Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Passing those Painful Milestones

he trouble with being a writer is the constant battle of the pen meeting the paper.  Of course, I don't use pen and paper.  It would be easier finding a Showbiz Pizza Token from 1986 in our house than locating a notebook or legal pad without Princess scribbles on every page, and a pen that would actually dispense ink on a consistent basis is the type of folklore that gets passed down from father to son.  I also can't switch to play Counterstrike when I'm stuck on a particular word with my good ol' Quill Gold Signature Ruled Pad. Anyways, writing equals hard. 
When I asked professional writers how they get over things like writers block, they simply state that I needed to quit all paying work, sit down, and write approximately 17,967,084,302 words per day.  It doesn't matter if I wrote illegibly, or coherently, or even copied the phone book (which would be 2,245,885,539 entries per day), word count mattered.  I call it the Monkey-With-Typewriter method of writing.  
However, I don't like intentionally writing crap.  Now, most of my stuff IS crap, but that's more happenstance.  When I spew out literary vomit just to get something on paper, I become agitated and depressed.  While some people will state that repetitiveness sparks creativity, my incoherence begets incompetence.  I did try this method of clocking in for a month straight, but became so frustrated that I gave it up for the sake of sanity.  Can I really be proud of my "work" when the only lucid piece I produced was a theme song for Breaking Bad?

Then one day I started thinking, which certainly gave me pause.  What would happen if I treated writing like I treated my video gaming?  Every modern game now comes with a pre-packaged set of milestones that rewards me when I happen to achieve it.  Mostly the rewards are meaningless Gamer Points, but when they pop up on the screen they do give me a boost of motivation.  Some even unlock special rewards that make the game more enjoyable.  Could I set a list of milestones that would help me "level up" my writing, thus inspire me to write quality stuff on a more consistent basis?

I'll spare you the list of my milestones for my quest to become published, but I will subject you to some on my current list for Losing the Internets.  Also included are the reward I get if I achieve the milestone:
  • Get a mention on Social media from someone I don't know: (Tripping the Nerd Fantastic)

    Find out other ways to promote blog.  Follow up on one method.  Cancel lifetime resolution to not make any more friends.
  • Get over 1,000 page views for blog in total:
    Set up non-intrusive ads so papa can get paid!
  • Get a comment from someone I don't know: (The Future of Waiting)
    If good -- write post on subject no one will care about.  If bad -- consider career in Tibetan Monkery.
  • Get 100 page views for a single post:
    Create dedicated Facebook page
  • Get asked to guest write another person's blog OR guest write on my blog:
    Create page of blogs I read on a regular basis
  • Write for 1 year or 100 posts:
    Create widget of the Queen's favorite ten posts
  • Get 10,000 page views on blog
    Reveal the location of the Jade Monkey.
And so on and so on.  This may not be the best way to write, but I'm not the best writer.  So enjoy the ramblings, and thank you for reading.  It looks like I'll be doing this for a while, because if nothing else, I'm a completer.

P.S. These same writers also told me it would help if I was a lawyer or ex-CIA operative and could write thrilling spy dramas.  I should never write children's picture books, because no one will publish them, and if I do make sure there are no talking animals in them.  Stories only work when your protagonist suffers, so try not to give them any happiness.  One even told me to develop a drinking and/or drug habit, but that seems expensive.

No comments:

Post a Comment