kaizen

I know how it looks. I’ve spent almost all the extra effort I put into writing that got me way ahead of where I wanted to be. Part of that is in the design.

I’m a big believer in kaizen, big changes wrought by a series of seemingly innocuous and small changes. When I got back into writing, I wanted to build up my stamina. Three to four thousand words a day was killing me, so I thought – try a hundred. Just for a few days.

Then add a hundred. It only takes me maybe four or five minutes to do that, which is extremely manageable in a day. Add another five here, another five there and you build up stamina. It doesn’t seem like an imposition, to say, I’m setting aside two to three hours every day. Five minutes is easy. And it’s easy to blow past it if you’re in the zone and want to finish what you’re doing.

Now, I have it about thirty minutes, and while I’ve been slacking lately because of work and depression, I know it’s not an imposition. Thirty minutes for the thing I love doing? Easy. In any case, all my words that I got ahead by when it was all easy and low targets is almost gone and I’ll have to buckle down again if I want progress.

Expect that shortly, although… not today.

Target: 800 words
Written: 50 words, novella: The Mungk

slight consideration

I’m taking my own well-being into account these days. I knew I would start small, and I did.

I read short books. Crappy books. Short comic series. Standalone movies. Single season shows that got cancelled.

I wrote a haiku.

A piece of flash fiction.

A one-shot comic.

A short story, which was really more of a noir, back-twisted rant I didn’t believe in.

Weirdly, all the individual work was published. The comic is pending, because comics are collaborative, and I’m an anxious collaborator, in the sense that I’m terrified of anything beyond the script stage.

I try to remember. Little things build to bigger. Most overnight successes spent ten or more years laying groundwork.

Learning. Mastering. You don’t pick up a guitar and channel Jimi or Kim Thayil.

That shit takes time.

Piece by piece. Trying to remember, it’s not about hitting targets. No such thing as delayed gratification; the joy is found in each stage. To defer it to the end is to guarantee frustration and a fleeting moment of exultation, if we even make it that far.

Most of us will not.

Target: 800 words
Written: 631 words, novella: The Mungk

sigh

Here I thought this week, working from home, might be the perfect week to catch up and relax. To put down the thousands of words I’ve intended to over the past week, which have been sadly robbed of time to do so by tragedy.

Instead, I’ve got a sick cat and a broken car, I’ve got to be back in the office on Wednesday, and I’m in, out and everywhere, and not in the fun way that leaves you a little fuck drunk.

Persevere, we must.

Target: 800 words
Written: 689 words, novella: The Mungk

new plan

I’ve put far too much on myself. Between work, family and my own aspirations of writerdom, I’ve put way too much on.

With the saga of my wife’s mother coming to a close, that’s one huge thing that while I’m sure is not entirely finished, is at least no longer a daily struggle that co-opts hours out of all our days. Rest in peace, Judy. You were loved and we are glad you aren’t suffering anymore.

The bad news is we’ve lost someone we loved. The relief is that there’s no more suffering, and we can return to our lives, for now.

I am intentionally scaling back because I’ve been away from the world for too long. The comfort of friends and family was something else, and reminded me of the beauty that can be found in connection.

I need to get out of my head. Less work, less pressure.

If it happens, great. Whether it’s four minutes or five hours, we’ll get there.

Target: 800 words
Written: 269 words, novella: The Mungk

staying focused

It ain’t easy. Working my way through this third draft, I’m falling farther and farther behind.

Work is time consuming.

I wish I could say it wasn’t my fault, that all the stuff with my wife’s parents has taken my time (and it has, partially). But a lot of it is just excuses. Fear of getting started. FOGS.

New acronym alert.

But as the book said, start. Start, start, start. Start doing, and you’ll be okay.

I’ll be okay.

Kindness to the self. The gift that keeps on giving, even as I consider myself wholly worthless, untalented and destined to fail.

It doesn’t matter, as long as I try.

Target: 800 words
Written: 185 words, novella: The Mungk