So here’s the thing. When I started 2018, I resolved to pull “The Full Bradbury” and write a story a week. I figured since I was posting a story prompt a week at Phantom Sway (and just look at all these prompts!) I’d have ample story fodder and writing a story a week would be child’s play. In fact, I reasoned to myself, my problem would be writing too many stories! I’d be a story-churning machine! An unstoppable force of fiction! An endless found of wonder and delight!
How did I do? Well, let me just click this little page right here, count up all the stories and…
*insert “The Price is Right” loser sound here*
Okay, that did not go according to plan. I published 37 stories and one poem here on the blog plus three in the newsletter that seems quite dead but isn’t. Forty stories and a poem. I’ll count the poem to make it 41.
As you may have noticed, 41 is less than 52; therefore, I failed. Completely. Abjectly.
Except, no! This is not failure. I mean, it is failure in that I missed the mark I set for myself, but it’s not failure in several important ways. First, I wrote 41 stories! You know how many stories I wrote in 2017 or 2016? Not 41! You know how many stories most authors wrote in 2018? Not 41! Of course there are writing machines like Dean Wesley Smith, Larry Correia, and my friend Moe Lane who put me to shame, but they are not the rules among writers.
My 41 stories this year is not nothing. I got almost 80 percent to my goal. And — AND — I had a story illustrated by a top-notch professional artist who is game to do more with me this year. And — and AND — I won my first-ever writing contest.
It is true that I also dumped a few side goals along the way. Shall I list them? Oh, why not?
- I didn’t publish my newsletter twice a month, or even once a month. I published it three times.
- I wanted to write four Hallowe’en stories that might have gotten illustrations and that I could have collected and sold.
- I wanted to write at least one “scary ghost story” for Christmas.
- I don’t quite have a plan for publication.
- I didn’t launch my Patreon campaign.
Yep. I failed all over the place.
Except I didn’t. I wrote 41 stories. That is in no wise failure. Chew on that, Inner Critic! What’s more, those 41 stories tell me that with just a little more discipline, with even a half-cooked plan, 52 is well within my reach.
As is so much more.
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(Background Picture Credit: StockSnap on Pixabay)