Evaluating Your Writing Progress

I woke up and visibly shook with horror at the task in front of me. I forced pen to paper and felt guts, blood and bile gushing out on the page in startling vibrant scarlet rivulets, staining the spotless parchment and dripping onto the cold marble floor.

No, I’m still not writing that short story.

I’m taking a long conscious and painful stock at where I’ve gone with my writing and its goals. Excruciating as it may be, if you want to be brutally honest with yourself and where you’re standing at, it’s good to evaluate yourself every once in a while and then see which areas you’ve failed and which ones you were able to accomplish and do better.

Knife.

Check.

Scalpel.

Check.

Saw.

Check.

Igor, we’re ready. Bwahaha! Presenting—

The Writing Evaluation

I swear I will tell the truth and nothing but the truth.

1. How many short stories (articles or number of words if you’re writing a novel) were you able to get done in the past (insert time span) 4 months?

I set the goal to finish 6 stories in 4 months.

I’ve only managed 4.

June – I was at it full force. I was very excited to bring my own baby to this world and I was able to proudly give birth to two stories.

July-August – Momma’s getting irritated and tired. The Immaculate Conception was just not working. I slacked off when I went back to the Philippines and gone adventuring in Vietnam and Cambodia.

September- Momma’s itching to conceive again and with some effort (and lots of pushes) gave birth to another two stories.

I couldn’t wait to tell the whole world about these beautiful babies of different genres. So I submitted them. Have been rejected twice with 2 stories (once in each). Now I’m waiting to hear from the others and am slowly cultivating the art of patience and gaining enlightenment in the process whilst meditating in my Zen temple in the Himalayas.

2. Any others?

I also wrote two articles and have blogged more this year than I did in 2006 and 2007 combined. The articles are:

3. What are your blocks in the present writing process?

Characterization in my next story. The protagonist is lifeless and too depressing. He’s like a piece of flimsy cloth jerked and bullied around by the wind. Not solid enough.

4. Any solutions?

I might have to write the story in the first person rather than the omniscient as I had originally intended. Always, always show don’t tell.

5. What are the outside blocks that distracts/stops/takes time away from your writing?

Nothing. I’m a perfectly disciplined self-motivated person that knows enough not to distract herself from such trivialities. Me? Procrastinate? Never.

What’re you snickering about? I’m completely serious.

Not.

  • Reading blogs, tweaking my blog and exploring StumbledUpon and Blog Catalog –I admit like any other normal blogger, I got too carried away with these. When I realized I was becoming obsessed, it was too late and the week was almost over.
  • My day job- teaching – We’re always torn by what we want to do and what we should do.

6. Now what’re you going to do about it?

You’re ready? You might want to list these down.

Grab pen and journal.

Unburden life’s miseries, ceaseless complaints and wail and wail all I want about how I can’t stop procrastinating, why can’t I stop doing this, blah blah blah.

Read how disgusting and whiny I am.

Write a prescription.

Close.

Journaling has certainly helped me in unlocking and breaking the blogging addiction. I realized I couldn’t go on about this anymore or else it’ll become a cycle and harder to break. Blog – blog – self pity –self pity—blog – continue moaning about the same things. Oh, shut the fuck up Kate!

Once I’ve vented all my rants at myself, I was able to look things in an objective way, made some commitments and do them. Also, disconnecting the Internet connection, covering my notebook’s screen with a cloth and using Leechblock have also certainly helped. 🙂

As for my day job, I’ve decided to transition myself away from it. Excluding the teaching hours, I’ll only spend 20% of my time and just do a satisfactory job and not any more than I have to. I’m not aiming for a promotion or tenure. Eventually, I will leave this job so why should I torture myself?

Which brings me to my announcement. The reason I was able to gloriously blog consistently this week was because of China’s 1 week National Holiday which is coming to an end today.

Yeah, I know. It sucks.

Tomorrow is the first day of classes. *Rubs hands gleefully* Time to torture the little college freshmen. Since I’ll be busy with the Iron Maiden and Thumb Screwer, I’ll only be able to blog 2-3 posts a week. Tomorrow’s long post on how writers and others can cope with rejection is already saved and I’ll just post it tomorrow.  I’m aiming for 4 entries but let’s see how it turns out. Iron Maidens do seldom break, after all.

Next week, the general direction of this blog will slowly take shape. Oh, you thought it’ll be all short story excerpts and sex? Sorry to disappoint you but –

–the sex part will only rear its provocative head occasionally. It’s still there but it needs its privacy from time to time. So it’ll shut itself in the little room in order to suck and come out with new ideas that’ll blow your mind away. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to put it in the sticky post. 😉

If you didn’t get that last statement, I will not explain it to you. You better watch this video to educate yourself.

And because I couldn’t continue with my Jack Pips short story, I’ve made this commitment.

NO WORKING ON MY PERSONAL GOALS FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK.

Bet you’re shaking your head and thinking, “WTF?! Stop working?! You’ve only done 4 stories and 2 friggin’ articles. You should do better. You ought to be writing and working more, more and more….”

But that’s the common solution and I’m someone who looks for the uncommon answer, the black rabbit among the white, the blue rose, the out-of-the-box approach.

Want to be productive? STOP WORKING!

Smell the roses. Read a book. Watch T.V. Like I said in my last entry, I’ll be spending next week absorbing and reconnecting with my passion. This is the first time I’ve done such a thing since graduating college. And I’ll be sharing and blogging the experience here for you.

What will it turn out to be? Find out and subscribe.

Here’s the list of questions for the writing evaluation for easy reference:

  1. How many (short stories, articles or number of words if you’re writing a novel) were you able to get done in the past (insert time span)?
  2. Any others?
  3. What are your blocks in the present writing process?
  4. Any solutions?
  5. What are the outside blocks that distracts/stops/taking time away from your writing?
  6. Now what’re you going to do about it?

Related posts:

  • Reconnecting with Your Muse- Links for Writers
  • Writer’s Block or Unblock- Dinner with Shakespeare Excerpt
  • Sex with Fairies Excerpt- And Social Bookmarking Bar
  • Asking Someone for Sex vs Asking Someone Out- 4 Ways to Ask a Guy Out Excerpt
  • Can Aliens Breakdance?- Sub Dio excerpt
  • Comparing the Short Story and the Comic Script- First Experience of a Fiction Writer
  • Why I Write
  • Writing Updates-The Magic of Storytelling
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