(A photo I took on campus. Please don’t use it without crediting me.)

A paltry 163 words. I know word count isn’t that important when it comes to getting something done (unless there’s a limit or requirement of some kind). But it does help me keep track of how much I’m getting done.

I was going to spend a good portion of time writing today, but headaches and spending time with friends won out. I can only hope that my head will stop hurting so much tomorrow.

I know I need to get stuff done. It’s my responsibility to keep up with writing, and I’ve not been doing a very good job of it.

Do better than I am right now. Hold yourself accountable. Have a daily word or scene goal–and fulfill it. Give yourself a talking-to if you don’t succeed in your goals. Be responsible about your writing. If you have something you need to get done by a certain point, then don’t wait until the last minute to do it. Edits are almost always necessary!

It’s hard to hold myself accountable for writing, especially when I’m the only one telling myself to do it. I guess the reason for that is that I can churn something out the night before and still get an A or B on it. Everybody expects me to do well at it, and I do without trying. Nobody pushes me to do better. It’s all up to me.

I love compliments. I do. I practically live off them because they are so rare. But it would be so nice if I could get some constructive criticism that didn’t put me into a spiral of depression and/or self-hatred. There doesn’t ever seem to be a middle ground. That’s where I’m happiest–in the middle of things, in the place where nobody thinks balance could possibly be but somehow is. Yet it’s hard to find.

So I need to find a way of looking at myself and my work and holding myself responsible for it. “Good enough” shouldn’t be enough. If it’s not my best, then it’s not good enough.

Here’s your assignment: Write a story this week in which a character is stuck out in the middle of somewhere (s)he has never been before and must find his or her own way home. Set a word goal for the week–your story must have at least as many words as your goal, if not more. (You can totally write other things this week if you get stuck or if you’re doing any other assignments I post, but don’t count it toward your word goal.) Your word count must equal your goal by 11:59 PM in your time zone on Sunday.
Use a Post-It Note or something to help remind yourself of how far you’ve come and have left to go. Split it into sections so you don’t find yourself cramming 400 words of your goal of 500 at the end of the week. Find a goal that works for you. What seems plausible? What seems like too much? Find your middle ground!

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