baseball movies are so darned good, I can adapt that phrase to my writing: “If I prepare, the words will come.” I take notes when I watch an anime episode; I prepared my plot notes and braiding for the novels. Maybe it just comes down to my brain having one less excuse not to write. But the bottom line is that writing is a job. Words are my tools.

That’s not to say that I deny the need for creativity and inspiration! But that’s a topic for another post.

Feedback Welcome!

Do you have any news about what you’re working on? Any tips about how you keep focused? Have you read anything that struck your fancy? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!