Watson likely stories

Advanced procrastination techniques enclosed

Need to ratchet my craft up a few notches. I feel I'm not pushing myself. Could stagnate if I don't watch out. Possibly I should get serious about the original story series I've been dreaming over in my head for a while now. Write some character sketches for it? Or I could resume some fandom projects. I would very much like to finish a few serieses. Ars Draconis, for one.

Possibly I should re-read a couple of short stories I love immensely and pull them apart to see how they work. Re-read The SF Hall of Fame or the Hugo Winners and think about 'em all.

I am turning over ideas in my head for how to crank myself up. Writing every day last year, during the tagfic spams, was great for ideas and craft both. But I like being able to stretch out and tell longer stories in a more relaxed working pace.

Some vague goals:

- Finish & post one story or chapter a month.
- Finish serieses in progress; shorten the WIP list.
- Write longer things. E.g., finish last year's NaNoWriMo project.
- Write out of my comfort zone. Stylistic experiments; take cues from lusher writers than my usual.
- Try new genres: mystery, horror.

My goal had been a vague kind of "post something every two weeks," but I don't appear to be making it. Though lord knows, the ficspam you're gonna get from me next week is going to make up for the fact that I won't have posted anything at all for three weeks.

Which reminds me that I was going to write about the fear of finishing, the #1 reason why I have all those works in progress.

A finished story cannot be improved. It's done. I've committed to all my plot choices and said, here it is. That's the best I can do. What if I can't live up to the promise of the opening sections? Possibility vibrates with energy. The wave form collapses into a single choice; energy levels drop. The second-guessing can then commence. Sigh. Commitment is so difficult.

And I return to listening to one of Brian Eno's great triumphs and working on Buffy-as-Hero. Though... hey. I find designing soundtracks to inspire the story a successful mental strategy. The soundtrack for "Dust on His Hands From the Sky" slams me right down into the mood of that story. I should stop to do this.

Summery, sunny, warm, healing, starts discordant, ends triumphant. Hmm. "I'll Come Running" is high point. I'll build to that.
  • Current Music: Zawinul/lava : Brian Eno : Another green world
Tags: ,
Guess what. Nobody in the history of the planet has ever written the perfect anything. You won't either. And if it never gets finished and out there, the promise of the opening sections is the most useless thing in the world. Don't worry about writing the best story ever. Don't worry about living up to the potential of the opening sections. All you'll do is worry yourself into a tizzy and sabotage yourself through second-guessing, hesitation, and an inability to finish. From this post, I'd say what you need to work on is finishing the stuff you've already got. Trying new things (in both genre and style) can certainly improve your writing, it doesn't matter if it doesn't get finished. Hopefully, it will help you get through (or at least learn to work around) your performance anxiety. At the very least it should help you figure out which projects are stalled because of writers block and which are stalled because of performance anxiety.
Truer words, etc etc.

At least the performance anxiety is about 1/10th of what it was when I started. I am not joking here. It had completely frozen me, and I was writing nothing. Never mind just having trouble finishing some things. It was crippling me before I got started. So I ought to observe the improvement and do the old positive reinforcement thing.
'Finishing' is so amorphous, though. I mean, I can finish a draft, but that doesn't necessarily finish the story, as in the last big project -- the ending failed at first, and I had to rewrite it. *Then* the project was finished....

Good thoughts for your continued work!
*pets you*

Commitment doesn't have to be difficult, says the person who cannot finish a thing for the same reason. I viewed life this way when I was younger. Every choice I made narrowed my future decision-making abilities. Now that I am old, I think, so what? Every choice has its good and bad points. There is no right or wrong decision-there's only different.

Methinks your burden may be a new one associated more with popularity and reader-expectation. You have a following. And fans. And strangers watching you, waiting for your next piece. But keep in mind that we are rooting for you. You are liked, because of who you are, and not simply for what you can give us, you know? The world of Buffy fandom is a better place, since you've thrown yourself and your talent in the mix. You've affected its path, changed its course forever. And that's a wonderful thing.

And ficspam's my favorite. I can't wait!
Or, you know, I could be completely full of shit, and the burden of popularity doesn't affect you at all. Possible I'm just projecting, cause it would scare the crap outta me. See how successful I've been at avoiding it? :)
I'm going to make you a deal that should benefit both of us and our fandom as well: if you finish a neglected WIP of yours, I'll finish one of mine. Let's poke and prod each other to finish what we've started.

Oh, and if I finish mine first, I get to go neener, neener at you guilt free. And vice versa.
All right, then! You and I will each finish a WIP. In the spirit of generosity, we should pick our own WIPs. The muses, they will only stand so much persuasion before they start sulking.
I was definitely going to suggest we choose our own picks to finish. My muse may rebel anyway, so letting someone else tell me what needed finishing most would definitely not be the smart way to go.

I'll let you know my choice tomorrow.
Good Choice.

As for me, I think I'm going to try to finish Gift of a Future, my long-neglected Buffy/STNG crossover.

Sorry I didn't get back to you yesterday. I had to be at Dickens Fair at the crack of dawn...well, not quite, but still I had to be out the door by eight, and by the time I got back I was too knackered to do anything but haul my sorry ass off to bed. But I had a great time!
Awesome! Yay for crossovery completion!

The Dickens Fair sounds like fun. We have friends who've done it at times. They do country dancing, I think. Or did, anyway.
I get like this too on the finishing front. Though now having finished a couple of things, I am getting kind of addicted to the coolness of the feeling, of having something to edit and bang into shape. But I do admit to getting overwhelmed near the "ends" of things, as I see just how far out of my ability level I have strayed. How did I get here? And what made me think I could tackle this idea at all? Pushing myself though either works, or has characters turning to me to ask what my problem is. Then again, Giles offering me a drink-- I won't turn that down.

Writing, at any stage, is very much a leap of faith, and you generally leap better than anyone I've ever met. So what if the final product is imperfect? Perfection's an illusion anyway. If you need to trick yourself to keep energy levels up, try pursuing the single choice with childlike enthusiasm, and tell yourself when you finish mapping it this way, you're going to go back and take another path. And realize that for all too many people, possibility doesn't resonate at all.

I like the idea of soundtracks for fics. Think I might do that myself, now that I have enough music on iTunes to put stuff together....

Hugs to you. And a reminder-- if it weren't for your leaps a little over a year ago, I would not be out here leaping, either, imperfectly or not. So, don't be so hard on yourself.