I seriously suck at holding myself accountable
Below, I go into at least a little detail about why this has become a real problem when it comes to achieving things that matter to me, but in case you’d rather not read through that ordeal, here’s a quick precis of what this post is about: I have something I really, really want to achieve but I can’t do it on my own. I enjoy writing and I’m pretty good at it, but I can’t write for myself. No amount of word tracking or magical apps for word sprints or promises from friends to read it actually helps me get it done. As I explain below, writing has become transactional for me as a result of decades of RP (see below if you dare).
So, after months of agonising over the audacity of even thinking about it, and a good three weeks trying to write this post, I’m actually asking for help.
I didn’t think I’d ever make a proper start on this story. It’s been kicking around in my head for years, and aside from dabbling in the idea for my Honours project (a work of interactive fiction, coded in PHP/MySQL/jQuery, combining the stats of an RPG and the choose-your-own-adventure format – damned awesome stuff, albeit too labour intensive for a single writer), I haven’t had the time to invest in any real effort. I mentioned in an early entry how Novembers tend to be busy-as-Hell months, and how I keep really wanting to participate in NaNoWriMo, but generally get swallowed by everything else.
I’d like to see an Antipodean NaNoWriMo (and Halloween, while I’m putting in requests with the powers-that-be – our Samhain is April/May, a much better time of year for costumes! And Christmas in June would make traditional wintry imagery less ridiculous, and I’d feel less sorry for the fat guy in red flannel in the middle of Summer). A NaNoWriMo in May would be good. May is a slow month.
Every year I’m filled with an urge to participate in NaNoWriMo, yet I’ve only managed to do so a few times, and completed it fewer times than that.
Something about November being a stupid-busy month for me makes it damned hard to sit down and write creatively. November is my ‘Murphy’ Month. If shit is going to happen at all through the year, it’s probably going to happen in November. Though a few other months are starting to compete for the title.
Still, it’s half way through October, and I’m getting that urge again! So much so that, when I logged on to the site and updated my details, I even went so far as to throw together a rough cover image to inspire myself!
(I really need to get back to writing. Really, really. Not that this is any good, but it was so much fun to write!)
“Ballista!” The shout echoes above and below deck, a dozen voices barking back and forth with ever-increasing urgency to get it done. Bleary-eyed pirates are tipped from their cots and hammocks, running before their feet touch the floor, belts cinched as they go. “Wozzit?” A few voices ask, weather-beaten faces scrunched with concern.“Sail’s on us,” was the short reply passed through the ranks, and all the reply the ranks needed for motivation. There’d been threat of sail for days; a persistent smudge on the horizon that didn’t bode well for the weather-weary crew keen to make safe port. Heavy with cargo stolen from every nook and cranny of the coast between the far north and the distant south, they were bloated and running deep.
Easy pickings for some.
The smudge of sail on the horizon to stern the night before revealed itself with the first rays of morning, and the Squall’s crew was in a frenzy. It was a familiar profile, and one no life-loving pirate wanted to see in their wake with the wind against them.
I wrote this in the days after I received news of Anne McCaffrey’s death. I’m not a fan of poetry, to read or write, but I was so struck by grief to lose my childhood idol I could find no other way to get through it. She often introduced her chapters in the Pern books with verses, so it seemed appropriate, in a way.
The Holds are quiet;
the Halls have dimmed.
The Weyrs are grieving;
their banners trimmed.
Drums are covered,
pipes laid down;
a dark day passes
Holders raise a glass
and take a moment or two,
give thanks, rejoice, remember
the words that made you true.
You shall live on, and over again,
your stories oft retold,
your sickness and defeats,
and conquests bright and bold.
Harpers sing a soulful tune,
Weavers thread her story,
Miners and Smiths take up your crafts
in homage to her glory.
By thread or hide or smelted steel,
your grit, your blood, your sweat;
give praise to she who wrote you,
for Pern must not forget.
your dragons too.
A moment of reverence
is asked of you.
Gold and bronze,
brown, blue, and green,
take flight, give voice:
Anne McCaffrey has gone between.
– Amelia Beare (24th of November, 2011)
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