So, lessons from the Challenge, Part II
- Mini-lessons: a. My eclectic’s journal has consistently launched me into rapid word surges. b. During my 30-minute exerbike sessions, inspiration generally kicks in after ten minutes of pedaling and reading. At that point, I’m generally reaching for a pen and notebook and the ideas really do flow. c. I spend too much time looking for/inserting an image to accompany my writing. d. In spite of ‘c’, I do appreciate Pixabay and Unsplash. e. YouTube has lots of good 90-120 minute videos of instrumental music. f. I’ve decided to lead off this piece with the mini-lessons.
- I really don’t lock in on finishing pieces of writing that I start. Two of the challenge submissions need to be finished—the ‘ending’ that I started [that’s an odd twist] and my look back at the desultory baseball season of the summer of ’70. I may still finish those, I have a challenge-and-a-half left, after all. And it would feel good to type ‘The End’ as Jeff Goins encouraged us to do.
- The ‘The End’ prompt provided added challenges. I didn’t like the part where our co-protagonist activates a fire alarm to stop a proceeding that he, well, wanted to stop. I didn’t like the solution. And that slowed me down. So, I think I have a workaround which is more palatable to me and, I hope, readers. It will, after all, be a best seller once I get it published. Well, that and once I provide a beginning and a middle to the story. Small detail.
- The Facebook involvement has been fun, but by god, don’t post a link in the wrong place or at the wrong time. Also, some folks tend to take things way more seriously than I do. But the encouragement that other writers send toward newbies to the challenge has been heartening and I’ve connected with a couple of nice folks as well.
- At about three this morning, I was struck by a story possibility, so I fired up the flashlight in my iPhone to illuminate my moment of illumination. [Yeah, more than a little forced, wasn’t it?] I reached for my trusty Flair pen and a nearby notebook and scrawled away with the iPhone tucked under my chin. Such great ideas, and an interesting premise. This was going to be an easy 500 words and so throughout the day, I mulled over what was now becoming a hazy and less amusing surge of creativity. By the time I sat down and reviewed the early morning scribbles, well, I think those are going to sit on a shelf for a long, long time. I saw that there was a level of insensitivity that I wasn’t thrilled with. I guess I could have spent time doing a little verbal contorting, but if it required that much effort and convincing of the writer, well, it wasn’t worth it. Interesting lesson—go ahead and follow that inspiration, but, at times, backtrack a bit with a small dose of reality. I guess I would call it ‘pre-editing’. Not needed for all that we write, but if the pre-editor’s voice is loud enough, probably a good idea to heed it.
- I’ve posted most of these daily challenges on my other blog. As I noted to those few readers, my doing so was just as much an attempt to further document [to myself] that I could finish…and enjoy the process. I’m pleased I’ve achieved a level of consistency and I give the Jeff Goins Challenge most of the credit. At times, I dangled rewards to get me to January 31, but that was just me the procrastinator playing games with me the writer.
- I’m setting a timer for five minutes of light editing. I will steel myself to stop after that. Let’s see how much willpower I have. Cool! I’m stopping with a half-minute to go.