Day 26: A Break in My Promise to You, Faithful Reader

Tonight was fun.  I took two of my kids to go see "Solo: A Star Wars Story."  Most of our movie theaters are in the casinos here in Las Vegas.  It's funny, because I hate the stereotypes or misconceptions about our little (big) city like "You guys couldn't have schools there." Or "does everyone live in casino?" or some other inane comment or question.  Regardless, it's a weird experience taking my kids through Sunset Station (this time) to get to the cinema.

Anyway, I thought Solo was fun.  Since The Last Jedi was such a letdown and disappointment, I've let go of high expectations for these movies.  It was a solid film and had a fun story with some fun characters.  Nothing deep here.

Writing Update

So I haven't forgotten to update you.  Yesterday, was an intense day that involved some catch up as I prepare to take a few days off.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to complete my goal of writing 500 words of fiction each day until the end of the month.  My wife recently commented that I've gotten too intense about my work and it affects the time we have together.  I don't know if that's really true, but I have decided (in part because of her coaxing) to take the week off that I am going to be on vacation.  That means, I will not be writing 500 words per day of fiction after Monday.  

However, I am working on a story in the series that I have wanted to complete and I am going to commit to you right now that I will finish that story before the end of the day on Monday.  I believe I still have something like 7000 words to write, but I am going to try to do it.  That means 3500 words per day.  I have done more than that before.  

I'm sorry to do this to you (my faithful readers in Russia, Ireland and a few other select countries), but I need to be cool with my wife at this point in time.

Beginning Word Count: 23 917

Finishing Word Count: 24 764

Daily Total: 847

Day 20: What just happened???

Well, I was able to endure a break from writing that had happened because of travel.  I was also able to push through a cold that started just over a week ago and came on like a banshee.  However, there is no cure for poor planning and a failure to adhere to a schedule.  Ugh!

I could have sworn I wrote and updated the blog on Thursday, but I suppose it didn't happen.  On Friday, there was so much to do with work and preparation for a church Father and Son overnight campout in the nearby mountains of southern Nevada.  Even though we're out in the desert, it is amazing that we can still find places that have enough vegetation and thankfully, cooler temperatures to make camping away from electrical, electronic and plumbing conveniences enjoyable.  That's right, we had no plumbing on this one.  That meant some of the attendees had to go out into the bush, find a tree, dig a hole and prop up against it, if they were needing to evacuate certain parts of the body.  As for me and my boy, we were sure to take care of that business before heading up there and then made the 30 minute drive home in the late morning to take care of the rest of the business.

So, returning on Saturday, I had a number of commitments to keep and a last minute invitation to Deadpool 2 (late night viewing).  Spoiler alert: Deadpool dies in this movie.  However, it being the Marvel Universe (at Fox), you know he's still going on.  After all, his character is a huge money maker for the studio.  So, Friday and Saturday were shot.  

This is Where the Search for Perfection could Kill This Experiment

Like the heading says, if I were trying to make everything perfect, I suppose I would have given up.  On Friday, I did have about 10 minutes to kill and was able to crank out 173 words.  However, I have just rolled them into today's total since I couldn't update you.  The search for perfect execution of the process could have derailed my desire to finish the second story.  However, I won't let that happen.  You see, this isn't really about the process.  In some creative endeavors, including writing, sometimes it is good to just focus on the process and try to be flawless.  In this case, it makes way more sense to push toward completion, no matter how filled with flaws the final product will be (and believe me, this one has its flaws).

So, where does that leave me?  It leaves me spending about 20 minutes this morning, writing the story and then tonight with a combined total of this evening's time spent and all of the time before since Thursday, writing for about 90 minutes.  My hope was to write the equivalent of 4 days' work (500 words per day = 2000 words), but even then I ran out of time today.  So, I will settle for the following results.  I hope you will too.  If you read this blog through chronologically, this post might come as a disappointment to you.  It did to me somewhat.  

My dad once said though that it isn't about moving upward.  Sometimes it's about moving forward.

Starting Word Count: 19 587

Finishing Word Count: 21 327

Daily Word Count Total: 1 740

Day 16: So much more to do

I am not feeling well.  Still, I managed to crank out the minimum 500 words.  Once I got there, I had a couple more sentences that were needed to make everything fit.  

Examining this idea of imperfection further from yesterday's post.  I suppose what I have been trying to say is that it really comes down to being willing to put your work out there and let it be imperfect.  Don't let desire for perfection paralyze you.  

That's no excuse for turning in shoddy work or not trying your best, but it is an acknowledgement that at some point, you have to just move forward.

Starting Word Count: 19 036

Finishing Word Count: 19 587

Daily Word Count Total: 551

Day 15: Story B is moving along nicely

Story B?  I didn't even know there was a Story A!

Trust me when I tell you that I get how this can be kind of confusing.  

The month of May 2018 should have started with me writing one story and working to hit the 500 words per day goal, every single day.  Instead, I am sitting here telling you about going back to Story B after finishing Story A.  Wait, "going back?"  Yes, if you check out my blog around May 5th and 6th, I make reference to the fact I had left my MacBook Pro at home, which had my Story A story on it.  Therefore, to continue the work I was doing, I started working on the story from the outline for Story B.  

This is going to sound nuts, but because I kept my outlines concise and somewhat simple, I was able to start a second story.  I kind of knew the characters involved along with the settings I wanted them in.  Remember, I am writing the stories I wish I could read when I'm just looking for a darn good, rollicking adventure on Amazon Kindle.  

Writing Fiction seems to be a Messy Endeavor

No one is asking my opinion, but I'll give it anyway:  Writing fiction, whether it is good fiction or not-so-good fiction, is a messy and disorganized venture.  I am just discovering this fact after completing and publishing a full novel.  It is now that I am realizing how weird and "twisty" storytelling can be.  

I wonder if that is why so many people find it daunting.

Hear me out on this.  We live in a world that almost seems to worship perfection.  Sure, we all send the message to each other that we should love ourselves and our imperfections (and the imperfections in others), but really we all desire to have things perfect.  

How many times have you purchased that expensive little hardbound cover book (black, blue or red) and said to yourself: This time and in this book, I will write the Great American (or Russian or Japanese or African) Novel?  

Only you find yourself staring back at a blank page.  

It's because you want perfection.  

And you can't have it.  

Let it go.

Let go of this desire to write the perfect story and just write the story in your own limited way.  

When I wrote The Son of San Diablo, I had the same aspirations as anyone else: To write world-changing fiction.  Guess what?  The world is still the same.  

So, now to preserve my sanity, I am trying something else.  I'm writing fun fiction.  Sure, there are deeper themes than just fun and adventure, but I am not going to get so wrapped up in all of that to paralyze myself.  Why the heck can't I just have a little fun and hopefully entertain you the reader?

This might run counter to some of what I've said in the past and it's not meant to.  Instead, my point is that though your story should mean something and it is wise to write "to an end," don't let all of that paralyze you. 

Instead, embrace your own imperfections as a human being and allow some of that to come forward in your storytelling.  

And if your heart faints? 

Do what I'm doing... use a pen name.

Starting Daily Word Count: 18 319

Finishing Daily Word Count: 19 036

Daily Word Count Total: 717