When I first came into fandom, finding time and motivation to write was never a problem, because I was driven by a need to tell the stories in my head. A Guardian's Legacy, the Confessional and the collaborations with Ikon: all of these drove me through 2005 and 2006, and in those two years, I was highly productive.
Then the first rush wore off, as first rushes often do, and some tough things came down in my life -- work issues, personal life issues. And it became much harder to sit myself down and really work on stories. They were still in my head, I still had rushes of inspiration and times when schedules and plodding would keep me moving, but I would also go days or even weeks without doing any serious work.
I had played a little bit with tracking words and goal setting in the early days of 2009, but I only kept it up through mid-March, partly because travel wreaked havoc with my schedule at the start of the month, and then life decided to turn completely upside-down for a few months. Once it had righted itself, it was time for ff_exchange, and that got me moving for awhile, but only for awhile. So when December came around, and I saw some friends signing up for getyourwordsout, I decided to give it a whirl. The minimum wordcount goal gave me pause -- 200,000 words is a lot when you haven't been doing well at writing regularly -- but I decided to go for it anyway. I didn't expect to hit the target; I just wanted the challenge for the structure, an outside source to be accountable to. So I made my spreadsheets, and I wrote my monthly goals posts, complete with charts (an idea shamelessly stolen from seventhe) and started plugging away.
And then October came, and October went, and I had over 180,000 words.
Suddenly, 200,000 wasn't seeming so far out of reach. And today, with over 2k words on my Mega Flare alone, I have reached that goal, and surpassed it, with over a month and a half to go in 2010.
Of course, over 25% of those words so far are on one story. (No points for guessing which one.) And since this isn't a story I had any idea I was going to write at the start of the year, I think it's reasonable that this caught me by surprise. Will I be able to do it again next year? Currently, my thinking is no, but if this year has taught me anything, it's not to underestimate myself, and my ability to schedule writing time for myself if I really want to make it a priority. And that's a good thing.
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