Confessions of an IceBucketBikiniBabeDunkee. (If you haven’t seen the video, DON’T! It ain’t pretty :O)
Monday night, a little over a week before our first challenge ended, I knew with sickening dread that I was going to have to take an icy dunking. This lead to a meltdown, and on Monday night around midnight I was on the email to my writing buds, cry babying about this. For all that my buds can be real wizenhiemers (which I adore), all three came back with heartfelt and encouraging emails (harder for me to handle). For two days, I went into hardcore reflective mode, and ultimately arrived at several conclusions.
The first – despite knowing I was going to get douched, I decided not to concede defeat. Something Terri said in her email struck me: “The ice bucket bath is not a punishment, it is a motivational tool.” It’s true, I was thinking of the dunking in terms of punishment, but when I forced myself to look at it in terms of motivation, I realized that while I would be taking a douching come February 14th, I was totally, completely, and highly “motivated” to be more aware of my writing process when setting goals. (God, I love adverbs!)
Early January, when Dawn, Kay and I met (Terri was slaying vicious malware and couldn’t make it) to discuss the Write or Consequence blogging idea, we were gung-ho to continue with a second challenge. My goal for the first challenge, which began in Oct of 2014, was not only to complete a first draft, but to handle the business side of self-publishing as well as have the story fully edited and ready for publication in only four and a half months. Too ambitious, as it turns out. Hence my ice bath. For my second goal, I most definitely wanted to be more mindful, and so set it as finishing the second draft of Love’s Storm (40K) the first in my three book series. One task, one time frame. Fingers crossed I get it right this time.
The second – actually analyzing my writing process. Yuk, boring. Not something I like or want to do. But damn if I was going to fall before another Consequence. I’ve been plugging away at this writing business for longer than I care to admit, and I realized that in all that time (and we are talking years) I had only completed three novels. This meant I had next to no experience with having a completed first draft. Explained why I freaked out Monday night. I expected the damn thing to be publish-ready, and instead it was crap. Fixable crap, yes. Fixable by Valentine’s Day, hell no. Hence my ice bath.
Third – Writing is a solitary business. Very often setting then sticking to goals has no consequence because there’s no accountability. I’m incredibly blessed to be in a town with a strong writing community, and even more blessed to have such awesome writing buddies. We have devised a way to “motivate” ourselves to set goals with real and very public consequences, a motivation to be productive when no one is watching, when we don’t feel like it, when life is nibbling away at the edges of our creativity. For the first time I feel like I have a real chance at getting something out there, and despite my ice bath, I’m super jazzed about that notion. Our way may not be viable for you, but find a way, get your story out there. Avoid your own “ice bath”.
Lorinda Peake wrote her first ditty when she was ten on an English seashore while visiting her British grandmother. From then on, her family either acted in or were treated to plays, skits, or commercial spoofs. In school, she wrote poetry, fables and short stories.
Years later, she tossed down a particularly bad novel and thought, “I could do at least that well.” She’s been pursuing the elusive published novel ever since. Recently, she joined a group of fellow writers who decided to cajole, bully, encourage, and sometimes baby each other along towards the publishing goal by setting real and measurable writing objectives with “motivational” consequences for non-attainment.
Lorinda loves a good romance – all the more if it is wrapped in a great fantasy setting. She lives on the Texas Gulf Coast with her husband of 34 years.