Last Friday I missed the posting of a short piece of fiction for Free Fiction Friday. Of course, doing so produced in me a pang of guilt and annoyance. Partly because I want to be flawless in the execution and partly because it exposed that I have still a lot of things that I am and will be struggling with in my writing life.
There are dozens of short stories that I am working on, and many that I am finished in some respect. A few have even graced the pages of my site before, either in a prior FFF or in my Month of the Macabre, a Halloween-themed month-long site event I’ve tried doing the last few years and passed over this year. I could have posted any of those things and been fine. There’s nothing wrong in re-posting a story here and there, but it doesn’t feel quite right yet. So I missed the day.
Much of what I am doing now remains in the early stages. As of writing this post, I am 34 days into a writing streak, with 32 of those days eclipsing my old 1,000 words a day of fiction goal. And two weeks ago, because of the long task of writing my “Why I am Failing as a Writer” posts (in response to Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s “How Writers Fail” series), I changed one of those word-count goals into a weekly goal vs a daily goal. I am still targeting to write every day, but now the goal is to hit a word-count on a weekly basis rather than each day. This came as a direct change due to one of the “How Writers Fail” segments, actually.
It is tough to let go of not being perfect in execution, though. The idea of not hitting a daily word-count goal is still freshly annoying. Even though the average over the course of the week beat out that daily goal, it still hurts, and I have to take a deep breath and remember that I am trying to do things different this time around.
Any progress we make in life will not be a steady progression. I have to remember that, needing a constant set of reminders to do so. Each slip, trip, or fall isn’t an indictment of failure, but only a misstep. They are small bumps in the road.
While I plan to do more and more and more as things continue, there will be times when I miss a posting. Or a poem on Wednesday. Or a story on FFF. Or there will be days, or even weeks, I miss the word-count goals. Books will (more likely than not) be released to even less than the sound of crickets. The point isn’t to read into any of these and poo-poo myself. Instead, I need to recognize what happened, determine if a change in course is needed, then move forward. Review the accomplishments instead of dwelling on the failures, and move along. Then forget both and sit down to write.
That will be the hardest of lessons to learn.
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