It’s been a long time since I talked about 750words. I use it off and on – or I should say, I’ve been using it off and on. I theoretically aim to write in it every day, but in practice it works out to about three times a month, clustered around the beginning when I sign up for the monthly “write 750 words every day this month” challenge.
Well, that’s been the pattern, anyway. Last month I decided to do something radical and actually take the advice of offering myself a reward if I finish – specifically an xpac for The Sims – and lo and behold, on Friday I finished writing the 31st batch of 750 or more words for the month of August. Funny how that works, eh?
Well, and there’s a higher goal I’m aiming for here, as well. Historically, the times in my life when I’ve been happiest are when I have a solid, difficult goal to work toward – when I was in ASMSA my goal was basically “graduate,” which is actually quite the trick there, and when I was working on Derelict I was happy as well. The more rudderless periods of my life – the year after graduating ASMSA, the couple of years I haven’t been working on Derelict – these tend to be the times when I’m depressed. It’s one of those things that looks a lot more obvious from the outside, I suspect. And it’s worth noting that it’s very possible that the causal arrow points the other direction – that I’m more able to work on long-term goals when I’m not busy being depressed. There’s definitely an element of feedback loop either way.
Regardless, long-term goal it is! And my (very) long-term goal is this: Make a living wage writing. Whatever it takes. Just writing books is probably insufficient – not only is it a tough thing to break into, it’s not exactly guaranteed to pay large amounts of money. No, ideally I’d be cultivating multiple sources of income, per Scalzi’s advice. What will those be? Eh. I have ideas. Some of them will get more love than others, I’m sure. I’ll talk about them at some point (obviously), but not now.
For the time being, my biggest problem is that I’m not getting any writing done, period. And while “support myself writing” is a pretty long-term and difficult goal, it’s one of those things that handily supports breaking down into short-term goals. Goals such as “keep up with 750 words all the time,” and “update the blog with some semblance of regularity or at least frequency,” and “complete NaNoWriMo this year.”
On that topic, I’m going to mention what my current short-term goal is. 750words is not a place where I compose prose – it’s not ideal for it for a number of reasons, though it’s not bad for quick drafting if I get an idea while I’m journaling – but mostly it’s for, well, journaling. It’s unfiltered writing about what’s on my mind so I’m free to focus on writing other things. I think of it as flushing the buffer before I sit down to write. Because my blog is also mostly about what’s on my mind, 750words entries often find themselves bootstrapped into being rough drafts of blog posts. That’s not really a bad thing, though.
So 750words has achievements, which it calls badges, and one of them is “The NaNo,” or something like that, for writing 50k words in one month. I thought it was specifically in November, but it turns out it’s _any_ month, so about halfway through last month I decided what my stepped-up challenge for September would be: Write 50k words. Earn that badge.
Again, it’s basically journaling – it goes much faster and easier than prose – but it’s a good way to step up how much I’m writing, especially if I let myself do a lot of rough drafts of various things in it this month. And it makes a good warmup for doing NaNoWriMo this year, which I intend to do, and which I intend to win.
So that’s that. I’m basically on track at the moment – 500 words behind, technically, but I’m not done yet today.