As the master of setting goals that are far too lofty for my, and sometimes any sane human’s, abilities, I am used to eating crow. Whenever I hear someone use the words “failure is not an option,” my response is, “Oh, yeah? Hold my beer.”
Conventional wisdom is that a writer needs to write every day. Since I stopped working for other people and decided to write full-time, I took that advice seriously — and because my eating now depends on my writing, I took it to the nth degree.
Then I suddenly looked up (with exhaustion) and realized that I hadn’t taken a day off in over a month. That wasn’t such a big deal back in the days when I worked two or three jobs at once. I’m pretty sure that between 1992 and 1998, I didn’t take even one day off. But that was way back in the 1900s. Even though I’m still in perfect health and as strikingly handsome as ever (there are some people giggling right now who really need to stop), I also went from walking between 14 and 20 miles a day to sitting on my butt typing five or six hours a day for a month. I hit burn-out mode a lot easier.
So, all that to say that I bit off more than I could chew with the push for 10,000 words a day for a week straight. Now the question is, what to do with a setback?
The answer is, not a damned thing. It is what it is. I beat myself up for a day or two, and thought about applying to be someone’s secretary. But, my dream is still my dream and if it’s ever going to happen, it needs to be now.
I’m going to take one day off every week. No social media, no blogs, no writing, nothing. Well, except for notes about my WIP that pop into my head constantly. But, that will be a few quick scratches in my notebook and then putting it out of my mind.
I still believe in the story I was working on. The world needs more slightly goofy, barely sexy superheroes. Right? And, now I have way over half of it written! I’ve never pushed out that many words in that amount of time – so in the end, it was a pretty amazing experiment. Despite its abject failure.
Failure’s always an option – sometimes it’s just inevitable. What happens afterward (after a little pouting) is what’s important. I hope. The smart thing to do would be to take down all my challenge posts, but I’m going to leave them up as a reminder to myself.