Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Going Well

The purpose of The Advent Flash, was, obviously, to get Boot Camp writing.

There's a problem for the writing soul when holidays come round and when "I'll Go From There" dates loom in the calendar.

What could be more natural than to think, on December 1st, ""Starting New Year's day I'm going to really hammer. I'm going to get up at silly o'clock and write XXX a day."


But even if you DO manage this and your pronouncements are not self-delusion, what about December?

I know from jaded experience that output from Boot Camp drops away in the holiday month.


We are either writers or we are not. 

A writer is someone who wakes every day, EVERY day, and first-off thinks, "How will I find the time to write today?"

Every blank day is a day nearer your death.
Every blank day is a day nearer your death.
Every blank day is a day nearer your death.

You do not get blank days back.

In days-past Boot Camp "Started the New Year" on Boxing Day, December 26th and I stressed to every Boot Camp Member, that they should THROW THEMSELVES at their work. 

They should hammer hammer hammer and go for big numbers on the 26-27-28-29-30-31, six days of December.

Easily, EASILY they could write 12,000 words or more in those six days, then, on January 1st when they get out of bed, maybe hungover, maybe not, they would have 12,000 words in the New Year's Bank.

But, ATM, Boot Camp is under-populated, and such under-population tends to make the place work in fits and starts.

IMO the minimum number of members is about 16. That way, if half the number are seriously active that week we have eight people producing stories, the anonymity level shoots up, there is more variety of style, and a far better buzz.

But with Christmas approaching there was a danger that everyone would back-slide (November was fallow) and then, come January we would need to loosen stiff joints and get back into good habits.

That would effectively mean a month (December) lost, and then a week of the New Year.

Consider that for a second. You have lost 10% of your annual possibility. TEN PER CENT!

You are STARTING where, no matter what, you are working of a 90% maximum. That is CRAZY

Or, you can "Blast" in December and actually produce 2-3-4 times the average, GAINING percentage points.

So in BC we started the Advent-January Blast.

The idea was to over-produce in December in the 24/25 days to Christmas, build up a healthy bank of work, then, take Christmas day off, hopefully do SOMETHING on the 26th, then go full-on at it again on the 27th.

It is really dumb to procrastinate. DUMB DUMB DUMB.

For personal reasons, and health reasons, though I was posting 25 Flash Prompts every day (often more) I wasn't writing at the start of December. I just couldn't get going.

So, kicking my own arse, I set the alarm for 05:25 on the 7th December, got up, generated some prompts, and wrote a flash.

That flash, easily publishable, a good shot at a prize (125-135 in BC terms) was entered on the spreadsheet at 07:45

By the end of the day (not even the end) I had written FIVE flashes and a total of 2,890 Words

Now we are on Day 10 (sorry, I am on Day 10 playing catch-up). If this blog entry counts (and I don't count prompt-lists) then I am on piece No 38 and 32,003 words. 

By 07:00, while the guests are still all abed, I will pass 37,000 words for December. In my case that is 32,003 words in 10 Days, 3,200 words a day.

Five Stories, 17 Flashes,  six poems, a few articles.

If we had not had the two-stage Advent-January Blast I seriously doubt I would have written a word. And I will bet you now, that this dramatic push, this “over-production” will produce 28/28 publications (if I ever get round to subbing, which is a separate story) and there are AT LEAST four prize-winners in there.

You may not see these results for six months, such is the way of the world, but my publication/prize targets for 2016 HAVE ALREADY BEEN ACHIEVED, that is by 06:45 on December 16th, 2015. I merely have to send the stuff out.

No comments: